The senior teammates have posted records of 35-3 and 33-3, respectively, while anchoring a youth-laden squad.
“They have looked forward to being leaders of this team,” said Wolfpack coach Fred Haney. “Even as juniors, they were leading by example.”
Both are thriving in a sport that demands a fair amount of aggression and the application of brute strength at times, yet neither seems physically imposing at first sight. Shelton wrestles in the 126-pound weight class; Hall at 195.
So what separates the duo from most of their peers?
“They have a very strong work ethic — that’s probably their calling card,” Haney added. “They will work as hard as anyone will ever work.
“If you’re not as naturally gifted, you spend hours upon hours honing your skills … [Josh and Mark] run hard, lift hard, drill hard and they wrestle hard — all of these things have been essential to their development.”
It should be noted that Haney’s standouts have each traveled different paths to reach this point.
Hall spent two years behind former state champ Omar Waller, all the while getting an advanced mat education via their grueling one-on-one practice sessions. Shelton spent three seasons on the team before making a name for himself with a top 10 finish at last year’s state tournament.
Hall and Shelton’s mat games also speak for themselves.
“Josh has a large arsenal of moves … he’s going to hit you from so many different angles,” Haney explained. “He’s a major point scorer — lots of takedowns, near-falls … his mentality is he wants his opponent to know that he pinned him.”
Hall’s cerebral approach has also paid many dividends.
“His strategy is to make sure he capitalizes on [opponents’] weaknesses,” Haney noted. “He’s a good banger … not a high points scorer, but a great pinner.”
Look for Woodland’s pair of aces to continue making noise this season as they prepare to go out in style.