Clinton-Massie junior Sam Brothers was happy to be wrestling last weekend. It was his prime goal for the season, in fact.
“I just wanted to make it to districts this year because last year I didn’t even make it to districts,” said Brothers.
So it wouldn’t have been completely out of the question at the Division II Southwest District tournament last week at Wilmington’s Rodger O. Borror Middle School for Brothers to throw in the towel when he lost his first match.
But he didn’t … OK, maybe a little.
“I had a good mindset but I also had trouble believing in myself,” he said.
Brothers said coaches and teammates were instrumental in his four-match run through the consolation bracket in the 220-pound weight class. They helped him maintain a positive outlook.
The go-to (state) match for Brothers was a 3-2 ultimate tiebreak nailbiter over Garrett Mitchel of Logan Elm.
Though Brothers lost his next match in Wilmington to finish fourth overall, he did what had to be done to reach the next step of his wrestling journey — the state tournament.
“I want to try and place,” said Brothers, who just started wrestling his freshman year at CMHS. “Coach says all I have to do is win two matches. I think I can do that.”
Brothers, 26-12, will open the state tournament in the 220-pound weight class against Zach Baker of Marengo Highland who is 50-4 on the year.
“It’s nice to know what they do because I’m not that experienced,” Brothers said. “If I don’t know, I’ll just wrestle as smart as I can.”
Regardless of the sport or the situation, Brothers admits to getting nervous … a lot.
“I get very nervous,” he said. “I throw up sometimes because of my nerves. I get really bad butterflies. I sweat a lot. It’s not good.”
Once he gets on the mat and shakes hands with his opponent, “It’s gone instantly,” he said of the nerves.
Brothers also plays football for Clinton-Massie and said the potential six minute wrestling match is more gruelling than an entire football game.
“Way more physical, it wears you out,” he said. “One wrestling match is like one football game. It’s crazy, it’s insane. It takes all the energy from you. Six minutes, that’s it. All your energy’s gone.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports