LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Justin Crutchmer has been one of Arkansas’ most prolific playmakers on the football field for two years. The Lake Hamilton running back scored 27 offensive touchdowns and racked up over 1,800 yards in just 12 games as a senior, totaling 18 touchdowns as a junior. Also starring as a linebacker, he’s tallied hundreds of tackles for the Wolves.
Signed with Oklahoma State football as a preferred walk-on, Crutchmer is no stranger to the end zone. And he’s no stranger to the wrestling awards stage either.
A younger brother to Oklahoma State wrestling great and MMA fighter Kyle Crutchmer, Justin has won three individual 5A state championships, going 3-for-3 since his freshman season. He holds a record of 21-0 on the mat in 2023. At this weekend’s state tournament in the 190 weight group, Crutchmer looks to make it a clean sweep of four titles in four years.
“That’s all we talk about at practice is winning one more,” Crutchmer said. “I’ve already won three so I care about mine but I care about it more for my teammates.”
With a 5-foot-10 build Crutchmer has dominated local wrestling by using his leverage and athleticism to pin opponents. Annually transitioning from a team sport, breaking tackles in the fall and breaking spirits in the winter, the senior embraces the spotlight and accountability that comes on the mat.
“In wrestling, you’re by yourself,” Crutchmer said. “You don’t have 11 or 20 other guys with you. It’s just you and somebody else in the center of the circle. Whenever everyone is watching you, it’s a crazy feeling… You can’t blame other people. And if you lose, you know it’s your fault.”
Lake Hamilton will go for gold in 5A after finishing second to Van Buren for team awards in 2022. You can catch Crutchmer and high school wrestlers statewide compete in the state tournament Friday through Saturday at Jack Stephens Center.