State Champ Hutchison verbals to Eastern Michigan
BY JEFF CHANEY
As early two weeks ago, Gage Hutchison
thought he would be a Chippewa.
The Buchanan High School wrestler, who
dominated competition last year in the 215-
pound weight class, was ready to pick
Central Michigan to continue his college
But a change of heart has him taking his
talents southward about 100 miles to
Eastern Michigan University.
EMU coach Derek DelPorto made a trip to
Hutchison's hometown, and the undefeated
state champion wants to be an Eagle instead,
and committed to DelPorto on the spot.
“What won me over was their coaching staff,” said Hutchison, who ended his junior season with a 57-0 record.
“(Assistant coaches Dave Bolyard and Luke Smith) walked me around campus when I visited and I fell in love with everything. I was going to commit to Central, that was the school I talked to the most and recruited me the hardest,” he added. “But Eastern came around and showed me the grass may be a little greener in Ypsilanti. Then I met with coach DelPorto, he came to my house last Sunday, and I committed right then.”
It's this type of recruiting that DelPorto and his staff has put in that may help the Eagles compete with Central Michigan and Kent State for Mid-American Conference supremacy in the near future.
It's a point that made Huchison take notice.
“Central has won the last 11 (conference championships) in a row, so we know they are good,” Hutchison said. "But Eastern is right at the cusp of knocking off Central. Last year they lost to Central 23-12, and most of their loses were close matches. So we are almost there.”
A wrestler of Hutchison's talent might help.
Last year he cruised through his junior season with 57 wins, only two of which didn't end by forfeit or pin.
And at the state tournament at The Palace, he pinned all four of his opponents in the first period.
Last October, Hutchison solidified himself as a top-tier national contender, winning the Grappler Fall Classic 215lb title with a finals win over Ohio State Champ and nationally ranked Josh Lehner. For his career, Hutchison is 163-8, including a state runner-up finish his sophomore season, and sixth-place finish his freshman year.
Last year was at the 215-pound weight class. Hutchison now is planning to move up to heavyweight this year, a move encouraged by his new coaching staff.
“My coaches at Eastern want me to put on weight to be prepared to wrestle at heavyweight in college,” Hutchison said. “It would be a big jump to be a 215 pounder to a college heavyweight, so this will make it easier on myself.”
Right now Hutchison, who was also recruited by teams like Michigan State, Purdue, Tennessee- Chattanooga, Old Dominion, Northern Illinois, Ohio University.
He is weighing in at about 235 pounds, getting ready for his senior season at the larger weight class. Buchanan coach Frank Mucha says that the Eagles are getting a great competitor.
“Gage is far and away the best wrestler I have ever coached,” Mucha said. “He will need to get a little bigger and stronger, and expand his skills. He will be a competitor at that level, but to be a top competitor, he will need to do a little more than he has with us. He is a student of the game. He works hard, he knows his strengths and weaknesses, we have been trying to make his weaknesses better. He has another year of high school wretsling that we home to improve on that.”
Hutchison still has work to do in his last year in high school before moving on to college.
“My goal is to not only win (another state title) this year, but to adapt my style as a college wrestler and dominate again,” said Hutchison, who is also looking to repeat as Grappler Fall Classic champion. “I just want to get ready for college, that's my main focus.
“Having this opportunity, I'm going to make the most of it,” he added.
Copyright 2007-2012, Michigan Grappler, LLC
May not be republished or reproduced without expressed, written permission