Path to Greatness: Lake Fenton's Trent Hillger reaching higher

Trent Hillger sizes up his opponent during practice

It's hard to miss Lake Fenton's Trent Hillger on the football field. It's hard to miss Lake Fenton's Trent Hillger on the wrestling mat. The long locks of blonde hair and sheer physical stature say a lot, but his athleticism puts that big body in the marquee position of quarterback, a place where you don't normally see the biggest and strongest player on the field. On the wrestling mat, he won the Division 3 state title in March at 215 pounds, and still hasn't lost in his career at 60-0.

"When I'm fighting don't want to lose," Hillger says. "I mean I was undefeated last year, don't want to lose again this year, guess I'm fighting for him upsetting me maybe, and I don't want to lose that."

The 5th Lake Fenton State Champion in five years, Hillger owns every weight lifting record at Lake Fenton, proof comes in his weight, as in 9th grade, a little more than a year ago, he was at 166 pounds. Thanks to his father David's knowledge as an Athletic Trainer, Hillger's now exploded in the weight room, getting results on the mat and the field.

His daily regimen in the weight room is coupled by a healthy diet, something every wrestler needs as they add and lose weight every single day. But, Hillger does it differently, when dropping weight he doesn't starve himself, he just eats the right foods to stay energized.

"I try to eat right," he says. "Obviously that's kind of hard if you're cutting weight to eat right, but I always try to get my daily nutritional foods and all that stuff."

That's something that's paving his way on the Path to Greatness, as his goal is to be a Dietitian or Athletic Trainer, so he's getting a crash course in how that job works every single day.

But the aggression people see in between the lines, some even calling him a 'behemoth', isn't the complete story of who Hillger is. He's described as a nice guy, some saying he's the kind of kid you want your son to grow up to be.

"You see him on the wrestling mat, he's an animal," Lake Fenton coach Vance Corcoran says. "You see this nice kid, gentle giant, then he gets out on the mat and it gets kind of scary."

While his future will definitely involve his love of sports, his near future will as well, as he's considering and receiving interest from several schools for both football and wrestling, currently coupling his workout schedule with unofficial visits. In football, he's heard from schools like Eastern Michigan, Iowa, and Missouri, while in wrestling Iowa State, Duke, Cornell and Michigan have expressed interest. He says he's not sure what sport he wants to play or where he wants to go at this point. But, his focus will be academics and hopefully a scholarship.

With that in mind, he's truly getting experience now that will pay dividends both in the near and distant future, putting him on the Path to Greatness.

If you know an athlete or a team that's on the Path to Greatness and chasing their dreams, let us know so we can tell their story. Email us at or contact us on social media @TomEschenJr on Twitter or like Tom Eschen on Facebook.

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