Flo’s Kyle Bratke set for dual

Kyle Bratke, a four-time state place-winner for Parkersburg High School and the 2010 Class AAA 130-pound state champion for the Big Reds, might be the most excited person come Sunday afternoon inside Memorial Fieldhouse when Virginia Tech squares off against West Virginia University in a Division I wrestling dual.

The-ex Big Red, who graduated from Ohio University in 2014 and spent one season wrestling for the Bobcats, will be on the call for FloWrestling, which is going to live stream the event.

“This weekend, we have eight events live, from Reno all the way to Parkersburg,” said Bratke, who finished his career with two state runner-up efforts and a 139-35 overall record. “We travel the world to try and put on the best events.”

With potentially-limited seating available for Sunday’s dual, gates will open at 12:30 p.m., 90 minutes prior to the expected start time.

Bratke is flying into the Mountain State today from his home in Austin, Texas, where he has been since he joined FloWrestling in October of 2014.

“I did a couple of Skype interviews and they offered me the job,” Bratke recalled. “I had about two weeks to try and get everything in order.

“I packed up my car and drove the 21 hours down there. It all happened so quick, but it’s awesome.”

After wrestling his entire life and going at it his first year at Ohio, Bratke admitted he “was ready to move on. I stayed affiliated with the team and that’s kind of how I got my start with Flo.

“I did all the team’s videos and all their social media sites and travelled everywhere. (Ohio head) coach (Joel) Greenlee gave me a great opportunity and I had an internship with Flo in 2012.”

Being a former Big Red, Bratke obviously takes a lot of pride in a sport he used to compete in and still loves very much. The best part, of course, is being able to stay involved with the sport he cherishes and make a living while covering it.

“My official position is content marketer for FloWrestling,” added Bratke, who said his dad jokes with him about the fact “I don’t really work much since I get to follow wrestling and get to go to all these cool wrestling events.

“I’m in charge of our social media channels. I send out our mass emails to our subscribers and people on our mailing list. I work with our designers to get graphics on the site and graphics to referral partners. I’m always trying to grow our social media channels. It’s a full-time gig.”

Bratke said he was “pumped up right away” after learning about the event this spring from PHS head mat coach Chris Way.

“I knew the community was going to respond like this. I’m excited to show off PHS to the wrestling community. The program means so much to me,” Bratke said.

“Being on the national scene for everyone to see that kind of atmosphere and the quality of wrestling that will be in the building will be really exciting.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com.

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