Buck won’t stop until he is on top
History often repeats itself, and senior Bobcat wrestler Brandon Buck hopes it does in his case as well.
As a senior last year, Matt Dukes won the state championship for Basehor-Linwood a year after finishing second as junior.
Buck is in a position to make history repeat itself for Bobcat wrestling by following in Dukes' footsteps.
He already has the second- place finish as a junior.
Now, he is poised and ready to become a champion as a senior.
He's also got opposing coaches convinced he's ready. They rank him No. 1 in his weight division in 4A.
One thing that will not be standing in his way is his confidence. He fully expects to be standing alone a top the podium come March.
"I want to go undefeated, and be a state champion," Buck said. "And keep my grades up.
"I have a real good shot at if I train hard and stay focused."
He knows what he can do well. He said he is better at technique than his opponents, and he is stronger than most opponents.
On the other hand, Buck struggles to think of, or at least admit, his weaknesses.
"I'm kind of weak on my feet, but I have a lot of confidence in myself," he said.
For Buck, wrestling is second nature. He has wrestled since he was 7 years old and has traveled the country competing. It is in his blood.
"(Wrestling's) been in our family for a long time," Buck said. "My cousins do it. My dad did it. He got me started."
Buck has achieved more than his father, he said, but he has goals to go farther.
He could taste victory last year after making his way to the championship match. He eventually fell, but being so close motivated him to work toward improving this year.
"I worked all summer," he said. "All summer I lifted weights to get stronger, and I worked on technique."
His hard work is beginning to pay big dividends. He now benches 320 pounds, more than twice his own body weight.
His head coach, Scott Neil, likes Buck's chances this year, but it Neil's job to make sure Buck keeps a level head.
"He's worked hard to become stronger," Neil said. "However, in other aspects he has not worked hard enough, and I've talked to him about that. He's got some work to do.
"He should have won last year, but I fully expect him to win this year."