Two of the more memorable names you’ll find on the Morehead State University football roster belong to Starr Hutcherson and Sugar Ray Wyche Jr.
“I love my name. I’m the only Sugar Ray I know besides my father,” Wyche said. “I am named after my dad. My grandpa was at a Sugar Ray Leonard fight and said if he won, he was going to name his son after him. So, now I’m Sugar Ray Jr.”
On the field, his teammates often call him “Suge” because it’s shorter. “But I like Sugar Ray better,” he said.
Hutcherson is named Startus Hutcherson II. “But everyone just calls me Starr,” he said.
According to his father, his “great, great, great, great grandfather escaped from his slave master to the north, and he had to change his name. He made it Startus, like ‘start us,’ as in starting a legacy.”
But there’s more to their stories than just their names. Hutcherson and Wyche, both sophomores, came to MSU to play football.
“I really liked the campus and the coaching staff is amazing. (The campus) may not be the biggest, but it has everything you need,” said Hutcherson, who is from Fairhope, Alabama.
Wyche, from Louisville, was drawn to Morehead State by “the culture and team chemistry. I also wanted to go somewhere I was wanted and could play right away.”
On the field, both men say the competition is what drives them. “Your will against their will,” Hutcherson said, who this year was chosen as a team captain. “I’m a competitor. I love the physicality of it. There’s no other sport like football.”
Wyche has a similar drive. “I love competing. I just want to be the best player on the field at all times. I like making plays and I like the spotlight,” he said.
Both saw extensive action as freshmen. Wyche finished his first season as the fourth leading receiver with 23 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns. Hutcherson, a defensive back, finished third on the team with 61 total tackles while leading the Eagle defense with 40 solo tackles.
In practice, Hutcherson and Wyche often compete against each other, but when asked who comes out on top, Hutcherson said, “It’s 50-50.”
Wyche agreed, “It’s an even match up.”
“Iron sharpens iron,” they added in unison.
After their football careers are over, Wyche, a sports management major, would really like to do something with kids. Hutcherson, a pre-veterinary major, plans to attend veterinary school.
But before that, the goal is to win a PFL championship.
“I think this is a team that can do it with all the talent we have this season,” Wyche said. “If everybody pushes each other, everybody gets better. I saw a big change in the spring. We can really do something this season.”
Hutcherson agrees. “I feel like this is the team that can do it.”
Starr Hutcherson and Sugar Ray Wyche Jr. want to be sure that opposing teams remember their names, too. To do that, Hutcherson and Wyche agree they have to make big plays.
Wyche laughed. “They can’t forget the name Sugar Ray once they say it on the PA.”
For more information about Eagle Football, visit www.msueagles.com.