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Bennett Moudy is a descendant of the Navarre family and a member of the 2018 Oklahoma Native American Society.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation member Bennett Moudy signed his letter of intent to wrestle for the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. He ended his high school career at Coweta High School in Oklahoma with a 141-27 record and placed all four years at the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s Class 5A State Wrestling Tournament. In 2016, he earned the title of state champion in the 113 weight class.

“I remember the match — I remember the feeling after the match was just — it’s pure emotion, and there’s nothing like it,” Moudy said. However, shortly after the big win, wrestling injuries proved troubling.

“With me being competitive and with wrestling being such a tough sport, it’s hard to sit out,” he said. “I had to learn to relax and realize that sometimes it’s more important to take care of yourself than to win something that will mean little down the road.

“It was just humbling to realize how much harder I had to work coming off an injury,” he said.

While he might not have brought home the state title since, he won runner-up in 2017 and 2018.

However, Moudy does not take full credit for his triumphs, instead attributing his success to hard work and a strong support system.

“I’ve always had people around me to push me to always do my best,” he said. “My parents and my coaches have always been good about keeping me motivated and just giving 100 percent, every time.”

His initiative and servant leadership extends beyond sports. In 2014 as a freshman at Coweta High School, he partnered with one sponsor, his Indian-education teacher Mrs. Holly Minter and four students to found CHS’ Native American Student Organization.

“We try to bring students both Native and non-Native, and we do things like go on field trips and different arts and crafts,” he said. “The non-Native students, they get excited about learning new things and learning about something a little different that they might not have learned normally.”

The group quickly gained traction. This year, NASO boasts 20 members.

The future

Upon graduation from high school, he hopes to put his skills to the ultimate test by earning the title as an All-American wrestler through the U.S. Naval Academy and potentially hold a leadership role in the military.

“I think that it would be awesome to be able to command a ship,” he said, “and to organize the crew to get a ship moving across the world on the ocean.”

Military service runs in the Moudy family. His dad and uncle are Navy veterans. He looks forward to keeping the tradition alive while wrestling at the collegiate level and building a foundation for a prospective military career.

“I’ve lived in Oklahoma my whole life, so going to a new place with new challenges and new opportunities — I think that’ll be neat to experience life somewhere outside of Oklahoma,” Moudy said.

While he told the Hownikan he doesn’t want to make a definite decision on his career path until after serving his minimum five years in the Navy, he will always hold onto his Potawatomi and Oklahoma roots, no matter where life takes him.