Feb 12

Johnson Achieves Goal, Sets New Ones in First Ever Trip to State

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Webster City, Iowa — As we talked in the corridors of the brand-new gym at Webster City High School,  Phil Monson of the Humboldt Independent and I hovered around senior 220-pounder Brandon Johnson.

Firing off question after question, you could tell Johnson wasn’t really used to talking to media.

Not that he was a poor speaker, he wasn’t, he was eloquent and well-spoken, but he was nervous.

As we wrapped up questions I fired: “Brandon, were you more nervous to square of with [James] Cherry, or me and Phil?”

We all laughed.

Probably you guys” he laughed, “I think I had a nervous breakdown, I hope I sounded okay.”

He did.

He sounded okay on the mat, as well.

The interview with Brandon Johnson acted as a microcosm for his 2018 season. Straight and narrow. Down to business, and no funny games.

Johnson, who will be entering the Marines following graduation, is simply a warrior.

He’s also been red-hot of late, which helped parlay into his first state wrestling appearance.

Did I mention he’d only been wrestling since 8th grade?

Being confident is big part of Brandon’s game” head coach Chad Beaman said. “He’s a nice story, started in middle school, wrestled junior varsity for a couple years and has made his way to the line-up, now gets to finish things out at state. It’s an awesome story.” 

Johnson squashed his opening match against Josh Detar of Ballard, and while he fell in the first place match versus Webster’s James Cherry, Detar won his consolation match — nullifying a wrestle-back — and automatically qualifying Johnson for Des Moines.

It doesn’t seem real to be going to State, honestly” said a bashful Johnson.

I’ve seen so many other guys here at Humboldt like me go to state and I just gave it my all and now I’m going” he explained.

The 31-13 Johnson will open proceedings in Des Moines against Tyler Anderson (37-3) from Battle Creek-Ida Grove Senior High School, Thursday morning.

For him, it’s dream come true.

But the dream is still unfinished, waiting to be written only by Johnson himself.