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Idaho Enterprise

Champion Wrestler—Malad’s Drake Morrison

He may not be Hulk Hogan or Rulon Gardner, but Malad has its own champion wrestler to cheer on and take pride in his accomplishments.  It's well known that it takes incredible talent, drive and passion to become champion in any arena. That same talent, drive and passion that has taken Malad’s own Drake Morrison wrestling across the nation to go head to head against the country’s toughest opponents, where he has not only competed, but dominated the wrestling brackets and became a national champion with a final season record of 100 wins and only three losses.

Most recently, Morrison participated in the USA Wrestling Kids National Championship in Farmington, Utah, joining the nation’s best wrestlers from ages 7 to 14.  The championship tournaments featured both Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles of wrestling, those styles exhibited in the Olympic games.

Around the world, athletes compete in three different styles of wrestling, Freestyle, Folkstyle and Greco-Roman.  While every style has the same primary goal, to defeat one’s opponent through earning more points or pin, the rules and scoring differ between the various styles.  The varying rules primarily changes the moves a wrestler will use.  In Greco-Roman wrestling, athletes cannot use their legs, offensively or defensively.  This means that wrestlers must rely on their upper body strength to use throwing moves to take down their opponents rather than using leg attacks or trips.  In both Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, athletes in the bottom positions simply work to get free from their opponent whereas Folkstyle wrestling has moves to be used while in the bottom position.  

Wrestlers often choose to specialize in a single style of wrestling.  Competing in the different styles of wrestling takes discipline to master skills necessary for each style as well as careful wrestling to be sure not to use moves illegal to that style.  Those wrestlers that successfully compete in all the wrestling styles are found to be better, well rounded wrestlers that utilize the strengths of each style to its best.   

To no surprise, Morrison entered the national tournament June 26 to the 28 ready to dominate and successfully rose to the top of the brackets in both the Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling competitions.  He first wrestled in the Greco-Roman tournament, managing to pin every single opponent he faced to win the championship title.  He earned his first round pin in 13 seconds, his second round pin in 24 seconds and his final pin in 1 minute, 32 seconds.

The Freestyle tournament proved to be more competitive, pushing Morrison to leave all he had on the mat as he competed.  On his path to the championship round, Morrison came against a truly fierce opponent in the semi-final round.  After three rounds, Morrison won by decision, tallying just one point more than his opponent, winning 5-4, to advance him to the final round.  On the main stage he defeated his final challenger from New Jersey with a pin in 1 minutes, 25 seconds. to become the Freestyle national champion.

Winning both national championship rounds was an exciting feat of its own, but coupling those wins with his earlier national championship win in the national Folkstyle wrestling competition in April, where Morrison was ranked #1 in the 32 man bracket, earned him the rare title of National Triple Crown Champion.  Across the nation, only five 14U wrestlers, including Morrison, won the triple crown title this year.  Morrison is the first of Malad to win such a title. 

After Morrison’s great win’s and exciting accomplishments, his father and coach, Devin Morrison commented, “We are so proud of Drake and the work he puts in. He is always working to be the best. This title is something he has been working toward for years and to see all of that hard work pay off is amazing. 

“We have incredible coaches and teammates that support each other. We are so grateful for the love and support of our wrestling family here in Malad.” 

Brothers of Steel teammates Kyler Blaisdell and Oakley Maddox also wrestled at the Greco-Roman and Freestyle national tournament in June. Blaisdell wrestled in the 8U, 56lb bracket, winning 3rd place in the Greco-Roman tournament and 2nd place in the Freestyle tournament. Maddox wrestled in the stacked 14U, 119lb bracket taking the 8th place medal in the Greco-Roman tournament. Placing at the national tournament made all three Malad wrestlers National All-American wrestlers.

The week prior to the national tournaments, Morrison competed with Team Idaho in the Turf War Duals as well as the Western States Tournament.  Over the two day dual tournament, Morrison again went undefeated in his 10 duals. Team Idaho wrestled against other teams from Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Montana.  At the Western States tournament which featured all three wrestling styles, Morrison again won all first place in each style, making him the 14U tournament triple crown winner.