STRAWN – A state champion in multiple sports, Strawn Greyhounds senior Tanner Hodgkins had his pick of the litter before choosing to throw discus for the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals in San Antonio for the next four years.
“When I visited the college it really spoke to me more than any of the others did,” Hodgkins said. “Thanks to my family, my coaches, my friends…everyone. I'm always going to keep these friendships, and this program has taught me a lot.”
A leader and the MVP of back-to-back Strawn state championship football teams (2017, 2018), Hodgkins excelled in multiple sports during his Greyhound career, including track and field where he became a specialist in the discus event.
In 2018, the senior travelled to the UIL Track & Field State Meet in Austin where he topped all other competitors with a Class A state-record throw of 171 feet, 11 inches to win a discus state title.
Hodgkins returned to Austin for his senior season this spring and brought home another state medal – third place in the 1A discus with a throw of 149 feet, 1 inch.
“Whatever he does he'll succeed at,” Hodgkins' grandfather Coppy said. “He's the hardest working kid I've ever seen.”
The recipient of a four-year athletic scholarship that will cover the bulk of his expenses, Hodgkins hopes to complete a sports medicine-related major and pursue a professional career in physical therapy.
After fielding multiple football offers from schools including Tarleton State, the senior Hodgkins will compete in a pair of all-star games this summer but remains focused on strength and conditioning and most importantly for a discus thrower, technique.
“What's been so phenomenal about Tanner – he's a great athlete speed-wise and size, but his work ethic is second to none,” Strawn athletic director and longtime football coach Dewaine Lee said.
“I can't remember a kid that's worked as hard as him through the years,” said Lee. “He's been the MVP two years in a row, state champion, and I'm very proud of him. His overall performance and the career he's had has been unbelievable.”