“The future depends on what you do today” – Gandhi

For those who don’t know, Mario Hutcherson is the future. This 8th grader at Kiski Junior High School is already a 4 time Pennsylvania State Champion. He’s also a 3 time  Powerade Champion as well as a 2023 Super 32 and 2023 US Open Champion. The credentials speak for themselves. This is a career’s worth of accolades. He’s not even in high school yet. Let that sink in. Mario not only competes in the best state in the country but travels frequently, seeking out the best competition in the country. Most kids bust their butts for these accomplishments in a career. He achieved them before entering high school.   Mario Hutcherson is a dude. He’s a guy that understands the long game. Wise beyond his years and willing to do whatever it takes to be the very best of the best.

Mario got his start wrestling at a young age, 4. He was encouraged to start by family members. That’s a pretty common thing in Pa. What’s uncommon is the fast success he found at the beginning. He quickly began to love the sport. He loved the process, not the results. Mario knew quickly what it was going to take to be the best. Hard work and dedication are sometimes hard for a young person, not Mario Hutcherson. He saw the work others who were successful around him put into being good. He admired that and wanted to be “next level”

Hutcherson began going to clubs like Hutchy’s Hammers and Young Guns. He wrestled with guys like Landon Sidun and Maddox Shaw. If you know wrestling, you know, two of Pa’s absolute finest. He practiced relentlessly, always wanting to be better. His drive and motivation would ultimately lead him to where he is today.

Only an 8th grader, Mario has young kids looking up to him already. He’s proof that with drive and a strong work ethic you can be great.

Like most youth athletes, Mario played multiple sports. During Covid, he decided to drop the others and singularly focus on wrestling. Great decision! “I wanted to give my full attention to wrestling, I knew I was good but I wanted to be great” Pretty safe bet that it worked out for him. I mean the guy went 5-0, outscoring his opponents 86-0 on his run to his 4th state title last weekend. That’s a HUGE deal. Pennsylvania doesn’t divide schools in JR High. Saying he’s the best of the best in this state is an understatement.

Kiski High School is getting a great one. They know that. The Wpial knows that. Hell, the state knows that. They return, next year Wpial placers at every  weight from 172 lbs through heavyweight. Add Mario Hutcherson into the mix and they are a deadly team to watch within the state.  He’s a building block, someone who’s work ethic, discipline and attitude is contagious. Mario Hutcherson is a guy to build a team around. He’s a dog.

When asked what wrestling in the Wpial next year means to him, he simply said, “I love competition, I want the best guys. It’s a blessing to get that opportunity each and every week“ The Wpial is blessed with some of the best kids in the country year over year, adding the guy makes it even better. He’s truly a generational talent, that’s not hyperbolic, it’s the truth. Watch his matches, this kid is different.

Mario is  a guy I want on my side. A warrior,  in every sense of the word. He’s special, folks. You’ll hear his name for years to come. You don’t believe me, watch him this July when he makes his Fargo debut.

The coolest thing I learned about Mario when talking to him was yes, he’s a great wrestler but an even better guy. He’s well spoken, wants the best for others and is truly a great leader. His personality is infectious, someone who will make others better instantly. Talent and results are one thing but the whole package is rare. Not blowing smoke but this kid is rare.

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Meet Todd Wightman

Based in Western PA. Right in the heart of WPIAL country, Todd brings an insider’s view from the country’s epicenter  of wrestling. He’s excited to build on the TKDWN tradition of starting with the story first. The athletes, the coaches, their families and supporters, there is no shortage of stories to tell. And Todd will bring his unique perspective to help us continue to deliver top notch content for the world’s greatest sport!