Kevin Sutherland: student-athlete, Scholar All-American
RIC's Kevin Sutherland, left, went undefeated at the 2009 New England Wrestling Association Championships.
RIC wrestler Kevin Sutherland’s face may look familiar to those who don’t necessarily follow his sport because he is part of Rhode Island College’s “I AM RIC” ad campaign that showcases the achievements of its alumni and students.
“He leads by example both in the practice room and in the intercollegiate competitive arena,” head coach Jay Jones said about his junior captain. “He continues to prove how essential he is to our program.”
Sutherland, a health and physical education major, was named a Scholar All-American by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) as a sophomore in 2008-09.
“It is also important to me to excel in the classroom because it is the main reason I am at college: to get an education,” he said.
That philosophy is shared by other RIC wrestlers. Last year, the Anchormen finished 24th in the nation with a team 3.185 cumulative grade point average, something Jones is proud of. “Academically, we are striving for a 3.0 or better as a team and to once again finish in the top 25 in the nation in GPA.”
Sutherland put in the hard work over the off-season to get him back to where he was last season as a New England 149 lbs. champion. “I mainly stayed in shape and tried to get stronger,” Sutherland said, ticking off a regimen that included lifting and running on alternate days, in addition occasional swimming and long bike rides.
Through two seasons on the mat for the Anchormen, Sutherland has attained All-New England status twice, winning the 149 lbs. weight class as a sophomore, which sent the Dauphin, Penn., native on to the NCAA National Championships for the first time in his career. He went undefeated at the 2009 New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championships to claim the tourney’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Award and help RIC place third overall.
Sutherland has compiled a 71-24 record and become one of the most feared wrestlers in the conference. This season, he would like to add to what is an already dazzling list of achievements by winning the New Englands and placing in the top eight at the nationals to become an All-American.”
“Kevin is always in great position, never reacts overly emotional, and just flat out wrestles tough,” Jones said. “Kevin’s destiny lies ahead on the All-America podium and his leadership will guide many of our young talented student-athletes in that direction.”
“I’m not much of a vocal captain, but I work hard and try to do the right things and I like to think that my teammates see that and do the same,” Sutherland said.
His hard work seems to have paid off as Sutherland is currently 11-1 and ranked No. 1 in New England – well on the way to achieving his goals.