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Elan Catoe's All American Journey

By Peter Stefo --- Eagle Staff Writer

Wrestling is a difficult sport that has produced many fantastic athletes. Whether it's Olympic wrestling or WWE, wrestling takes great dedication and Elan Catoe has that dedication.

Catoe recently earned All-American status in wrestling by placing among the Top 10 nationwide for his weight class. “At National High School Coaches' Association nationals, I competed in a 64 man bracket against the top heavyweights in the class of 2026 and I placed 8th in the nation,” Catoe says.

Elan Catoe wrestling at the Virginia Beach sports center. (Courtesy photo)

Catoe has been wrestling since a very young age, and has the skills to prove it. “I have been wrestling since my fourth grade year,” he explained. 

   It was a few years before he decided to get serious about his wrestling. “Once COVID hit in sixth grade, I started to wrestle at the bigger nationals tournaments where my wrestling career took off,” Catoe says.

He probably never would have started wrestling though if he didn’t have some good inspiration for it. “What inspired me to wrestle was watching John Cena wrestle live in WWE when I was around 8 years old,” Catoe explains.

He doesn't only take inspiration from celebrities though, but also from his coaches.  “Another big thing that got me into wrestling was Coach Alan Temple - AKA 'Pops'. He convinced me wrestling would help boost my football skills immensely,” Catoe said.

Catoe has found more than just sport in wrestling. “ Wrestling is important to me because it is where I met my absolute best friend Brady Hand; wrestling is also very important to me because it has given me a family like no other, “ Catoe explained.

Catoe (upper) takes an opponent to the mat. (Courtesy photo)

You can’t become All-American without putting in a lot of practice, and Catoe is no exception. He explains, “To get better at wrestling during the season, I practice 5 days a week with the school team and go up to travel wrestling practices and lifting on Sundays."

Training for wrestling is intense and requires lots of sparring and weight training. “I train primarily by live sparring in practice but I also do a lot of extra chest workouts to build upper body strength for Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles of wrestling, “ he says.

Wrestling is not only good for wrestlings sake but also for football. “I have a higher chance of being looked at by football scouts due to wrestlers being highly sought-after athletes,” Catoe said.

Elan Catoe with his All-American certificate and medal. (Courtesy photo)

Becoming All-American is one of the highest honors a wrestler can earn and is something that anyone should be proud of. Catoe's achieving such honors as only a sophomore is creating a lot of excitement about what future athletic achievements might be in his future.

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