What was a season-ending event for some put relatively little pressure on Grangeville’s Brandon Stump, who has a 29-5 record to his credit so far — predominantly in competition against the same wrestlers he beat last Saturday, Feb. 17.
“It was the same wrestlers we’ve seen all season,” he said. “I knew I could beat them — I had to prepare for it, and I’ve been working hard. So I knew it would be a breeze.”
He makes no secret of his confidence, but a mid-season loss to a Clearwater Classic opponent has motivated him to take every match as seriously as he takes his overall goal of winning a 2A title in the 220 weight class.
“I can be beat on any given day — I’ve proven that this year,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to state since the day wrestling started up. But I realized I need to slow down and take every match one at a time.”
At the Clearwater Classic Stump lost a match on a stalling call.
“I was upset, but I did some self-evaluation and realized I shouldn’t have been in that position,” he said. “I should have got a pin — or there’s stuff I should have done to prevent it.”
Stump was penciled for a first-round bye when the IHSAA released preliminary brackets earlier this week.
“All of us can place,” Stump said. “Caleb [Barger] and Chase [Adkison] have a shot at top-sixing, and I know Parker [Walters] can win. Blake [Courtney], I don’t know his whole weight class but he just handled one of the best.”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to depart for Pocatello on Thursday morning.
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