Gridley youth wrestler pins down competition

Jan 21, 2015 10:02 PM by Ross Field

A young wrestler from Gridey just returned home from a popular tournament with an impressive finish. Action News Now's Ross Field filed this report.

The Tulsa Nationals in Oklahoma is often referred to as the most prestigious junior wrestling event in the world. More than 2,000 of the country's best youth wrestlers, ages 4-to-16, compete for a national title.

"It's quite overwhelming, all the wrestlers competing have either won a national title or a stat title, so there is nothing soft in any of the weight classes," said Monte Johnson.

"It was pretty amazing, it was really scary though, because the event is so big," said Brenden Johnson.

But the big stage and bright lights did not deter Gridley's Brenden Johnson. The 13-year-old put on a performance that made his family proud.

"Extremely proud, when he actually put everything together and beat these tough kids, it was a big deal," said Monte Johnson, Brenden's father.

Brenden, who wrestles in the 77-pound division, beat the country's No. 1 ranked wrestler en route to capturing a second place finish and a silver medal.

"I think it was the best I've wrestled all year," said Brenden Johnson.

Which is saying something because his latest performance in Tulsa is similar to what he's done all season. Johnson wrestles for USA Gold Wrestling out of Del Oro in Sacramento. He's won three national titles while placing at several other national and state tournaments.

Despite his success, the young grappler maintains a humble attitude and is hungry to get better.

"I want to work harder all the way until I'm done wrestling so I can just keep getting better each day," said Brenden Johnson.

"Sometimes I don't think he realizes just how good he is. He doesn't think of himself as this big champion even though he really is," concluded Monte Johnson.


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