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The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Former FHC wrestler and current teacher Brad Anderson is one of FHC’s most accomplished athletes

Former+FHC+wrestler+and+current+teacher+Brad+Anderson+is+one+of+FHCs+most+accomplished+athletes

The word “wrestling” and the name “Brad Anderson” are synonymous when it comes to talking about FHC athletic history. Two state championships, twice selected for the Michigan Dream Team, and three All-State honors are what make up the wrestling history of history teacher Brad Anderson at FHC.

Success didn’t surface for Anderson until his sophomore year at FHC, where he managed to claw his way from an unranked wrestler in the state tournament to a state championship in 1998 against the #1 ranked wrestler in the state, James Greene from Plymouth Salem. Although a challenging task for Anderson, he had no intention of slowing down at all. The very next year, Anderson returned to the finals, but this time undefeated and ranked at the top himself. Anderson recalls his matchup in his second state final.

“I was battle-hardened and the guy that I squared off against was from Detroit Catholic Central,” Anderson said. “So it was a classic East Side versus West Side kind of finals. I was down six to two going into the third period, and I was able to come back in the third period and then beat him in overtime.”

For his second consecutive state title, Anderson came back against a talented Mitch Hancock from Detroit Catholic Central. However, this wasn’t the last time Anderson would have to face off against Hancock in the battle for the state title.

“The next year I saw that same wrestler in the semi-finals in one of the most highly anticipated matches that year, or I think any year,” Anderson explained. “And he ended up beating me that year. So we split matches.”

While Anderson may have just come up short of another state title in a three-peat fashion, he exited FHC as one of the most decorated wrestlers to compete here, having a total of 182 career wins to his name including the 54-0 state championship season from his junior year.

Frustrated with how his high school career ended, Anderson continued to wrestle throughout the summer, including at the high school national championships, where he earned an All-American status. Up next for Anderson was college competition where he wrestled for Central Michigan University and became a three-time letter winner for the university’s wrestling program.

“I credit Central Michigan with helping me learn what it’s like to be an athlete,” Anderson said. “In high school, after I won a state title and had success, I became a big fish in a little pond. I started in the lineup my freshman year, then I redshirted my sophomore year. I wrestled for a total of four years at Central Michigan. But of the 10 weight classes, I was the 11th man.”

Coming from an All-American status to just missing his starting spot on Central Michigan’s starting team his senior by just a single point, Anderson reflects on the journey of college wrestling.

“Luckily you don’t get good at wrestling without hard times,” Anderson explained. ” The first month, I’m not sure I got a takedown on a guy. I don’t think I took anybody down. So college wrestling was a great challenge for a young man to develop me into the person I am today.”

From wrestling, Anderson has not only gained the wins, the fame, the honors, and a spot in the FHC Athletic Hall of Fame but also life lessons and techniques he continues to carry with him to this day. Anderson recalls the immense lessons learned from his time wrestling at Central Michigan.

“[Wrestling] taught me what it was like to be a person who is that 10th, 11th, or sixth man,” Anderson said. “Also what it’s like to not be in the spotlight and not be one of the coaches’ all-stars. And it taught me how to overcome personal setbacks and to you know, when you commit to something at the beginning of the year, you follow through and you finish through. And you try to be as good a teammate as you can and work as hard as you can, so that when the opportunity does arrive and he points at you and says, ‘you’re up, Anderson,’ I was ready to go.”

Anderson has thus become the face of grit and determination at FHC ever since his wrestling career came to a close in 2000. He continues to spread the life lessons that he gained personally through the trials and trenches of wrestling around the FHC community, as well as into his most valued and daily life aspects.

“Wrestling has made me a more effective leader, teacher, coach father, husband, and friend,” Anderson said. “And it instills in you a work ethic, toughness, and grit that I think all sports innately do.”

With that, Anderson continues to make a difference for the better, on and off the mat as an educator, coach, father, and so much more. The success Anderson achieved was no consequence as he contains one of the best attitudes the sport of wrestling and FHC have ever seen. Anderson looks back on his first state title, where he came swooping in as an unranked sophomore in the Division I state tournament.

“I think all great athletes have a supreme belief in their ability because of the time that they put in, of what they sacrifice and how hard they work,” Anderson said. “So that first state title wasn’t a surprise to me. It was a surprise to everybody else. But I kind of expected it based on the time and investment that I’d put in.”

 

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About the Contributor
Will Banfield
Will Banfield, Staff
Will is a senior at Forest Hills Central High School and this is his first year on the FHC Sports Report staff. Will plays varsity soccer, runs cross country in the fall, and runs track in the spring. Wills enjoys hanging out with his friends and also playing on the same teams with them. Will enjoys photography in his free time and is employed at Thornapple River Nursery. Will's favorite sports teams include¬† Chicago Fire, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, and Manchester City.   Favorite Travel Destination: Las Vegas Favorite Food: Hot Wings Favorite Season: Spring Biggest Fear: Getting yelled at by a coach  

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