Excel Christian's Brown wrestles the odds to state

By  | 

SPARKS - NV Meet the Excel Christian Wrestling team. Yes, Ben Brown is the only member of the team, so he trains with Sparks High School.

"We actually have a middle school team, so I got started there with Coach (Ric) Fehr," said Ben Brown.

"I actually coach the middle school program over at Excel after the high school season's over, so we just had that connection, so I said come on over here and we'll practice and we'll get you some tournaments," said Sparks High School Wrestling coach Ric Fehr.

And Ben has thrived, but at the Northern Regional tournament the unexpected happened with Ben holding an 11-0 lead in his match.

"He picked top in the third quarter and 20 seconds into it he tried to break me down and my shoulder ended up popping out and I felt it immediately and he ended up pinning me," said Brown.

Just like that Ben's hopes of reaching state were slipping away.

"I was sitting on the bleachers after it happened and I had an ice pack on my shoulder and I started crying because of that. I didn't want it to end like this," said Brown.

But it didn't end like that. One hour later, Ben returned to the mat with one final chance to qualify for state.

"I prayed and people from my school were praying for me and the atmosphere was amazing, so I was, like, I think I can wrestle, I think I should, so I went into my match and ended up pinning the kid with my favorite move, the cradle," said Brown.

"To have the shoulder pain like that and endure one more match it's pretty excruciating in a situation like that. The courage and the grit that he had to pull that off it's a testament to who he is," added Fehr.

Now the one man team from Excel Christian heads to Vegas on Friday for the state tournament.

"The first thing I remember just in my head is I thanked God as much as I could cause that was all him, that healing was all him, that was the only way I got through that," said Brown.