By Derrick Smith
High school student-athletes can have any number of people that they look up to as role models in their lives. While it is not always the case, some athletes choose to look up to someone that competes in the same sport that they do. Kaiden Ailey falls into that category.
“American professional wrestler Danny Hodge is who I would say is my biggest role model,” he said. “Not just a role model, but he is also my all-time favorite athlete.”
Kaiden, a junior at Blackwell High School, is no stranger to wrestling, as he is in his thirteenth year of competing in the sport. He says that throughout the years of competing, there are a couple of things that have helped him become the athlete he is today.
“Being dedicated is a key to being a successful athlete, no matter what sport you are competing in,” Ailey said. “I do my best to never miss a practice and I also feel like that is very important as well.”
Throughout his career, Kaiden has had a lot of great experiences and made some great memories on and off the mat. Out of all of them, he says that there are a couple of moments that stand out the most.
“The biggest moment for me would have to be when I placed at state,” he recalled. “It was a really great moment. Another would have to be winning the Rock Award every year. It is an award on our team that is given for never missing a practice.”
As a student at Blackwell, Kaiden has learned from a number of really good teachers. But he says that Bobby Miller, who teaches social studies and also is an assistant wrestling coach, would have to be his favorite teacher.
“He taught me to always be truthful because the truth will always come out eventually,” Kaiden said. “He also helped me to understand that you have to work hard for what you want.”
Along with being a part of the wrestling team, Ailey is also a part of the Blackwell Wrestling Club. He helps coach younger wrestlers, including his brother.