The Purdue Boilermakers presented him with the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
Hissom recently signed his letter of intent to wrestle at Purdue. His signing comes on the heels of a fantastic career with the Lakers, where he won 129 matches in just over three years. As a senior, Hissom went 53-6 and placed fifth at the Division 2 state meet at 189 pounds.
“I’m excited,” Hissom said. “I always wanted to be on the bigger stage for athletics in college. I knew I wanted to compete in college, but before that, no other big schools had offered.”
Fortunately, Hissom had a chance to meet the Purdue coaches when they attended a camp where he was wrestling.
“I ended up wrestling one of their coaches, and they gave me their contact info and brought me down for a visit,” Hissom said. “I really liked it down there, and they were the only big school that gave me an opportunity to wrestle big-time.”
Before he heads down to West Lafayette, Ind., Andrew, the son of Ralph and Judy Hissom, will sharpen his skills at the Disney Duals in Orlando, Fla.
“It’s an eight-day tournament and I’m going down there with the Michigan Blue team,” Hissom said. “I also went to California two weeks ago with another Michigan team. I ended up 5-1.”
His lone loss was to fellow Michigan wrestler Kevin Beasley from Detroit Catholic Central. Beasley won the Div. 1 state title this winter.
Seeking out the best possible competition helps Hissom excel.
“One of the things that’s helped me is I go over to Lowell,” he said. “They have a bunch of great coaches and good wrestlers.”
Hissom began wrestling because his dad, Ralph, was a high school wrestler. Andrew didn’t realize how good he could be until his sophomore year.
“That’s when I first started on varsity,” he said.
“I was never very good before that, but I had been lifting a lot and got pretty big, but I wasn’t good at wrestling. Just being strong got me to the regional tournament. I thought to myself, ‘I could be pretty good at this.’
“After that, I went to a bunch of camps and sought out the best competition I could find.”