Saturday, February 16, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
For McCallie junior Adam Connell, it’s been a sweetheart of a wrestling weekend.
He turned 18 on Valentine’s Day and tonight he wins his second state wrestling title – on the 10th anniversary of his brother Lee Connell’s second state title – by beating three-time state champion Brandon Brunner from Baylor.
“For sure, this (second state title) is the best birthday present I could receive,” said a smiling Connell sitting in the stands with brother, Lee, who won back-to-back titles for the Blue Tornado, 2002-03.
Adam relies on the Bible verse Proverbs 15:18 which reads, “a hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.
And there is no disputing that Connell is the best D-II wrestler in the 132-pound bracket as he now has two wins against Brunner – also beat him 4-1 in the state duals two weeks ago – and also beat former state champ Michael Eckhart (Father Ryan) in the same state duals.
“I felt confident and was prepared going into tonight’s final and feel I wrestled a solid match,” stated Connell whose tournament points helped McCallie finish third and ahead of fourth place Baylor (208.50 to 202). Christian Brothers claimed the team title with 272 points followed by 2012 state champ Father Ryan with 231.50 points..
Connell’s title gives the family five state crowns as Adam’s dad and coach, Gordon, won a state championship for Brainerd High School in 1966.
Next for the youngest child of Gordon and his wife, Jan, is a shot at national honors.
“I plan to wrestle in national tournaments this spring and summer with the goal of being an All-American and have my name as an All-American hanging on the McCallie wrestling room wall,” stated Connell.
And with one more year of high school wrestling followed by a possible college mat career, the Connell name seems certain to be displayed prominently.
More Good News For the Connell’s: Lee and his wife Jessica found out Valentine’s Day that she is expecting their first child. “We plan to name him Wyatt Lee Connell,” said Lee who has had plenty to smile about after watching younger brother win a state crown.
contact B.B. Branton at William.firstname.lastname@example.org