Va. prep wrestling champ thwarted by early pizza run
It’s one of the timeless cycles in high school sports.
Wrestler cuts weight in time for weigh-in.
Wrestler wins match.
Wrestler loads up on carbs after the match or meet, as a reward for an earlier hunger sacrifice.
Except in this case, the wrestler — Virginia state champion Michael Hulcher — didn’t realize his daily duties had yet to be concluded.
Hulcher, a senior from Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods High School, recently garnered social-media fame (or infamy) after eating pizza (and other items) prior to his final match at last weekend’s Viking Duals meet.
After posting three wins in the 132-pound divison on Saturday — including the 100th pin of his prep career — Hulcher took a quick respite from the action and scarfed down two pieces of pizza, a sandwich and a bowl of white chicken chili, erroneously thinking he was done for the day.
But he still had another match against West Virginia wrestler Tyler Sigler, who subsequently benefitted from Hulcher’s full stomach and wobbly legs and knocked off the defending state champion at the 132 class.
"Coach (Ryan Rogers) comes over and says, "You have one more match, it’s the kid from West Virginia and he’s a stud," Hulcher recalled to The Washington Post this week.
"Gearing down and hyping back up didn’t really work in my favor," Hulcher added. "On any other day, I think it’s a different match."
Hulcher’s coach acknowledged the miscommunication involving his star wrestler to The Post.
"It was just a disaster," Rogers said. "I’ll take the blame for that one."
The dual-meet snafu might end being much ado about nothing. For starters, Hulcher had already incurred two defeats this season, prior to the setback against Sigler. So, it’s not like an unblemished campaign was on the line.
What’s more, Hulcher (bound for Virginia Military Institute next fall) still has a golden opportunity to dominate his competition in the upcoming regional/state meets and successfully defend his Virginia crown.