The question was simple: Is Cody Hughes the best wrestler Matt Rix has coached in his 33 seasons at Marshwood High?

“Yes,” Rix said.

“It’s his intensity, not just in meets but in practice. If you score on him while drilling, he takes it personal and he’s going to come back and beat you up until he scores on you and gets that revenge.”

This season Hughes was scored on infrequently in compiling a 52-1 record. He was not taken down until the New England Championships.

Hughes claimed his fourth Class A championship when he won the 170-pound title, joining a select group that includes his longtime friend and teammate, Jackson Howarth.

Hughes, who signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at Division I Virginia Tech, set a state record for career wins with 212 (against nine losses). He went a third straight year without losing to a wrestler from Maine, placed third at New Englands and helped Marshwood win a fourth consecutive Class A title.

For those reasons, Hughes is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Wrestler of the Year for the second straight season.

“He’s earned it,” said Noble Coach Kip DeVoll.”

Hughes’ connection to Marshwood wrestling is lifelong. He remembers going to Marshwood practices with his dad, Todd Hughes, then an assistant coach and the program’s first 100-win wrestler.

“At first I just watched. Then when I was 4 or 5, I started rolling around a little bit,” Cody Hughes said.

Hughes rolled into New Englands focused on winning after placing fifth, third and second in three previous trips.

Connecticut champion Anthony Falbo beat Hughes 3-1 in the semifinal.

“I do lose at other times in the year,” said Hughes, who often competes in national tournaments. “So I know how to handle (a loss). Still, that was tough, to bounce back and win two more matches but sometimes you just have to suck it up and show how much of a man you are and keep going.”

Hughes will compete against other seniors at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in the 160-pound division, on March 27-29. As a sophomore, Hughes won the 152-pound bracket.

“What keeps pushing me is knowing I can be a lot better than I am now and I’m not satisfied with where I’m at,” Hughes said. “I just want to push for more.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

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