There was a time in the Hupp household when disagreements weren’t taken outside but straight to the family’s living room.
“For a while we had a wrestling mat in there,” explained Tyler Hupp, a senior at Indian Creek High School who takes a 32-1 record in the 138-pound weight class into Saturday’s Mooresville Wrestling Regional. “When we would get mad at each other, the rule of the house was that, if you were in the circle, you were fair game.”
Family legend reveals everything from broken furniture to a series of subtle and not-so-subtle imprints in walls created by airborne bodies.
“I probably got into it about as much as the kids did, so it’s kind of the way it was,” said Randall Hupp, father to Braves’ wrestlers Tyler and Devin Hupp, laughing. “The rule was to not step in the circle. If you do, it’s liable to be on.
“You walk around it or you walk through it, but if you walked through it you were liable to get tackled. That’s kind of how it went.”
Things have been dialed down considerably since the Hupps changed residences two years ago. This can be viewed as a positive in that Tyler, 18, Devin, 16, and younger brother, Brandon, 13, all wrestle competitively.
Think of the drywall being spared.
Devin, an Indian Creek sophomore, has produced a 27-7 mark this season as the Braves’ representative at 113 pounds. Though lighter in both weight and reputation compared to his older sibling, Devin is beginning to make his own name in the sport after taking first at last week’s Mooresville Sectional.
“When I watch him wrestle I’m yelling and jumping around. I’m not sure if he does the same thing for me when I wrestle, but Devin is the more outspoken of the two of us,” said Tyler. “As a wrestler Devin is 100-percent better than he was last year.”
“I think Devin only won two or three matches last year. He’s kind of come out of nowhere,” said second-year Indian Creek coach Pat Dowty. “Last year Devin was just kind of there, but at some point kids just get it and start to realize what they want to get out of it. This season he’s decided wrestling hurts too much not to get something out of it.”
The brothers’ starts in the sport are traced to different motivators.
One day in sixth grade, Tyler came to basketball practice and saw classmate Vince Reese bouncing the ball off his head and into the hoop.
“My dad said, ‘Do you play basketball?’ and he said, ‘No, I’m a wrestler.’ Vince is the one who got me into it,” Tyler said. “I like wrestling because there’s no one else to blame. It’s all up to you and I think I do well under pressure.”
Meanwhile, Devin, a self-described chunky kid as a fifth-grader, “wanted to get fit and stand out a little bit, so I went in there and worked hard and went from 90 pounds down to about 70,” he said. “By seventh-grade is when I really picked it up and got serious about (wrestling).”
Devin continues to work hard at gaining foot quickness while competing, an attribute Tyler has mastered while rising to become the No. 9-ranked wrestler in Indiana in his weight division. Of course, having a brother with two years, 25 pounds and many matches on him has only benefited Devin.
“I didn’t really hurt him too bad while growing up, but we wrestled a lot, so he got naturally tough,” Tyler said.
Saturday’s regional pairs Devin against Ben Davis sophomore Jacob Wynkoop (19-17) in the bottom bracket at 113. A victory could put Hupp against Franklin Community’s Shane Wilkerson (23-11) in the semifinals.
At 138, Tyler faces Brownsburg junior Johnny Cimmerman (22-15) in the first round with the potential of wrestling Center Grove’s Saul Fisher (26-11) in the semis.
At stake for both is a trip to next week’s Evansville Semistate. Better yet would be both Hupps attempting to stair-step their way through the brackets at the State Finals in Indianapolis on Feb. 15-16.
The brothers every so often discuss the possibility, both realizing plenty of work must first be done.
“I would really like to be out there with him,” Devin said of life inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the finals. “It would be great.”