Fultz’s fight pays off with Ford Field trip

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published February 26, 2019

 Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest senior Josh Fultz is heading to the individual wrestling state finals March 1-2 at Ford Field. Fultz is the first grappler from Northwest to qualify for states since 2006.

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest senior Josh Fultz is heading to the individual wrestling state finals March 1-2 at Ford Field. Fultz is the first grappler from Northwest to qualify for states since 2006.

Photo by Deb Jaques

Advertisement

ROCHESTER HILLS — Josh Fultz has had to overcome a lot in his four years with the Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest wrestling team, and it’s finally paid off.

Fultz remembered his second match ever, when he was beaten by a grappler from Lake Fenton High in a matter of seconds.

As he began to find his stride in his sophomore year, he broke his arm and his season ended.

Now, in his final season with the Crusaders, Fultz has qualified for the Division 4 individual state finals at 285 pounds.

“I had it on my mind that I had to make states this year, because I promised Coach T (Tom Tuomi) and my stepdad that I would make it,” Fultz said. “I had to make states, because I knew I would be disappointed and they would be disappointed.”

Fultz is the first state qualifier at Lutheran Northwest since 2006. Fultz has a 37-6 overall record, and he leads the team with points scored at 196 and pins with 23. Since he’s been with the wrestling program, he’s been a part of two district titles and three league titles.

Tuomi said that the senior is a force when he’s on his game.

“Josh has a certain style, and when Josh wrestles his style, he can compete with almost anyone,” Tuomi said. “When he goes out of his style and tries to change his game plan, that is when we have some difficulties.”

Tuomi described Fultz as being agile for a heavyweight, and he’s a smart wrestler who is powerful at the same time.

“I’m 330 pounds, and I don’t even want to get on the mat with him anymore,” the coach said.

The Northwest community has shown nothing but support for Fultz as he heads to the state finals for the first time in his career. The senior said everyone has been congratulating him and extending words of encouragement.

But perhaps the strongest form of encouragement has come from his teammates. Fultz said his accomplishments this season stem from the hours of practicing he’s done with the team.

“I think this is the best season … for everybody, not just me,” Fultz said. “I think it’s been an accomplishment for everybody on the team. If there wasn’t everybody on this team this year, I wouldn’t be going to states this year because of how much hard work that they put in with me.”

The senior said he already considers this season a success.

He’s come a long way since his freshman year, and even without a state placing, he’s brought attention to Northwest wrestling and set a foundation for the future.

“It’s been fantastic,” Fultz said about his season. “There are not many regrets I have on the season. A lot of positive things happened this season that I’ll look back on, and there has barely been any negative things about this season. Even the losses I’ve had, I welcome them because they were well-fought matches.”

Fultz’s first-round opponent is Bronson High’s Alex Tyler.

“There have been so many obstacles that he’s overcome to get where he’s at, and I couldn’t be prouder,” Tuomi said.

Advertisement