RACHEL GREEN, KV NEWS REPORTER
Kyle Briggs is no newcomer to the wrestling mat. Although the junior is ranked first in the nation at the 184-pound weight class, Briggs hit a major bump in the road his first year at Wartburg.
“My collegiate journey began a little bit rough,” said the all-American. “Right when I got on campus, basically a month into training, I had broken my ankle and was basically out for the year. The injury was difficult for sure because it effected everything.
Not only wrestling but academics and personal relationships and my general attitude towards wrestling and even school. It was hard at the time. So persevering through that was it took a lot of effort, but I kind of got through and I became, I think I’ve become stronger because of it”
His strength was highlighted by a third-place finish last year at the national meet, and drives him toward higher expectations as he moves into a leadership role as an upperclassman.
“He works his butt off,” Alex Dolly, the head assistant wrestling coach, said. “He gets everything out of every second when he’s ever at a workout. I mean if he’s not wrestling in the match at the second, he’s on the bike, or preparing for the match or thinking about what he’s doing. He’s getting the most out of the drill. And then on top of that though, even though he’s serious and trying to get everything out of it, he certainly brings the fun. He’s real lighthearted and playful.”
Although he has fun, Briggs takes his time on the mat seriously.
“I wrestle because I want to win,” Briggs added. “I want to win nationals and I don’t ever want to lose again. I’m done losing. I don’t like it. I mean that’s an easy goal to say—whether or not it will transpire—I hope it does. I’m going to work towards it, but at the end of the day my goals are not necessarily determined by one weekend at the end of the year. It’s how I train and become the athlete that I want to be.”
Briggs began the season ranked No. 2 at the 174-pound weight class, but after an early December switch to 184 Briggs is now ranked No. 1 in his new class.