The expectations were minimal when it came to what transpired on the mat for Robbinsdale Armstrong junior Hutton Adams.
Making his first state wrestling appearance, the Falcons 220-pounder entered the his weight class with just a 14-14 overall record.
A week earlier, before he qualified out of Section 6 with a True Second finish, Adams’ overall mark was 11-13.
“I am not even the best wrestler on my team, by far,” he would admit. “But I wrestled a good section and I made it, so for me, this is just about the experience.”
The Falcons could use it.
Adams was the only Armstrong wrestler to qualify for the state tournament this year. A handful of others came close in the individual portion of the section tournament. But Adams was it.
To contrast the low number of actually qualifiers, head coach Bill McCloskey got a bus and loaded it with his team to make the trip to St. Paul to watch Adam on the Xcel Energy Center floor.
“We’ve never taken a bust down there, but the idea was let’s get them a vision,” McCloskey said. “Most of them have no idea what they are working for. They hear the term state tournament, but what does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? They can ask Hutton, but they cast taste it for themselves a little bit by just watching.”
Over 20 team members came along, and they got to watch Adams take the mat on two occasions.
He was pinned by Shakopee senior Chaydon O’Fallon in the second period of his opening bout, and then lost to Centennial senior Andrew Gustafson in the first round of wrestlebacks.
Those two opponents would actually go on to wrestle each other in the third-place match, which O’Fallon won on a third period fall.
Combined, they entered the tournament with a 48-12 record. Adams, again, was just .500 on the year.
“And he needed that section to tournament to get to .500,” McCloskey said. “But this is good for him. This is the big stage, so regardless of what happens, have some fun and learn from it.”
Adams said he tried to do just that.
“Before it started it felt a lot different than a normal match, but I tried to enjoy it,” he said. “There were a lot more people. But when you are out there wrestling, it is the same. It is just like any other match. It is a lot harder though, because these are the best wrestlers in the state. But that is what you get there.”
Contact Nick Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org