Never count out the little guy

Sophomore Gavin Bradley during a match.


VTSU Castleton’s wrestling team has continued to lay waste to their competition this season, as they are currently ranked 9th in the Dual Team Rankings, and they moved up six spots in the Tournament Team Rankings, now sitting at number 18. 

The Spartans currently have four wrestlers ranked in the top-10 in the nation for their respective weight classes. Of these four, one who has been cruising under the radar, is sophomore Gavin Bradley. 

In the latest polls, Bradley moved up to ninth in the 125-pound weight class after he helped the team dominate the recent Alvernia Quad. The team won all three days, with Bradley notching a win to kick start each day. 

“Gavin brings a certain energy to the team when he steps on the mat,” said head coach Scott Legacy. “He believes in himself and has no fear.  He doesn’t think he is going to beat his opponent, he knows it,” Legacy added.

Bradley attributes all of his success to his coaches.

“My coaches are always there for me and help me become the very best version of myself. I will always do what my coaches tell me to do, and I will give everything to them,” Bradley said. 

Legacy couldn’t say enough about the amount of work that Bradley puts in behind the scenes to perform at the level he does.

Bradley claiming a victory.

“Gavin typically starts at 5 am and has a schedule until he goes to bed at night,” Legacy said. “His success is a product of how hard he works on and off the mat.”

Bradley’s training regiment is intense too. Every day, Bradley hits the weight room for a lifting session in addition to two practices each day. 

He also has to pay close attention to his diet, making sure he’s monitoring his calorie and water intake each day.

On top of all of that, Legacy adds that “he’s also  very routine in study hours for his academics,” which is very important to Legacy.

When all is said and done, he gives himself one day off a week, “wihch is typically on Sunday,” Legacy said. “His work ethic will translate into the type of person he will be when he leaves Castleton,” he added.

Bradley boasts a team best 8-0 record in duals, in addition to a 29-3 overall record. 

Bradley also can’t understate the importance of faith in his life, and that “knowing and reminding yourself that God is above all is crucial,” he said. 

One thing that grinds Bradley’s gears is that being in a less-than-common 125-pound weight class, there runs a risk of an opposing school not having someone for Bradley to compete against. 

“It is always frustrating when you are not wrestling. Wrestling is a huge part of my life,” Bradley said. 

But at the end of the day, “if the other team does not have anyone to send out it is what it is,” he added.

This was the case in their recent senior night against Utica, where the team won in a 52-6 landslide without Bradley even having a match. 

Bradley pinning an opponent.

Wrestling in the 125-pound weight class. One can easily overlook or count out Bradley due to his size. When asked about this, he said he doesn’t pay attention to what other people say to try and bring him down.

“Respectfully, I don’t think or care about what other people think,” he said. “People underestimated David before he killed Goliath. I am sure people laughed and mocked Noah when he and his family were building the ark. People mocked and underestimated the greatest person to ever live, Jesus Christ. So no, I don’t care what people think about me, I just want to do my best through the eyes of my coaches and god.”

“We believe our best wrestling is ahead of us,” Legacy said. “We feel very good heading down the stretch, and we are ready to have a lot of fun heading into the regionals and the NCAA championships.”

You can catch Bradley and the rest of the team at Glenbrook Gymnasium, Friday, Feb. 9 when they take on Plymouth State

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