Murray's Cody Lightfoot certainly has a strong wrestling pedigree. Both of his grandfathers participated in the sport, as did his great-uncle and father. His brother Jackson helped lead the Spartans to the Region 7 title as a senior last year.
Now it's Cody's time to shine, and he's seizing the day. The junior entered the week 22-3 and is ranked second in Class 4A in the 106-pound division. Jackson Lightfoot attributes his brother's success to the fact that he's an obsessive worker.
"He's a nut," Jackson Lightfoot said. "He just goes out there and he works the whole time. He's always moving, just going crazy. He's kind of a nut, but I think that helps him a lot. â¦ Combined with being technical and just going crazy, he goes out and wins matches."
Murray coach Todd Thompson feels similarly.
"The thing with him is he never gives up," Thompson said. "Matches are typically 6 minutes, and he'll wrestle all 6 minutes even if he's down. Even if he's down in a match, he'll keep battling. I have faith in him that if he's down, that he'll battle back and win it or make it respectable. He just goes. He works hard the whole 6 minutes, that he's out there."
For Lightfoot, the desire to work hard comes from his love for the sport.
"My family probably got me started, but once that happened, I just took off," he said. "I love it. I love how it's such an individual sport and it teaches you how to work hard, but when you lose, you lose as a team and as an individual. You learn a lot."
The concept of team is something Lightfoot takes seriously. When he was a freshman on the team, Jackson Lightfoot would pick up the freshmen from Riverview Junior High and take them to practice. With Jackson graduated, Cody has picked up that slack.
"I was kind of surprised, but it seems like him," Jackson Lightfoot said. "He's just a really nice kid. He's always looking for opportunities to help out. He's a leader now, trying to get everyone there and everyone pumped up ready to go."
Jackson Lightfoot feels that part of his brother's motivation comes from the fact that they are only two years apart.
"He's very competitive and he likes the rivalry there with us," he said. "He's always trying to better me. I really think he will. I think he'll place in state this year and do really well next year as well."