Senior Brayden Eddy knocks out football to pursue wrestling


Nayeon Ryu

Senior Brayden Eddy pins down his opponent from Parkway South. Eddy wrestles year-round now that he has more time without football. “I don’t really feel anything during the match. It’s just me and the other guy wrestling,” Eddy said. “I try not to bring my emotions into my matches.”

Running down the football field, ball in hand, senior Brayden Eddy considers the pain in his neck and the ramifications that a severe football-induced injury could have on his future. 

“[I started playing] because it was the thing to do; everybody played football. I lived in Texas, so it was super popular there. Everybody played, so I wanted to be with all my friends,” Eddy said.

Over the course of 10 years, playing on the freshman, JV and varsity team during high school, Eddy’s football career came to a close as he looks towards wrestling in college.  

“I felt great [playing football]; it was a lot of fun. It was a sport that I learned a lot from, both in football and my life,” Eddy said. “I learned about teamwork and doing your part.”

Eddy began wrestling freshman year and wrestles year-round now.

“I have a couple of wrestling scholarship offers on the table, [so] that was one of the main reasons that I quit,” Eddy said. “I don’t want to get hurt in the last season [of football] and then not be able to wrestle in college.”

One week after a game at Parkway North, Eddy made his decision to quit football. 

“In the game at North, I got hit and kind of hurt my neck, but the pain went away within a few plays, so I thought it was fine. But on Saturday and Sunday, my neck was in pretty serious pain and a neck injury is not one I’m willing to risk, so that was what really made my final decision,” Eddy said. “I had been getting hurt every week, not really any serious injuries, but football [has] a lot more explosive-injury-type plays [than wrestling]. In football, I could be running [with] the ball, somebody could hit me, and I’d get hurt. In wrestling, it’s a lot less [head-on] contact–it’s all tension.” 

Although it was abrupt, the team has been supportive and understanding of his choice. 

“I don’t think people are super concerned about [injuries], but it’s always there for anyone looking to play at the next level,” Eddy said. “[I quit because] it was either the injuries or being worried about getting an injury. The football program here is great and everything; I have nothing against them.” 

Looking to the future, Eddy is considering wrestling for schools such as Utah Valley University and Concordia College

“I like the fact that [wrestling] is just one-on-one and all the pressure to do good is on you because that means you get all the glory,” Eddy said. “My favorite experience was going to state and winning. Wrestling is amazing and I would recommend it for anyone.”