Mitchell Fucile has been a busy young man throughout his Lakeland journey.
But if you ask the Muskies wrestler about his jam-packed life schedule, don’t expect him to complain or play the sympathy card. That’s just not his style.
“Everyone has those busy times, but I’m a pretty strong person when it comes to getting tasks done,” he says. “When I got to Lakeland, I set my expectations high right away and hit the ground running. I wanted to make a name for myself, and everything kind of clicked for me here.”
Fucile is a portrait of time management and work ethic, a poster boy for the student-athlete ideal and a wonderful Lakeland success story.
On Friday, in La Crosse, Wis., Fucile (30-8 on the season) will take the mat for a first-round match at the NCAA Division III National Championships. It will be the second time at nationals for this three-time (soon to be four; he has met all the requirements) NCAA Division III Academic All-American.
Fucile, a senior business administration major, parlayed a paid internship into a full-time job with Strategic Underwriting Solutions in Green Bay. His internship was funded through the Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant. Lakeland received this grant through the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation in 2015 to assist in the funding of hundreds of internships for Lakeland students.
Five days a week during his internship, Fucille drove to Green Bay. He was offered a position upon graduation in December and is now working full time at the company. He’s also thinking about beginning work on his MBA soon.
When he arrived at Lakeland from his hometown of Chilton, Wis., Fucile bought a planner and stayed on top of his responsibilities from the start. He checked his emails and Blackboard regularly. He grinded. His last semester, he attended classes by day, then gave his all at wrestling practice from 4-6 p.m., then hunkered down for study time in the computer lab from 7-11 each night.
“I didn’t play video games,” he says with a smile. “No time for that.”
Along with being a committed, successful student-athlete at Lakeland, Fucile worked for the Bradley Theatre stage crew building sets, working the soundboard and helping make plays successful. He even acted in a musical, “Cabaret,” his sophomore year.
“That was a lot of fun,” he says. “That really grew on me.”
After this weekend, he’ll suddenly have a lot more time on his hands, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. His wrestling career will be over.
“Every time I talk about it, I get pretty emotional,” he says. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years, from October to March. Pretty much full commitment.”
“Full commitment.” That sounds like the perfect title for the story of Mitchell Fucile’s Lakeland experience.