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By BRAD CROWE
The grand finale to Saturday’s Greene County Fair came in the form of a tag-team wrestling match for an SWA Tag Team championship. The bout featured a couple of young, local competitors who devoted their performance to honoring the life and memory of a friend who was taken too early.
Noah Hosey and Hunter Overstreet are a pair of Jones County natives who graduated from West Jones High School last spring. Though they’ve only wrestled together as a tag team for a short time, they’ve been teammates for several years as members of the West Jones Mustangs’ offensive line that helped push the team to its first-ever state championship in 2020. Hosey said their relationship with one another and timing both helped mold the idea for them to join forces in the ring.
“We started setting up the ring and venues with SWA in February 2018,” Hosey said. “We then started training in the ring in June 2020. We had always shared the same passion for wrestling with each other, and with us starting training only a week apart, the idea was pitched of us being a tag team and we loved it. It wasn’t until December of 2020, right after the state championship game, that we finally decided on ‘The Varsity’ name.”
Hosey said they were both reeled into the business by the thrill and excitement of wowing a crowd, which the duo strives to deliver to their own audiences now that they’ve gotten the opportunity to step into the ring themselves and become the life of the show.
“Before I got into actually wrestling, it was definitely just the ‘awe’ factor of it,” Hosey said. “Watching guys go out there and do what they did on a daily basis, just excited me. Now that I’m in the business, my biggest draw is easily the fans, and their reactions when we step into the ring. The way I think of it is I want to inspire that kid in the front row, the same way I was inspired when I was their age. Another thing that drew me in was honestly the brutality and commitment the sport takes. It was a good hobby for me to dive into after football to fill that void.”
One aspect of The Varsity’s performance on Saturday that was noticed by many was the the number 56 both were wearing on their faces during their match. This was an ode to fellow Mustang and offensive lineman Cade Thompson, whose life ended tragically a couple of weeks earlier during a road collision one morning as he was making his way to West Jones High. Hosey shared that in a contest that was all about teamwork, it was only fitting for him and Overstreet to honor the fallen teammate that meant so much to themselves and others in the Soso community.
“I’ll always remember Cade as the kid who brought life to that state championship offensive line,” Hosey said. “He was just plain out hilarious, even without trying to be. I wasn’t as close to Cade as some of the younger guys on the line, but we were good friends. It’s hard to lose someone that you spent a big portion of your life seeing daily. He was a good player, but he was a great friend and an even better young man.
“We wanted to honor him Saturday night, and he will continue to live forever in the hearts of those whose lives he impacted. I just love to see the ongoing love, care, and respect everyone has sent towards his family and the West Jones family. We just wanted to pay our respects in the best way we could.”
For those who enjoyed the show and would like to follow along with The Varsity as they go forward, SWA wrestling currently has two upcoming shows scheduled in Baxterville on Nov. 13 and at South Jones High School in Ellisville on Dec. 4. Further details can be found on the SWA Promotions Facebook page.
As for what to expect from the two young competitors… they weren’t able to capture the title last Saturday, but they are dreaming big for the future and planning to enjoy each step of the process one by one.
“There is always the hope to make it big time and sign a contract deal somewhere that I can wrestle full time, but that is most definitely long term,” Hosey said. “Right now, Hunter and I are focused on getting the SWA Southern Tag Team titles around our waists, and maybe adding a few more titles from elsewhere. No matter what happens, I am determined to make 2022 the year of ‘The Varsity,’ and the year of Noah Hosey.”