Bucksport’s Travis Hutchinson gets hold of Washington Academy’s Izzy Lamb during a 120-pound bout at the Ryan Detour Memorial Tournament on Dec. 7 at Bucksport High School. Hutchinson joined his father, Travis Hutchinson Sr., in the 100-win club with a win over Cony’s Ahmad Ahmad in the Jan. 11 Skowhegan Invitational. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Bucksport wrestling’s Hutchinson joins father in 100-win club

BUCKSPORT — The name “Travis Hutchinson” has hung from the Ralph Jewett Gymnasium walls for some time now. Two decades later, Bucksport High School will have to create room for it to make another appearance.

More than 20 years have passed since Travis Hutchinson Sr., one of many elite wrestlers to come through the Bucksport program in the late 1990s, joined the list of Golden Bucks’ 100-match winners. Now, his son, Travis Hutchinson Jr., is the one making a name for himself as one of Bucksport’s top wrestlers and one of the big names on the Maine high school wrestling circuit.

“It’s amazing to watch,” said Travis Hutchinson Sr., who wrestled for Bucksport from 1996-2000. “You think back to when you were on the mats, and now you get to see your son do the same thing and succeed at his passion. It’s pretty special.”

When Bucksport next amends its banner commemorating the school’s 100-match winners, it will be adding Hutchinson Jr.’s name to the list. After reaching the mark earlier this month in Skowhegan, the junior believes he is just getting started as he looks to make a championship push.

Hutchinson Jr. began wrestling in first grade, following in the footsteps of his father. That path began less than 10 years after Hutchinson Sr., who competed at 140 pounds, wrestled his final match for Bucksport.

“He was doing it, so he liked to see his son grow up and do it,” Hutchinson Jr. said. “I got into it and started loving it just as much as he did.”

Upon reaching the high school level, Hutchinson Jr. saw immediate success in the 106-pound weight class. He won the Penobscot Valley and Class B North titles in the weight class in 2018 before finishing as state runner-up.

Travis Hutchinson shows off his plaque after earning his 100th career win Jan. 11 in Skowhegan. Hutchinson, the state runner-up at 106 pounds two years ago, is looking to go one step further at 120 pounds this year. TRAVIS HUTCHINSON SR. PHOTO

Hutchinson has since made the move to 120 pounds, a move that’s allowed him to pack on more pounds. That extra weight means a higher food intake, something just about any teenager is sure to appreciate.

“I really like being at 120,” Hutchinson Jr. said. “[The 106-pound weight class] is a good weight class, but I like being able to be healthy and eat and have more in the tank.”

Since Hutchinson Jr.’s move to 120 pounds, success has followed; he started the season with wins in the Ryan Detour Memorial Tournament in Bucksport and the Franklin Savings Bank Memorial Tournament at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford and also took first place in the Jan. 4 Calais Invitational.

The 100th win came in the consolation title bout at the Jan. 11 Skowhegan Invitational. With his father watching, he won via a 6-2 decision against Ahmad Ahmad of Cony to claim a third-place finish in one of the state’s toughest regular season tournaments.

“I went into that tournament knowing [100] could happen, but I also try to keep myself kind of humbled,” Hutchinson Jr. said. “It was a hard-fought match, but at the end of the day, I wanted it and was willing to put in all the work. … It was amazing to do it with my dad and his old coach watching.”

The meet in Skowhegan pitted Bucksport wrestlers against those from a large draw of schools, including some of the top teams from Class A. Yet that didn’t faze Hutchinson Jr., who proved he belonged with the best.

“He’ll go up against anybody,” Bucksport head coach Dave Gross said. “His skill is as good you’ll find, and he’s got good work ethic. It’s no surprise that he got 100 wins before his senior year, and knowing his work ethic, I would have called that for him coming in as a freshman.”

The Hutchinsons are the second father-son duo to win 100 bouts each after Cory Darveau and his son, Devin. Devin Darveau, who wrestled at 145 pounds and was a senior during Hutchinson Jr.’s freshman year, won his 100th in February 2018.

As Gross can attest, that trend of father-son wrestling tandems has become common at Bucksport in recent years; the Bucksport head coach won the state’s 285-pound title in 1996, and his son, senior David Gross, has two state heavyweight crowns to his name despite missing more than two full seasons throughout his high school career.

“A lot of us who wrestled back then are coaching now, and we get to coach our kids and see them do what we did,” Dave Gross said. “It’s been pretty neat to see that happen here.”

As for Hutchinson Jr., reaching 100 has only intensified the drive for success. Only one home meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, stands between Bucksport and championship season, and with opportunities for hardware right around the corner, the newest addition to the gymnasium banner is hoping his hard work can bring more glory to the family name.

“It’s a good milestone, but I want more,” Hutchinson Jr. said. “I want to keep tacking them on, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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