Brent Ruedeman recently placed first overall in his weight class at the Jim Graves Invitational.
Plant City High School wrestler Brent Ruedeman took on a new challenge this year, dropping down from the 138-pound weight class to 132 pounds for his senior season. He seems to have adjusted well, which was evident when he beat Brandon’s DeShaun Newton and Tyler Smith to win first place in his weight class at the 2019 Jim Graves Invitational tournament. Ruedeman now has a 16-1 record after beating Newton in the championship by fall.
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Tell me about Jim Graves. How was the tourney for you?
Except for the two Brandon kids, it wasn’t that hard. But the two Brandon kids gave me a little bit of a struggle.
What was challenging about those two matches?
They’re just a lot better wrestlers and know how to move quicker than a lot of people.
How did you beat them?
(Newton) took a shot at my leg, so I put him in a whizzer and threw him with a lateral. The first kid (Smith), I kind of tripped him to his back.
What’s the difference between wrestling at 132 versus 138?
In my opinion, 132s are mostly shorter and stockier, so they’re a little bit stronger than the 138s.
How has facing athletes with different body types made you better?
It helped me a lot… it’s more of a technique thing, using their strength against them.
How did you get into wrestling?
In ninth grade, the coach came up to me and asked me to ask my dad to coach, then he asked me to come out. I said no at first. My dad made me go to one practice and I liked it.
What made you stick with it?
It gets you in really good shape and it helps you as a person, too. It’s not just a sport.
I hear that a lot with wrestlers. How has it helped you as a person?
It just makes me have a better mindset about things.
What’s your favorite match you’ve ever competed in?
Probably the last match at this year’s Graves tournament because that was my first championship match.
How did you feel before going into that match?
I was mostly nervous. I don’t like being under the spotlight and it was the whole crowd just looking at me.
You dropped down in weight to step up and fill a spot the team needed to fill. What made you want to take the challenge?
I’ve always been a leader inside practice and stuff… with my team, I feel like I’m helping them out a lot more.
What’s some of the best wrestling advice you’ve gotten?
Just chain wrestle. One move right after the next. Don’t really think about it. It just comes to you.
What’s your best style?
Folkstyle is my best, but freestyle is my favorite because you just roll them and it’s really fun to throw people.