(Seton Catholic freshman Quentin Hovis is 39-1 this year. Photo courtesy of Seton Catholic.)
Reading, writing, arithmetic — and wrestling?
For Quentin Hovis, those are his foundations for success at school. So far Hovis is passing his four R’s with A’s.
The next wrestling test for the Seton Catholic freshman arrives this week when the Division III state tournament starts at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Hovis, 15, didn’t take long to gain the respect of high school opponents and coaches this season, picking up the Outstanding Wrestler award at the state’s premier regular season event, the Flowing Wells Invitational.
Hovis (115) moved up a division to square off against tougher opponents at Flowing Wells, where, despite being unseeded, he won his division. He beat a state champion, Sunnyside’s Juaqin Olivas, in the semifinals and Chandler’s Quincy Reece in the final.
“Flowing Wells was the big point of my season so far,” Hovis said. “Winning that tournament and getting outstanding wrestler was great. I hope I can become a four-time champ at Flowing Wells.”
At Seton Catholic, Hovis is coached by in-state wrestling pillar Eric Larkin, whose brother Evan was a four-time champ at Flowing Wells.
“Quinton is exactly the type of student we are trying to mold and grow here at Seton Catholic,” Larkin said. “The kid never complains. You won’t even know that he’s sick if he is sick.”
Hovis is “nails” in the classroom also, Larkin added.
The freshman is a straight A student despite taking three advance classes. After high school, Hovis wants to attend the Air Force Academy and become a fighter pilot.
“He (Hovis) never grew out of that military phase all kids go through,” Hovis’ dad, Lee, said.
Credit partially noted author Tom Clancy for Hovis’ fixation with the military.
If he’s not wrestling or studying, you can often find Hovis reading a book and more often than not it’s a Clancy novel. Clancy’s attention to detail in his military books is what draws Hovis to his books, Hovis said.
Besides being well read, Hovis also is a well-travelled and seasoned athlete. Because of his finance job, Lee has lived in San Diego, where Hovis was born, and Hawaii.
While living in those states and Arizona, Hovis has competed in national and international tournaments in wrestling and judo. He’s a former six-time junior judo national champ and competed in Mexico during the Pan American Junior Championships two years ago.
The judo has helped Hovis in wrestling, especially with his upper body moves, and helped him finish third in Greco Roman during the Asics/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships in Fargo in July. He also earned a fifth place finish in freestyle to help Hovis reach All-American status at Fargo.
At Seton Catholic, Hovis is 39-1, with his only loss coming to Comb High’s state champ, Ed Rico, during a dual meet. There’s a small window during the year where Hovis also takes time to sharpen his boxing skills.
But even when he’s boxing, you can’t pry Hovis away from his books. During a amateur boxing event at a sports bar, Hovis’ hands were taped up as he was reading a book before his bout.
There’s no “R” in “boxing,” but that didn’t stop Hovis from winning his fight after putting his book down.