Brayden Roberts gearing up

Patriot prepping to defend national title

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South’s Brayden Roberts wrestles against Parkersburg High’s Ayden Edwards in the 145-pound Class AAA, Region IV tournament earlier this year.

PARKERSBURG — After becoming only the second wrestler from the state of West Virginia to be crowned a Greco national champion at the USMC Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D. last year, Parkersburg South senior to be and the second ranked wrestler at 145 pounds in the nation according to Flowrestling, Brayden Roberts will be looking to leave Fargo as a two-time champion, adding on an already title winning filled year.

Winning his second straight Class triple-A wrestling title in February, Roberts followed up with an impressive showing at the 20th annual NHSCA National Duals. He won the 145-pound title, was named co-most outstanding wrestler on his team and later finished third at the Greco Roman World team trials at 71kg (156) in Akron, Ohio in late May.

“It was pretty good weekends, I think that I should have done better at world team trials but there’s always stuff to work on after a tournament like that,” Roberts said.

“At national duals, I just felt like I was on top of my game and I wrestled like it. I think I’m going to start getting recognition from colleges.”

Already in contact with an impressive list of colleges, Lehigh, Ohio State, WVU, George Mason and Ohio University, Roberts is looking to use the Cadet junior nationals to get the attention of more colleges.

Brayden Roberts

Starting on May 24 at Virginia Beach, wrestling for Team Schutt, Roberts participated in a field that was packed with talent, including two wrestlers who spent time ranked in Flowresling’s top 10 throughout the season and Division I commits Jordan Crace and Ed Scott.

Roberts used the matchups as motivation, making short work of his opponents before meeting Scott in the semifinals. Scott is a Pennsylvania state champion and currently ranked behind Roberts at third in the nation. Roberts won via a 2-0 decisions over the North Carolina State commit and carried that momentum.

The Patriot then won 4-2 in sudden victory versus Crace, a Michigan State signee, in the finals.

“Scott was such a tough wrestler, that was a tough win for me, a big win for me. After that match, I didn’t want to stop winning,” Roberts said “So when I wrestled Crace, I felt on top of my game. I gave up a takedown that I didn’t really want to give up but it came out my way in the end and that’s what I like.”

After his impressive run and helping Team Schutt finish second at the duals, Roberts was named co-MOW for his team. Surprised of being chosen out of talented group of teammates, it opened Roberts’ eyes of how good he actually is and that he can compete with anyone in the nation.

“It was honestly pretty cool because going into that tournament, I was looking at some of the names that were on our team and I’m like “oh my gosh, these guys are so good,’” Roberts said. “I knew everybody on the team are top level wrestlers and when they gave me M.O.W, it was a great feeling. I underestimate my wrestling talent a lot and it’s like after that weekend it made me realize that I can compete with the top guys in the country and do just fine against them.”

Participating and wrestling for the Patriots Wrestling Club in the Greco Roman World team trials at Akron the following weekend, he entered as the top seed at 71kg. Roberts once again was making short work of the early matchups in the event, but had to settle for a third-place finish. Losing a 1-1 decision to Team Miron’s Daniel Segura. Roberts picked up the first point off a passive point, but Segura also scored a passive point later in the match. Both unable to score another point, the win went to Segura, due to scoring his point last.

Unaware of the rule when announced, Roberts used the loss as a learning moment, vowing to never be in that situation again.

“In freestyle and Greco they have passivity calls so like what it is pretty much stalling and they are a lot more strict with it in Greco and you get a point for passivity. Cause the final was 1-1 with two passive calls, the last person to score wins,” Roberts said. “I wasn’t completely aware of that, but it happens and I’m going to do whatever I can, and not let that happen again. It was a big learning moment for me because it also shows me that I can hang with anybody in Greco.”

Going into his senior season at Parkersburg South, instead of being one of the young kids on the team, Roberts is looking forward to providing senior leadership, helping his teammates improve and competing for the Patriots’ sixth straight crown and his third individual state title.

“My senior season is going to be so fun, I’m so excited. Not only because it’s my senior year of high school but because I get to spend time with my coaches as the old kid instead of the young kid,” Roberts said. “Now I feel like I could be captain of the team and I was super excited to be able to wrestle my senior season and spending time with my boys. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Contact Tyler Bennett at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com