Virginia-bound Hull with highest of goals for Roy-Hart
Drew Hull, a senior in his sixth season of varsity with the Roy-Hart Rams wrestling team, is on a mission.
After falling to Tyler Button (Section III) by a 6-5 decision in the state title match last March, Hull is more focused than ever before to realize his dreams of being a state champion.
“To be honest it hurt me mentally and physically for awhile because I just couldn’t believe that I got so far and lost,” Hull said as he reflected on that moments some 10 months later. “But the drive was always there because I don’t think at that point I was really thought to be (a contender) in the state finals...The part that upset me more than anything was getting so close and falling short.”
Though Hull tried to shake off the loss as quickly as possible, he candidly stated that it ate at him for a few weeks before he was truly able to move passed it.
“I could see that my wrestling, it had gotten worse since the loss,” Hull said. “I could tell is was really messing with my head and there was really no choice but to forget about it.”
Rams coach Kevin Lawson said he feels that Hull took the good and bad of last season’s championship run, eliminated the minor flaws in his technique and emerged a much better grappler.
“I trained to make sure that will never happen again, if that exact scenario ever happened again,” Hull said. “It was more of a piece of mind thing that I would never let it happen again.”
Over a month into the season, nothing has slowed Hull’s march to the Times-Union Center in Albany for the 2013 state tournament.
Currently ranked No.1 in Western New York at 145 pounds, Hull is the owner of a spotless 32-0 record and was recently named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Lockport Boosters Tournament on Jan.12.
While some outsiders may wonder if Hull is exceeding expectations, Lawson said those who know the senior best, realize he’s right on target.
“I don’t think he’s exceeding expectations because his expectations are so high himself that I don’t know if he can exceed them,” Lawson said. “He has set the bar so high for himself that he’s just reaching goals that he set for himself.”
With 170 career wins, when Hull puts the wraps on his scholastic career, he will exit as the Rams all-time leader in wins.
Interestingly enough, Hull’s biggest inspiration came from teammate and longtime friend Zach Bickle, who qualified for states when they were both freshmen.
“It was Zach doing so much hard work and getting so good that drove me to finally take this serious,” Hull said.
Lawson noticed it too and said that Hull’s turning point from good to great came between his freshman and sophomore years.
The payoff was instant as Hull placed sixth in states at 135 pounds.
“In between his freshman and sophomore year is when he really started seeing the light of how good he can be at this sport,” Lawson said. “That’s when he really started setting some high goals for himself.”
Having verbally committed to wrestle for the University of Virginia Hull, who is a high honors student, said he knows getting the opportunity to wrestle for a Division I program doesn’t come often for a small town kid.
But the future is on hold because Drew Hull still has some unfinished business in high school before moving on.