FORKS — After winning the state wrestling championship for the second straight year, all Forks’ Josue Lucas could think about was … eating.
One of Lucas’ biggest challenges last year as state championship wasn’t necessarily winning — he won with ease, going an astonishing 45-3 on the season — it was staying at 106 pounds for the third year in a row. The junior missed weight a couple of times late last year, though managed to stay under 106 consistently the second half of the season.
After downing a few cheeseburgers since winning it all in February, Lucas has pretty much given up on wrestling again at 106 pounds. He’s up to 125 pounds now.
But, that’s fine. He hasn’t given up on wrestling. In fact, he’s more fired up than ever to try and win a third straight state championship.
For the second straight year, Lucas was the sole state wrestling champion from the North Olympic Peninsula. And for the second straight year, he is the Peninsula Daily News’ All-Peninsula Wrestling MVP.
Lucas made it an easy choice. He not only won, he basically crushed his opponents most of the season. And at Mat Classic, the state wrestling tournament, it wasn’t even close.
He picked up regular season wins at the Spud Walley and Sgt. Norton tournaments, then claimed subregional and regional championships to open the postseason.
At state, going up against the best wrestlers from around Washington, he won his first match with a pin, then crushed his next three opponents by the scores of 8-2, 16-6 and 10-2.
After this year, Lucas’ won-loss record over the past two seasons is 80-8 (.909).
“I love the sport, I’ve been doing it since the sixth grade,” he said.
Lucas plans to wrestle next year at either 113 or 120 pounds, whereever he feels most comfortable.
Despite the burgers, Lucas isn’t taking it easy. He’s been busy working out to get stronger and unlike a lot of top-tier wrestlers, Lucas doesn’t wrestle year-round. Right now, he’s playing soccer for Forks and he plans to run cross-country again in the fall after participating his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“It [cross-country] helps to stay in shape,” he said.
However, he and some of his Forks teammates will be wrestling this summer in the prestigious Kaizen Wrestling Camp held in the Tacoma area in July. This intensive camp brings in hundreds of top wrestlers to hone their craft for a week of instruction and competitive matches.
Lucas’ goal is to win a third straight state championship as a senior. He acknowledges that it won’t be easy, especially wrestling at a new weight, likely against a lot of kids he’s never wrestled before.
“I’m going to try, but it’s going to be tough,” he said.
In addition to his personal exploits, Lucas has taken on the role of a team leader for Forks, which had eight wrestlers place and finished fourth in the state as a team (after finishing sixth the year before that). The team that finished fourth only lost three seniors, with a ton of freshmen and sophomores coming back.
“A bunch of the younger kids look up to me,” he said.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]