Senior Spotlight: Brennan Broders, Muscatine

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament

Senior Spotlight: Brennan Broders, Muscatine

When did you start wrestling? Who introduced you to the sport?

I was introduced to the sport through my dad and older brothers, all of whom wrestled through high school. I wrestled for one year as a kid in third grade but at that time it wasn’t really up my alley, and I didn’t get big into the sport until sophomore year of high school.

Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?

Yes, both my older brothers and dad wrestled before me. My older brother,Brady, wrestled in high school along with my dad both hosting decent records, but neither ever hosted any state appearances. While my eldest brother,Brody, wrestled at a younger age before high school. Brody was a state qualifier for Mediapolis.

Do you remember watching Brady or Brody wrestle as a kid?

Brody was a little before what I could remember, but I did remember traveling and watching Brady wrestle many times with my Dad. It was one of my favorite things to do as a kid being able to go play with the other kids and watch him so some whoopin.

Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?

Wrestling came really quick to me when I started again my sophomore year of high school. The general concept of the sport and it’s physical factor really pulled me in and the more time I spent wrestling the more I learned naturally as far as technique and being comfortable in tight situations.

What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?

The one year I wrestled as a kid was with the Little Muskies Wrestling club. As far as I can remember the atmosphere and people who are apart of the club were really great, it was just at that time I wasn’t mentally prepared for a sport that required this caliber of commitment.

What are a couple memorable moments from youth wrestling?

My most memorable moment of youth wrestling was when I got matched up with a good friend of mine, who was much better than me, and instead of trying we just laughed and messed around the whole match.

How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?

I never attended any state tournaments in my youth wrestling.

What are some of your more memorable moments from high school wrestling?

Definitely just the countless grinder days that I put in over three years with a lot of good guys, and the feelings I got when I thought back to all the work I’d done and it’s payoff. Senior year was definitely my favorite season by far though. Just being able to be apart of a really tight group of seniors and having some of the best success as a program in the last decade was really amazing. The top moments being the Grand March in Wells Fargo, and just the whole day of districts at Bettendorf . Qualifying four guys for the first time in a long time and tying the all time school record for single season pins was a great feeling for me and the program.

How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level?

I wrestled in one state tournament and placed 8th.

Describe the jump you made from Junior year to Senior year... you went from someone who wasn’t on anyone’s radar except for those in the area, to a guy who knocked off ranked guy after ranked guy after ranked guy all year. How cool was it ending on the nice run that you did and finishing amongst the state’s best?

To everyone else I was just another kid who finished third in his district with a chance to probably qualify next year, but to me it hurt to be so close and come up short. I can still remember that somber feeling from junior year as time ran out and I knew I hadn’t quite earned the right to be among the best yet. That’s the same feeling that fueled me all through the offseason last year. When I qualified and then placed it made all the time I had spent in between junior and senior year worth while in my mind because that feeling of coming up short was gone and I had finally accomplished what everyone sets out to do in this sport.

Who were your wrestling heroes growing up?

I didn’t really know many as a kid but once I hit high school I really enjoyed watching guys like Bo Nickal and Austin Desanto wrestle. Both pretty unorthodox in their own ways but fun to watch compete.

Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?

Throughout my senior year I jumped from the beginning to the end of my season in my opinion. I started out strong but with every success came more confidence and by the end I was at the peak of my career by far.

Who were some of your toughest competitors in HS?

Guys like Julien Broderson, Alex Blizzard, and Jacob Wempan for sure.

What are your wrestling goals now that you are moving on from high school?

I don’t plan on continuing wrestling personally, but I want to stay involved in the sport and make sure that people understand the impact it can have on the lives of the people that embrace its hardships and turn them into building blocks for life.

How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?

I wrestle pretty unorthodox compared to what people would call normal. Due to lack of time and experience my technique was sub par at best for a lot of things so I made up for it in my own ways. I liked to wrestle physical and long matches, especially against good opponents, so that where I lack in technique I can make up for in energy and persistence. I don’t really know who I'd compare myself to, though.

Do you have any regrets from wrestling or did you leave it all out there?

Everybody has those few what if moments from the sport I feel like, but for the most part I accomplished what I had set out to do and believe that I did the best I could with what little time I had invested in the sport.

What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?

I played football and soccer also. I was a pretty mediocre athlete in the other two starting varsity junior and senior year for football and senior year in soccer while getting playing time junior year. I was mainly just another typical player who could do a good job of filling an important role, but wasn’t a standout in either. They were just a lot of fun and a necessary change up from the long dragging winters.

What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?

I’m a kid who enjoys a little of everything. Some days I’ll be sitting on my butt playing video games and the next I could be out fishing for 6 hours. It all depends on the season and what I’m feeling like that day.

What is some of the best advice you ever received?

That no matter how you feel if you stick to doing the right things over and over and welcome the constructive criticism of the people around you who want to see you succeed that eventually you will accomplish what you set out to do.

Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?

Just to enjoy it while it lasts and believe that with the right mindset and work ethic you can be as good as you strive to be.

What is your favorite style of wrestling? Folkstyle, Freestyle or Greco?

Folkstyle is the one I’m most familiar with and also my favorite.

Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with?

The obvious stand out is Joe Kane. He came into the program a year before I started wrestling and since he arrived everything for the program has been put back on the right path. The energy and knowledge he brings as a coach are one of a kind and he was definitely the biggest factor of my success outside of myself.

There’s that quote by Dan Gable, “Wrestling makes everything else in life easier.” Do you consider this to be an accurate statement? What have you learned about life in general from wrestling?

I think that’s a very accurate statement because when I’m wrestling you learn that no matter what you want it takes hard work and dedication and that is applicable to almost anything you do in life. Whether it be work, creating a healthier life, or even just keeping up with a show you enjoy. Nothing that’s worth while is easy and wrestling has taught me how to embrace the grind per say and learn that the most worthwhile things in life are the ones that are hard to get.

What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?

I plan on attending Northwestern Iowa Community College and go through their lineman program, I don’t plan on wrestling further.

What is the future outlook for Muscatine wrestling?

I think with Joe Kane at the reigns and the awesome staff beside him the Muscatine wrestling club can start a new era of success as a program.