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Prep Wrestling: Titans' McBride gears up for another title run

Published February 16, 2012 1:37 pm

4A Wrestling • Olympus grappler is going for his fourth crown in three states.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It may be hyperbole to say Brandon McBride has been waiting his whole life for this week, but it wouldn't be far from the truth.

If everything goes according to plan, the Olympus High senior will wrestle twice in Thursday's Class 4A state tournament with a chance to be a four-time state champion.

It was a goal McBride, who was introduced to the sport by his father at the age of five, set for himself six years ago.

"I set this goal back in sixth grade," McBride said. "It's pretty nerve-wracking, actually. I'm really excited about it and I've been dreaming about this for a long time.

"I'm really nervous about it. I get nervous before all my matches. But it'll be good."

McBride entered the week with a 37-0 record this season at 170 pounds — just four wins from his goal. He has lost just once as a Titan, a defeat last year against Payson's Brady Loveless that he avenged in a 171-pound state title rematch.

While winning four state titles is a rarity — just 16 Utah wrestlers have achieved the feat — McBride's list of accomplishments sets him apart. His first three state titles have come in three different states.

As a freshman, McBride went undefeated to capture the 145-pound 3A crown in Idaho. He and his father moved to the suburbs of Chicago his sophomore year in order to find some more formidable competition.

"I went 46-9 as a sophomore there," McBride said. "Idaho and Utah have a bunch of really good wrestlers, but they aren't in the same weight class. They are kind of spread out.

"In Illinois, there are real tough guys everywhere you go, in every weight class."

He captured the Illinois title at 152 pounds for Montini Catholic, then moved to Utah to live with his mother.

Olympus coach Theros Johnson said the years of experience and natural ability have made McBride virtually unbeatable on the mat.

"He's kind of like the perfect storm," said Johnson, in his sixth year at Olympus. "He is naturally such a gifted athlete and second to that, he has put in a lot of time wrestling. The time and the physical ability and the attitude has culminated in a pretty bad-ass wrestler."

Victory in Thursday's meet is hardly a foregone conclusion. McBride said he expects serious challenges from two challengers from the north — Logan's Spencer McKay (40-1 entering the week) and Box Elder's Britton Gunter (28-11).

"I don't perceive any real threats to Brandon," Johnson said. "We've been in matches where he's take a kid down six times in the first period with a different takedown each time. He's just got so many weapons available to him that he is hard to stop."

When he is done wrestling opponents this week, McBride will turn to his future. He said he won't worry about it until after this week. Also a standout running back in football, McBride has yet to decide which sport he will pursue at the next level.

Olympus football coach Aaron Whitehead said McBride has not received a football scholarship offer, but he is confident McBride's talent can earn him one.

"He can play," Whitehead said. "He can flat-out play. If he goes and walks on somewhere, there's no doubt he'll be on scholarship by his second year." Four score?

Olympus senior Brandon McBride attempts to win his fourth state wrestling title this week in the Class 4A state meet at Utah Valley University.

McBride won a state title in Idaho as a freshman and in Illinois as a sophomore before moving to Utah.

McBride is 82-1 entering the week in his two seasons with the Titans.