Byrd ready to wrestle at next level

Apr. 17—Washington High School's most successful wrestler will have the opportunity to continue setting records at the next level. Senior Brady Byrd signed a letter of intent on Tuesday to wrestle at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne next season after an already distinguished prep career.

At 106 lbs., he set four school records, including a 134-18 overall record, an 88.16% winning percentage, wins in a season (43) and pins in a season (34). He was a three-time PAC champion, and three-time sectional champ, along with qualifying for semi-state three times.

"The goal is always to make it to the highest level of wrestling that I could possibly make it so, you know, this is just another step on my path," said Byrd.

Byrd has wrestled at 106 lbs., but said that he will wrestle 125 lbs. in college, as it is the lightest weight class.

"I weighed 90 pounds my freshman year and wrestled 106 so I've done this before. Right now, I'm weighing like 120 and will be wrestling 125. We're going to be trying to put on some mass. We're going to let me eat more and be lifting a lot heavier," he added.

Byrd also had a tremendous summer wrestling career, being a four-time Team Indiana member and placing third at nationals in 100 Junior Freestyle, seventh in 100 Junior Greco-Roman Nationals and sixth in 106 NHSCA Junior Nationals Folkstyle. Throughout the last few summers, he also had numerous top three finishes in ISWA events in the last four years.

He said that he chose Indiana Tech because he had been coached by IT coach Thomas Pompei with Team Indiana at the nationals at Fargo, North Dakota.

"Tech's facilities are amazing. They also have the degree I want to go for which is exercise science. They are top of the line and their coaches are really nice. I know a lot of the guys there and their coach has coached me for several years with Team Indiana," said Byrd.

Byrd's WHS coach Aaron Cissell has worked with him since the fifth grade and he is the first wrestler of Cissell's to wrestle at the next level.

"He is a perfect example of hard work paying off. He struggled just like any other new wrestler had to, but he committed to the grind and his dedication is shown throughout and he proved that you can be successful if you put the work. He has meant so much to this program. I've known him quite a while and he never shied away from putting in the work and being dedicated. He is disciplined at school, at home, always focused and he sets a goal and he accomplishes it," said Cissell.

Byrd is the son of assistant coach Sean and Tess Byrd.