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Hinrichs ends storied career with second straight title

Joseph Hinrichs becomes only Sutton wrestler to win back-to-back state wrestling titles
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 10:36 PM CST
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SUTTON, Neb. (KSNB) - Sutton’s Joseph Hinrichs ended the most decorated wrestling career in the school’s history, winning his second straight state title.

Entering the State Wrestling Championships, no Sutton wrestler had ever won back-to-back state titles. After last Saturday, you cannot say that anymore.

“It was probably one of the most gratifying experiences of my life,” Hinrichs said. “It was just pure joy because of what it meant to me and what it meant to everyone there supporting me, people that had helped me get to that point.”

One of those people, his head coach Ron Gerber.

“You know when we talk about who we feel our legends in our wrestling program and people who are moving it forward, he set a standard for others to try to break,” Gerber said.

One of those standards was set in last year’s state final when he won the the Class C title at 152, a week after his cousin passed away in a car crash.

“It hurt a lot but I was appreciative that I was able to do something for my family in my own way of giving something to our family and fighting through it,” Hinrichs said.

“Joe wrestling just for himself would have been a tough person to beat but with all the people he was wrestling for, he wasn’t going to be beat,” Gerber said.

In 2020, Hinrichs achieved what every wrestler dreams of, but it had a unique feeling.

“It was a good experience to win it,” Hinrichs said. “It wasn’t really about winning a state championship. To me it felt like getting the job done. There wasn’t so much joy in it. It was more doing it for my family.”

Taking it to 2021, the joy Hinrichs had was easy to see after every match.

“For my family, it was a really rough year last year but this year it kind of felt like a healing experience cause of all the pain we went through last year and because we really didn’t get that victorious feeling.” he said. “This year kind of felt like it all came around full circle and we really got to experience what it was like to win a state championship.”

Hinrichs finished his career with a record of 171-19, the most wins in school history. He wrapped up his time on the mats winning 85 of his last 87 matches.

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