Athlete of the week: Burke/Gregory's Braun wrestles way to 20-0GREGORY — Kurt Braun comes from a wrestling family, but he’s trying to make his own mark.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
GREGORY — Kurt Braun comes from a wrestling family, but he’s trying to make his own mark.
“His brothers were outstanding wrestlers and he’s following the family tradition,” Burke/Gregory coach John Hansen said.
And he’s doing it in fine fashion.
Last weekend, Braun, a sophomore, claimed the 120-pound title at the Little “B” Wrestling Tournament Saturday in Parkston.
“He looks for every single opportunity that he has to score,” said Hansen, whose team took third place in the tournament. “No matter what the score is, he’s always looking to get more points, and with that mindset you’re going to be successful.”
Braun defeated Faulkton Area’s Oliver Aesoph in a 9-2 decision in the championship match, which gave him a 20-0 record this season.
To get to the finals, Braun won his first match by forfeit and pinned Parkston’s Dawson Semmler in 2 minutes and 11 seconds in the semifinal match.
For his efforts, Braun has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
“I knew it was going to be a tough tournament going in,” Braun said. “I have to prepare mentally and work hard to be ready for these tournaments.”
And that is exactly what has given him an undefeated record this season.
“He’s an extremely hard worker and is very dedicated,” Hansen said. “It shows in his performances every time he steps on the mat.”
Braun said these tournaments are stepping stones to his end of the season goal.
He finished in fourth place at state his eighth-grade year and took third last season.
“This year, the main thing is getting to the championship,” he said. “I’m just working hard in practice, and I continue to have that goal in the back of my mind.”
Hansen said there are some great wrestlers in his weight class but Braun has what it takes to reach his goal.
“He is very sound on his technique and is one of the more aggressive wrestlers we have,” he said.
The Storm take the mat in the Ainsworth Invite at 10 a.m. Saturday in Ainsworth, Neb.