Wrestling wasn’t the first sport that Brookville’s Cole Householder was drawn to as a child, but it was certainly the one he fell in love with.
Householder, a junior standout who already has surpassed 100 career wins, recently announced his commitment to the United States Naval Academy, where he will continue his wrestling career.
“I was in first grade and was sitting at the Y one day,” Householder recalled. “I swam. I was on the swim team and Caleb Young and Buddy Young walked in and said, ‘what are you doing, wrestling practice?’”
That was the year Householder began wrestling.
“I didn’t place at sections that year, but the next year, I was at states,” he said.
Talk about a fast learner.
Getting the experience of traveling around for wrestling tournaments at a young age helped Householder develop a love of the sport.
“In elementary school I loved it, but it wasn’t really like I really thought about it,” he said. “But getting out of Brookville, going to different places to wrestle, I loved it.”
His love and skill for the sport only continued to grow with time, so much so that it became apparent that it was something he wanted to do as long as he can, which meant aspirations of wrestling in college.
Of course, there’s a program not too far down the road from Brookville that has dominated the college wrestling world for over a decade.
“I think every kid ever has always wanted to wrestle at Penn State for Cael (Sanderson),” Householder said. “You get further on, and you see some guys going there and they are great. You know you can wrestle with them, but at the same time I know that I don’t want to potentially sit for a couple of years.”
Then there is the school literally right down the road – PennWest Clarion.
“I was going to go to Clarion,” Householder said. “It’s close to home and I went down there and loved it.”
That’s before he took his visit to the Naval Academy. While he still liked Clarion, he felt at home in Annapolis.
“I had my official visit and got to stay with one of the guys,” Householder said. “They wrestled the day I was down there, and the atmosphere was sweet. I knew I wanted to go there.”
Of course, there are the other benefits of going to a military academy as well.
“It makes you a way better person after college,” Householder said. “The academic side of it is so good. I either want to do something with criminology or something on the medical side.”
While all that is still a little way down the road, Householder still has a lot he wants to accomplish for the Raiders.
A two-time District 9 champion and state qualifier, Householder reached the medal stand at states (7th) as a freshman, but missed out last season.
The fire burns deep not to just get back, but to be at the top of the medal stand.
“My No. 1 goal is to be a two-time state champion, this year and next year,” Householder said. “I’d love to get the most wins in our school’s career, it’s 157, and it would be pretty tight. Beyond that, I just want to constantly be there for people who need me and be a good student in the classroom.”