If you’re going to do anything, then do it at 100 percent or don’t do it at all.
That’s what Brian Broderick’s father has told him ever since he began wrestling at the age of four.
Now a senior at the College, this 184-pounder is one of the favorites to come home with a national title, an achievement only a few could ever fathom.
As last year’s national finalist, Broderick has the tools and the talent to go the distance. With this season being his final year of eligibility, the senior knows that in order to make it to the promised land, there is no holding back.
While Broderick is a member of the 100-win club and both an Academic and Athletic All-American, it wasn’t always easy. At one point during the summer before his junior year, Broderick had enough and decided to quit the sport that had given him so much.
“I lost my match (at nationals) in overtime so it was a heartbreaker for me, because I felt like I wasted a whole year of work just to come up short,” Broderick said. “It takes a lot out of you, training eight months out of the year, and then it comes down to the last two days of the final tournament, and it cuts you down a bit.”
While the decision to take a break from the mats may have seemed sudden, the year off gave Broderick time to refocus and get his priorities in order.
“That was my first year I really ever had off from wrestling in my entire life,” he said. “So it was nice to have a break there, because I was wrestling for 17 years straight. I just needed to reassess everything that I was doing and make sure that if I was going to wrestle, I was going to go 100 percent, and that is what I did.”
When Broderick finally returned to the mats, his confidence and love for the sport followed suit. In his third year of eligibility, he had a remarkable season, finishing with a 28-3 record and making the national finals. And in addition to his individual success, Broderick was beginning to show signs of true leadership.
“The other guys start performing at levels they don’t normally compete at because Brian sets the bar so high (and) they feel the need to try to reach that same level,” head coach Joe Galante said. “He is a dedicated student athlete and a total leader by example . . . He can walk the walk and talk the talk, and he does it with a great personality.”
Along with wrestling, Broderick has had his fair share of success in the classroom and was recently awarded the honor of being an Academic All-American.
“I was pretty proud because I’ve been really focusing on my school work and have been putting the time in,” Broderick said. “And (although) it’s tiring, when you achieve a status like that, then it’s well worth it in the end. We have had over 120 Athletic All-Americans (in our program) and we’ve only had 31 Academic All-Americans, which is quite a bit fewer, so it is cool to join that club as well.”
With Broderick’s collegiate career winding down, he knows that the only thing missing from his impressive résumé is the national title.
“I fell a little short last year when I lost in the finals,” he said. “I’ve been battling some injuries this year, but I feel like I’ve made some progress over the past couple of weeks and I’m ready to go.”
When Broderick does go onto the mats in mid-March to compete, one thing is for sure: He will follow his father’s advice, and give it 100 percent.