Nebraska City heads into a big week of competition this week with a showdown at Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca on Thursday and a trip out to the David City Invite on Friday.
Coach Hodges said he is expecting a highlight event against S-D-A.
"It's going to be a great dual," Hodges said. "Bottom line, when you take the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the state and put them had to head, it's going to be epic.
"There's going to be some battles. You are going to see a lot ranked kids. These kids wrestle against each other a lot, not only during the season, but in the offseason."
Nebraska City beat S-D-A 29-28 in the duals at Grand Island and S-D-A edged the Pioneers for first at the Crete Invitational.
The David City Invite will be another test for Nebraska City. The event will feature a 16-team pool with school representation equally divided across all four classifications.
"It's a tough grind all day long, but the beauty of it is that we see probably 10 to 12 teams we don't see expect for David City, which is a change of pace for our kids to see different styles of wrestling from different parts of the state," said Hodges.
Whether its against S-D-A or at the David City event, the Pioneers will remain focused on improving and getting ready for a furious February finish.
"I think we just continue to fix the little things," said Hodges.
Chief among those is further perfecting the concept of chain wrestling, which means putting moves together to get points and win matches.
"You can't just hit one shot and take somebody down at the next level," said Hodges. "It's chain wrestling and we've got to get better at scrambling and finishing. That's what we are going to focus on."
The coach is certain his athletes are up for the challenge.
"The kids are confident now. They know our goals," said Hodges. "Our goals are in February. These are all stepping stones to the end."