Kirtland senior Brendan Williamson left Perry High School on Saturday having achieved one of his season goals.
He didn’t win the tournament but he did appear in the 113-pound championship bout.
“The goal was to make it to the finals because my brother made it to the finals when he was in high school and that pushed me during practice that I have to better than him and that nobody is going to stop me from achieving this goal,” Williamson said.
Williamson was undefeated in pool wrestling and opened the championship bracket with a pin and a 5-3 overtime win in the semifinals. He lost to Erie (PA) Cathedral Prep sophomore Tyler McKinney, 12-3, in the championship bout.
“The kid I wrestled was an all-around great wrestler,” Williamson said. “He is a very hard person to hit a move on him. He kept hitting one move on me and I just couldn't stop him and capitalize on it.”
Despite the loss, Williamson left the tournament with plenty of confidence, especially after his overtime win in the semifinals.
With the match tied at 3 after regulation, Williamson attempted a single leg takedown on Canfield junior Sean Frisbie, who countered using a whizzer.
Eventually Williamson broke free and scored the winning two points.
“The semis match was interesting because I was the underdog and that motivated me to show all the people watching the match that I'm here to make a statement and winning the match in overtime was just huge,” he said. “I shot in on a single and he put in a whizzer and brought me to the mat and I jumped behind him and got my two.”
Williamson is now 17-4 on the year and focused on his ultimate goal of competing at the state tournament in Columbus later this year.
“I feel pretty great,” he said. “All my losses are to really good kids and I'm fixing my mistakes from all of them. This is all practice for me. This is getting me ready for the go-to match to make the state tournament. The goal is to make it to Columbus and to represent my school and nobody or nothing will stop me from achieving this goal.”