Saturday, March 21, 2015

Marist's Kenneth Brinson tries to become only the sixth 4X NHSCA Champ

by Jeff Fisher
Kenneth Brinson of Marist High School in Atlanta will try to enter a very exclusive club during the Senior Nationals at the 26th Annual NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships March 27-29, 2015 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Brinson, who is entered in the 220 pound weight class, will try to become the just the sixth wrestler to win four NHSCA national titles.  If Brinson is able to capture another gold medal this year, he’ll join Tyler Beckwith of Greene HS in New York; B.J. Clagon of Toms River South HS in New Jersey; Ryan Millhof of Collins Hills HS in Georgia; Blake Roulo of Matoaca HS in Virginia; and Clay Walker of Eastside HS in South Carolina as the event’s only 4-time champs.

Millhof, who is currently wrestling as a freshman at University of Oklahoma, and Walker entered the exclusive 4X NHSCA Champions Club in 2014.

At the 2014 Junior Nationals, Brinson won his third straight gold by beating another nationally-ranked wrestler, Austin Myers of Campbell County HS in Kentucky 8-6 in the championship finals.  His performance earned him the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the 2014 Junior Nationals.

Brinson, who owns a career wrestling record of 194-3, will play college football at West Point.  He capped an outstanding high school wrestling career by winning his third straight Georgia state championship in February by capturing the 220-pound gold medal in Class AAAA.  Brinson finished this season ranked #2 in the nation by InterMat.

As a football player, Brinson is one of the best in Marist history, leading the team in sacks for three straight seasons, while being named All-State during his junior and senior years.  He chose to play football for Army over Stanford.

As far as the difference between wrestling and football, Brinson told USA Today High School Sports earlier this year,  “I don’t think either sport is better. They’re good in different ways. Wrestling is a different dynamic. It’s about you. It’s a different mentality. Football reinforces the team aspect — it’s bigger than you.”

And, if being a great football player and wrestler isn’t enough, Brinson also excels as a member of Marist’s Track & Field team. Last August, he competed in the Youth Olympic Games in China as the first U.S. male hammer thrower — he finished 14th overall.

In the classroom, Brinson carries a 4.1 GPA and he scored 2,170 on his SAT’s. He’s made the school’s Dean List for three years. He plans on studying mechanical engineering in college.

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