BENNETT: Braxton Amos back on mat

As the old adage goes, nothing worth having comes easy.

Former Robert Dutton and Dave Schultz Award winner Braxton Amos certainly could attest to that.

Going back to his high school days at Parkersburg South, Amos missed his freshman year due to injury before absolutely dominating the Class AAA 220-pound weight class for the next three years.

The University of Wisconsin recruit last competed in early October at the senior nationals/U.S. Open in Iowa. Amos was wrestling at 97 kilograms in Greco Roman and lost in the semifinals by one point to the eventual champion, who registered a technical fall in the finals.

Amos came back to finish with an overall 4-1 record to grab third place, which qualified him for an NCAA Olympic redshirt.

Less than a week after competing, Amos was diagnosed with mono and returned home for six weeks.

Once he was finally ready to head back, a positive COVID-19 test resulted in another setback.

Currently, the ex-Patriot is competing for the Wisconsin Regional Training Center, which is a wrestling training center where high school, college and post-collegiate wrestlers can train together to reach their potential of state, national and world champions.

In other words, it’s the best of the best.

Amos, who has taken a gap year with the Badgers, has been hard at work trying to get back into form.

In a recent interview with the Wisconsin RTC Amos admitted “I want to do this for the rest of my life. You know, wrestle, coach and just be involved with wrestling.

“There’s a lot more jobs out there that suck a lot more than coming in, working out, eating right, living right. You know, it’s a lot of fun doing the right stuff and it’s being around the right group of guys really helps with that.”

On Wednesday night, Amos returned to action to compete in “The Badger State” on the Underground 3 wrestling card.

Although Amos was originally expected to tangle with former Nebraska All-American TJ Dudley, he was scratched and replaced by C.J. Brucki of the New Jersey RTC. Brucki, a 2018 Central Michigan University graduate who was a multiple time NCAA qualifier, is in his third year as the director of wrestling operations for The College of New Jersey. Of note, Brucki has 11 matches under his belt since last April.

At least on paper, Amos entered the freestyle 95 kilograms (209 pounds) match, which consists of just two three-minute periods, as an underdog.

Despite not having a live match in three-plus months, that made little difference to the 2019 Pan-American Junior silver medalist.

Amos used a pair of early exposure points to take the lead and proceeded to get a takedown and turned Brucki twice to help forge an 8-1 advantage.

The match was stopped before the end of the first period with Amos getting his hand raised following a 14-3 technical fall.

“I really thought he would lose,” admitted father Tim Amos. “This man is tough. I was generally surprised. It was a good win tonight.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com.


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