The Unstoppable Force of Spencer Hill
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Hailing from Clovis’ Buchanan High School, sophomore wrestler Spencer Hill has accomplished much in his two years at Fresno City College.
At 20, Hill is already on a meteoric rise to the top.
Much like professional athletes, Hill has dedicated his time to wresting in a way that it has become intertwined with his daily lifestyle.
He started wrestling in elementary school when he went to a camp in fourth grade and continued participating in wresting until his graduation.
The sophomore found his way into FCC after he heard how great the wrestling program was at the school.
Hill attributes a major part of the team’s success to the leadership of the Rams’ coach, Paul Keysaw.
“He is very passionate about the sport and his passion is contagious to us. We all love coach and feed off his energy,” said Hill. “He isn’t strict, but he expects us to work hard.”
Keysaw prepares the wrestlers to be the best conditioned team in the state and it shows when they compete.
“We have talented wrestlers on the team with technique. With those two factors, it’s hard to beat us,” said Hill.
“For the three seasons I have wrestled here, my relationship with my teammates has been good. I don’t do much outside of school and wrestling during season so when I am here I hang out with them.”
A stern diet and rigorous physical training has also been the key to Hill’s success. He usually eats chicken with the necessary five fruits a day and at least two cans of vegetables, but he occasionally goes on carb overload diets to bulk.
“I do everything I can to maintain my shape through my diet and weight-lifting. During the off-season, Keysaw will open the room and we’ll wrestle,” said Hill.
To help his grades, Hill is part of the college’s Zone program which is academic-based and meant to ensure that the athletes keep up their work. They are required to put in three hours a week.
Instead of partaking in activities that could lead to distractions, Hill focuses all of his energy into school and wrestling.
“The season is four months so I have eight other months to do what I want. I don’t want to leave with any regrets,” he said.
Though wrestling seems to be completely physical, the mental aspect is just as important.
“I just wrestle my match, impose my will on them and I don’t let them control me. I find that it’s best to focus on your own game plan and get them out of theirs. Once they’re tired, you just start attacking them,” said Hill.
Even as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state, Hill’s perseverance and ambition has continued to grow.
“So far, I haven’t accomplished what I want. I want to be an individual state champion and help our team win a third state championship in a row which hasn’t been done since the 70s,” said Hill.
“This is my last season here and I only have 30 days left. After that there is no going back; there is no do-over so I have to do everything that I can.”
That mentality is how Hill keeps everything in perspective to maintain a much needed focus.
He stays motivated both on and off the mat so that he can transfer next semester.
Hill desires to attain a degree in liberal arts so he can be a high school math teacher and coach wrestling also.
He seeks to impact the minds of the younger generation in the same way that wrestling impacted his own. He isn’t yet sure of where he wants to transfer to, but he sees endless possibilities.
“In five years I could possibly still be wrestling. I’ll see where I am after college and make the decision then, but I want to get into teaching and coaching as soon as possible,” said Hill.
“For now, I know that once I transfer I will be competing for a national title wherever I end up.”