Tahlequah Daily Press


June 20, 2013

Crutchmer brothers use wrestling as way to bond

STILLWATER — Growing up together, Brian and Kyle Crutchmer engaged in sibling competition. They used to find any excuse to fight — be it food, clothing or the fact that Brian was a week older than Kyle.

“When we were young there was a lot of fights,” Kyle said. “Whether it was a pair of socks or the fact that his birthday was a week before mine, it used to make me a little mad, waking up with my parents all singing to him and stuff. There was always that little bit of a rivalry. ... So they put us in wrestling.”

Beginning in sixth grade as a way to just keep the brothers from beating on each other at home, the Crutchmer brothers have developed their wrestling talents to a world-class level. But it’s that same rivalry they had when they were kids that has made the biggest difference as they prepare for the U.S. World Team Trials beginning Friday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“It helps us out a lot,” Brian said. “It makes us a lot better.”

“When I see him doing well, it pushes me a little harder and vice versa,” Kyle said. “He gives me insight on stuff and I give him some insight on stuff that I’ve learned. It’s a great rivalry. We’re always helping each other out all the time.”

Their relationship has grown from the time of cramped car rides to Wisconsin for wrestling tournaments as youngsters, where pit stops were necessary just to keep some resemblance of peace.

Now, it’s almost like they’ve become best friends. No longer are they competing directly against each other, but rather sharing jokes and watching SportsCenter before practice.

“We do a good job at still maintaining our relationship as brothers,” Kyle said. “When we come in here, we’re friends here but when we go home we’re always going to be brothers.”

And like any good pair of brothers, there’s still that desire to constantly pester each other. While Kyle is younger, he has a size advantage over Brian — and he’s not afraid to let him hear about it.

Brian, in retaliation, usually responds by attacking Kyle and the two will playfully roll around on the mat.

“I like wrestling around with him,” Brian said. “He’s a lot stronger than me, but when we wrestle around, we just roll around. He doesn’t try to beat me up too bad by using all his strength. I try to go hard when I wrestle against him. I put it all out there.”

The key in this relationship though is to not let it go too far.

“We talk trash to each other every day,” Kyle said. “But we don’t ever take it too far. When we find out that someone is starting to get a little bit bothered by it, we normally stop. We give each other crap every day after practice. If I see him get taken down or something, I’ll say something — just little bitty words, nothing too big.”

“If I get beat or something at practice, I’ll want to come back the next day and whoop that person,” Brian said. “Then I want to see him and see if he’s doing something wrong or getting taken down, that way I can say something to him.”

The Crutchmers may trade barbs in the Oklahoma State wrestling room from time to time — all in good fun — but it’s that special bond that has made this pair unique. And as they prepare to wrestle on what will be the biggest stage either one has been on, chances are the other one won’t be too far away offering shouts of encouragement.

“We’ve talked about it before,” Kyle said. “It’d be very exciting to have both of us on the same world team. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for right now, but we’ve talked about it before. Right now, we’re just training hard trying to push each other to where we want to be and hopefully we do make the world team together. That’d be awesome. That’s the goal.”

It’s been quite a journey for the Crutchmers since the time they used to fight as kids. Now as they fight for a spot on the U.S. roster together, both brothers know that they wouldn’t be in the position they’re in without the other one.

“I’m just glad I get to share all this with him,” Kyle said. “It’s a pretty cool experience. Yeah, we’re working hard, but it definitely helps having someone you’ve been around your whole life going through the same things you’re going through. I think that’s made it easier on both of us.”

Text Only
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow