Braden River High senior Sam Massenburg captured the Class 2A- District 11 championship at 170 pounds Feb. 2, becoming the second wrestler in school history to win a district championship. Massenburg followed up his performance with a second-place finish at the Class 2A-Region 3 tournament Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, at Charlotte High. As the regional runner-up, Massenburg, who is the only Pirate wrestler to win a district championship and finish as the regional runner-up, earned a berth in the FHSAA Finals Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, at the Lakeland Center.
Now, Massenburg could become the first Braden River wrestler to place at the state tournament.
"I was ecstatic when I won the district championship. I’m proud that I made it so far — knowing where I came from and making myself into a champion.
I lost every match my freshman year. My mentality about things changed.
It felt great. I’ve never been to the state tournament before, so this is a whole new door that I’m walking through, I guess.
I want to place first at the state meet. I always want to be the best or be the best that I can be. I’ve been working hard and training hard every day.
Wrestling is a man-to-man sport. I like team sports, too, but I like to be able to advance myself.
That’s my everything. Being a state champion is what I’ve been training for. Knowing all of the hard work and time I put into it, I would feel accomplished.
Everything about wrestling is hard; your love of the sport and making sure you’re always strong. If you lose, you really have to know it’s what you want to do.
Winning districts and having my team there to support me was the greatest moment. Having their (help) felt really good and (helped) account for my success."