Sixty-One Year Losing Streak… Not Anymore!

Wylie Shupe, Author

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Sixty-one years. That is how long it has been since Grace High School’s last state wrestling champion.  However, everything changed when junior Bracken Anderson took to the mat. Anyone who got in his way… well let’s just say they didn’t stay in his way for long. It has been a long journey for Bracken, who explains, “I have been working towards this goal ever since I first started wrestling.  It has always been a dream of mine to win first place at state.”

Becoming a state champion has definitely not been an easy goal, one that has taken him ten years to accomplish. During those ten years Bracken learned the meaning of hard work, diligence, and perseverance. Strict diets, constant practice, and conditioning are all habits that helped Bracken succeed in accomplishing his dream. A favorite move of Bracken’s is the cradle, as it has allowed him to score many points and secure quite a few wins.  Coach Dodge tells us how it felt as he watched Bracken wrestle, “It was a lot of fun to watch Bracken wrestle and take first at State. It was one of the best matches in the finals because he kept the pace up and kept scoring. It was very enjoyable to see one of our own win.”

Bracken was matched up against some tough opposition, kids that worked hard as well, but as Coach Dodge says, “I did not have any doubt that Bracken wouldn’t win. Doubt kills opportunity.” To prepare himself for his matches Bracken says that he does, “…a lot of mental exercises just get my mind in the right place.” He was never out to get one particular person, but says, “…I just really wanted to beat everybody!” After defeating his last opponent, with a final score of 14-10 in the final match, Bracken exclaimed, “Words cannot begin to describe how great it felt to win a state title.”

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