Cody Craig ended his wrestling career at Skowhegan Area High School by becoming the school’s first four-time state champion and also winning a New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championship title.

For his outstanding performance, Cody Craig is the Morning Sentinel Wrestler of the Year.

For the season, Craig went 63-0 and his career statistics are even more striking.

He was unbeaten in Maine, rolling up a 212-0 record against in-state competition. He had 105 career pins. Few competitors went the distance with Craig as he usually won by technical fall (15-point score differential) over those who he didn’t pin.

His overall scholastic career record is 224-5, with all his losses coming at the New England tournament. He finished in second place at that tournament as a junior.

Not bad for a guy who almost gave up on the sport.

“When I was younger (middle school age), I was really, really bad and rarely won, and I had to watch my two brothers win all the time,” he said.

Cody took a year off from competition in sixth grade, but returned a year later.

“I hated seeing my brothers at tournaments winning without me. So I started up again,” he said.

His success has been a product of hard work, says Skowhegan coach Brooks Thompson.

“Cody’s work ethic is top notch,” he said. “He is consistently one of the hardest-working young men on our team. He works out every day, either at home or at one of the many clubs he has been a part of.”

Craig spent his first three high school years as a traditional student at Skowhegan. However, this year he opted for a home school program instead.

“It just worked better for my schedule,” he said. “Anytime I want to train, any day I need to be gone, I could do it. I prefer homeschooling. I like doing what I need to and being done.”

Although Craig has twice been an All-American at USA Wrestling’s Nationals held in Fargo, North Dakota, he has decided to not go to the tournament this summer.

“I’ve decided to focus on gaining weight,” he said. “I wouldn’t go somewhere like Fargo unless I planned on cutting weight (down to 106), which is something I’d like to avoid for the next year.”

Although Craig wrestled at higher weights during the regular season, each of his state titles was won at 106 pounds.

“The heaviest I’ve ever been is 120 and I would like to get up to at least 130 pounds to be sizable enough for college competition,” he said.

The lowest weight class in college is 125 pounds.

With this in mind, Craig has decided to spend a post-grad year at The Hill School, a prep school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The Hill School has a strong wrestling program as well as a top-notch academic reputation.

“It was just the sensible choice,” Craig said. “It gives me a year to think about what I want to do, where I want to go, and to gain weight so I can be more competitive at the college level.”

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