EVART -- Cole Hopkins has been having a strong freshman wrestling season at 160 pounds for Evart and hopes it continues throughout February when the Wildcats start having some critical matches and head into the postseason.

Hopkins recently took first place at the Lakeview Invitational and has had strong finishes at other invitationals.

He's been wrestling since he was 4 years old and has made an impressive transition from junior high to varsity wrestling.

He also won tournaments at St. Louis and at the Traverse City Invitational. He entered the second week of January at 14-1.

"My coaches have been pushing me to go as hard as I can every day," he said.

Hopkins have been able to make smart decisions on the mat.

"At my championship match at Traverse City West, I beat a D3 kid who had placed at state," Hopkins said. "I beat him by quite a bit."

Hopkins isn't holding back on what he hopes to achieve before this season is over.

"I hope to be a state champion," he said.

Hopkins also plays football and baseball, but said wrestling is his favorite sport.

"You control the outcome," he said. "You don't rely on your team as much."