T.C. Williams Senior Quintas McCorkle is a living testament that anything is possible. Finishing with a 155-23 overall high school record, he is your undefeated District and Regional Heavyweight Wrestling Champion of 2008.
McCorkle may have lost in the state semifinals to the eventual state champion of the past three seasons, but in the eyes of Quintas and his family, his achievements still make him a champion.
Weighing over 300 pounds as an adolescent Quintas was always told he was too big to play contact sports. But playing football in high school, he became one of the top linemen in the state weighing in at 330 pounds.
Because of his size his coach made him wrestle to get his weight under control. Wrestling coach Jason Perkins put him through three-hour daily practices running up four flights of stairs with a 40 pound vest, strenuous wrestling drills, more stairs, more drills, lifting, and yes, more stairs.
McCorkle decided it was time to shed the unnecessary pounds. “Coach always told me that if I got my weight down I would be a better wrestler,” he said.
His coach was not the only person who warned him about his weight. During his freshman year McCorkle had to have cartilage injections in his knee do to his unhealthy size. “The doctor basically told me lose the weight or end up in a wheel chair for the rest of your life,” he added.
Today he weighs a lean 239 and is considered small for the heavyweight division. “When people see me and look at my size they think they have an easy win,” he said.
They were wrong. McCorkle won 50 consecutive matches this season, dominating his competition all the way to the state semi-finals with his devastating “knee pick,” in which he grabs his opponents knee, lifts them in the air, and slams them to the matt. “Every wrestler has a go-to move, everyone knows my knee pick is coming, but they just can’t stop it.”
When asked what the biggest difference between his 51-1 season, last years 49-6 record and finishing 55-16 is sophomore season. McCorkle spoke of his matt sense, explosiveness, and endurance. Benching over 350 pounds and squatting over 500 pounds, it is his endurance that allows him to outlast his larger opponents. “It gets the point where your mind said you can’t go anymore, but your body says it can.”
McCorkle remains an active Titan, playing Rugby this spring, and hoping to continue wrestling at either American University or George Mason, where he’d like to study sports medicine. Heremembers not being able to play his favorite sport of football as a child because of weight issues and does not want to see other young kids have to wait until high school to play a sport. “I just kept pushing myself, I didn’t want to be cut. I was tired of people telling me I was too big or too fat,” he recalls. “Kids should be active, doing something positive with their time. Some kids don’t go home after school, sports can help keep you out of trouble.”
Last summer McCorkle refereed the 5-12 year old Crime Stoppers wrestling league and wants to continue to give back to the people to helped him along the way. “I just want to thank all my coaches because without them I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.