Brown aims for All-America status
Steve Brown has won the last two Mid-American Conference Championships he competed in.
Two seasons ago, Brown won at 157 pounds, defeating Bryan O’Connor from Northern Illinois 7-3 in the finals.
A year ago, Brown won at 149 pounds, avenging a regular-season loss to Buffalo’s Desmond Green in the finals.
Heading into the national tournament last year, Brown competed well enough during the regular season to come in as the No. 11 seed.
However, after an arm injury in his first-round match against Michael Roberts of Boston University, coach Tom Borrelli said he did not know if Brown was going to be able to wrestle his next match.
“He was wrestling basically with one arm,” he said. “We didn’t know if he was going to compete from round to round.”
He lost his next match to No. 6 Jake Patacsil of Purdue, but went on to win two more in the consolation bracket before falling 9-8 to eventual third-place finisher Kyle Ruschell.
A new year
Coming into his senior season, Brown said he will not let an injury or anything else stop him from any accomplishment he can achieve.
“Things happen, and you can’t do much about it,” he said. “That is one of the biggest motivators this year is that things happen. But I don’t want that to stop me from getting back to where I was, if not further.”
Brown’s drive, like every CMU wrestler, is to win a national championship, but his mentality has started to change regarding how he gets it compared to his early years.
“Now that I’m going up a weight class, I have to prove myself again,” he said. “I’m ready for the challenges and I want to show everyone that I deserve to win. As much as I want to say I want to be a national champion, I’d rather show it.”
Brown said his focus with the coaching staff was not where it needed to be in the past. Now, Brown said he sees how valuable the help the coaches gave him was.
“At lot of it was being time to grow up and realize that everything Coach (Borrelli) was saying to me the last few years has been going in one ear and out the other,” he said. “Then, when I got to thinking about it, it started making sense.”
Brown said he needed to be more of a leader last year, but he will embrace the role this season.
While Brown won the MAC championship at 157 pounds as a sophomore, he said he was not ready at the time to win on a national scale.
“When I was a sophomore, I didn’t compete as well because I wasn’t strong enough,” he said. “This year, that is the biggest difference. I am strong enough.”
And when Brown does take the mat for CMU, Borrelli said people can see the attitude Brown brings every day to practice as Brown lines up in front of his opponent.
“You see so much of your personality come out when you are training or competing because the sport naturally strips you down,” he said.