Devon Riggsbee stood in his Chapel Hill yard, towering over his surrounding weights and workout equipment, and smiled as a passing driver honked and yelled something unintelligible out the window.
“That happens a lot when I’m out here, but you get used to it,” he said.
Riggsbee, who goes by the wrestler name Snooty Foxx, has acquired quite a fan base and now wants to use his platform to give back to the community.
Born and raised in Chapel Hill, Riggsbee, now 37, said he became interested in wrestling at a young age.
“Growing up, my mom and dad and brothers all watched wrestling, so it was always on the TV when I got home, and I just fell in love with it,” he said.
After playing football and beginning his own wrestling career at East Chapel Hill High School, Riggsbee began training in Gibsonville. As his life continued, however, it became increasingly difficult to find time for the commute and long workouts.
He then began collecting equipment for his home gym, but with such little room to work with inside his house, he went for the next best thing — his lawn.
With his equipment now just a step outside his door, Riggsbee can work out and still be nearby for his two kids.
“I do get a nice breeze sometimes,” he said.
Balancing his wrestling career with his day job can be difficult, but Riggsbee aims to work out a few times a week for three to four hours at a time.
That high level of physical activity takes its toll. Even after a high school career in football, he said that wrestling pushes his body to the limit.
“It’s one of the roughest things I ever did,” Riggsbee said, but he added that he plans on continuing as long as he is able.
At a new Oct. 27 mid-Atlantic wrestling tournament called the “Tarheel Terror,” Riggsbee is excited for an opportunity to get the Chapel Hill community involved in wrestling. The event will include musical guests, as well as Halloween activities for kids to participate in.
Riggsbee has booked the spaces and brought in vendors for these events, expecting over 500 people. He said he is especially grateful to Hargraves Community Center, the Chapel Hill recreation center where "Tarheel Terror" will be held, for allowing him to use their space for previous and upcoming shows.
“This is something I always wanted to do,” he said. “I just wanted to share it with my community.”
Riggsbee said he tries to organize wrestling shows in order to bring in local kids and some Special Olympics participants and as a way to benefit different groups around the community.
As something of a local celebrity, Riggsbee has a unique platform to do that.
Savannah Patterson, a senior, said niche interests like wrestling can be wonderful ways to bring communities together.
“I think this can serve as an example that your interests are capable of bringing all walks of life together for a common cause,” she said.
Riggsbee’s stage name — Snooty Foxx — was also given to him by his community. Riggsbee said his old apartment complex looked like the Snooty Fox Motor Inn in Los Angeles, and he quickly adopted the nickname.
“It just kind of rubbed off on me,” he said. 'When I started wrestling, I told some people about it, and they said ‘That’s it! That’s your name.’"
On Oct. 27, Riggsbee will be one of 16 wrestlers competing at "Tarheel Terror," all for a newly-recognized title: the Central Carolina Championship. At six-foot-two and 250 pounds, Riggsbee is hoping to continue his success.
Mary Starnes, a senior communication studies major, lives near Riggsbee and his outdoor gym.
“I’ve seen him working out while I’ve driven by before,” she said. “I definitely respect the grind.”
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