Napoleon High School wrestler Brady Brooks, back, battles an opponent during the Leslie Invitational on Saturday, January 29.
Photo, story by Jeff Steers
Exponent special writer
Wrestler Brady Brooks must have felt a bit out of place at a Mixed Martial Arts workout facility.
The Napoleon High School senior has the wrestling part down, but the others – boxing, kickboxing, judo, and karate – put the all-state wrestler in some interesting positions.
He is using the lessons learned to put his wrestling opponents in bad positions this season.
Brooks is 30-2 this season heading into the most important part of the season – conference finals, districts, regionals, and hopefully the Michigan High School Athletic Association state meet.
“Our youth coach used to do MMA, so I went with him,” Brooks said. “They definitely put me in some positions that will help me out this season.
“It taught me a lot and increased my strength and helped in conditioning.”
Brooks finished eighth in Division 3 at 215 pounds in 2021. He finished with 26 wins a year ago in a COVID-19 shortened season.
“I found that there is definitely room for improvement . . . I want more,” Brooks said of his finish. (more below)
Brooks has been wrestling since first grade. He loves the fact that you get what you put into the sport.
“Success depends on how much time you want to put into the sport,” Brooks said. “Hard work beats talent or whatever.”
Napoleon wrestlers attended Jeff Jordan’s State Champion Camp in Ohio in early August and Brooks has been working with coaches and former wrestlers in the wrestling room this summer.
“My senior season is going by quick,” Brooks said. “I am on a mission to be at the top of the podium . . . I am still chasing it.”
Brooks was a key member of the Napoleon football team that went 6-3 this past fall. With a number of wrestlers on the football team, Brooks said his teammates are wrestling with a chip on their shoulder.
“We have a chip on our shoulders for not being where we wanted to be in football,” Brooks said.
Despite being substantially less than 285 pounds, the senior is succeeding at the top weight class.
“I use my aggression and speed on the wrestling mat,” Brooks said. “I also use techniques learned over the years.”