Getting Back on the Mat – Brady Berge

By Brian Jerzak

By the end of the 2016 State Wrestling Tournament, there were two names on the mind of every wrestling fan in attendance. For good reason, Apple Valley’s six-time champion Mark Hall – no matter what was going to be the story of the tournament, but the tournament experience of a guy who ultimately placed sixth would grab a fair share of the drama.

Brady Berge’s team, the Kasson-Mantorville KoMets had already taken home the Class AA state title on day one of the tournament and the junior – hands down the favorite to win gold in the AA 160-pound weight class had rolled through the first two rounds of the individual tournament with a pin and a tech fall. As his semifinal match started, it looked like the three-time state champion was on his way to the finals again.

“Before the match, I was calm – like I usually am before matches,” Berge recalled. “The first period I took him down and turned him a couple of times. I had like a 7-2 lead going into the second period. It was my choice and like I do every other match when I have choice I chose down. I stood up to get an escape, and I went to turn, and my foot caught the mat, and I came down on it. It just bent in a way it shouldn’t have. There was a lot of weight going down on it too so it snapped. I knew it was broken right away.”

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