This is the second article in a series of seven articles on former Pilgrim/Rockie IHSAA Mental Attitude Award winners. Mental Attitude Awards are given to an individual that participated in the IHSAA State Finals in his/her respective sport.
Josh Hutchens graduated from Plymouth High School in 1994. Josh was a four year varsity wrestler for Coach Bob Read and the Rockies. Josh was undefeated his junior and senior years winning 80 straight matches while winning state championships in the 112 and 125 pound weight classes. He also earned the prestigious Ward E. Brown Mental Attitude Award.
After graduating from PHS in 1994, Josh headed off to Purdue University where he earned his degree and participated on the Purdue wrestling team. After graduating from Purdue, Josh did some traveling and hiking in Australia. He then got a job working in Glacier National Park in Montana. In 2002, he got his first job coaching wrestling. He has coached in Harrisonburg, VA and Golden, CO. Josh is currently living in Ashland, OH with his wife and two children. He is starting his second year as the head wrestling coach at Ashland University. His team finished 14th in the NCAA DII tournament last year. Ashland University had three All-Americans and nine Academic All-Americans in 2013.
Winning the Mental Attitude Award was a great honor for Josh. He felt it was in recognition of his discipline, sportsmanship, and mental toughness he learned from his wrestling experience at Plymouth High School.
Josh has many memories of his athletic experiences at Plymouth. Not only was Josh a great high school wrestler, he also earned varsity letters in football and track. His wrestling memories dominate his mind when thinking back on high school athletics.
He remembers as a junior his first time under the spotlight at Market Square Arena in the championship match. Josh said he was so nervous he nearly passed out before shaking his opponent’s hand. Another memory of high school wrestling was his workout which began at 6 AM with a heavy rope. This was huge in shaping his wrestling career. He also remembers Coach Bob Read and his many friends and teammates. When looking back at his athletic memories in high school, Josh knows these events shaped his past but also guided his future.
Josh does keep in touch with Coach Read. In fact this past summer, he came back to Plymouth and put on a wrestling clinic. He hopes to continue coming back to Plymouth in the future and seeing people from the past.
Josh’s main advice to our current athletes is to “enjoy the journey”. He reminds athletes that time in high school athletics is limited and passes quickly. He wants all athletes to appreciate the opportunities they have to compete. They should commit themselves to doing their very best so they can look back on those experiences with no regrets.