As the Gopher Wrestling season nears, gophersports.com will bring in 2017 freshmen and get to know them as they begin their wrestling careers at the University of Minnesota.
This week we meet with Brent Jones, a freshman from Shakopee, Minn. who won is a four-time Minnesota state champ out of Shakopee. His state titles came at three different weights: 106 as a freshman, 120 as a sophomore and 126 as a junior.
Gophersports.com: Tell me about yourself and your journey to get to Minnesota
Brent Jones: “I’m from Shakopee, Minnesota. It’s in-state. I started wrestling in second grade and just have been ever since. I went to Pinnacle which is a really good club in Minnesota and they taught me and everything. Throughout high school, I did pretty well. Four-time state champ through Pinnacle, I give all the credit to my club coaches on that.”
GS: Why Minnesota?
BJ: “I have always wanted to stay at home, I grew up with the Gophers. And once I got that call from Becker and Eggum, I just knew that was kind of destiny.”
GS: Did you have a favorite Gopher wrestler when you were younger?
BJ: “Ness, for sure. Jason Ness.”
GS: Why wrestling?
BJ: “It was kind of weird, my dad saw it in a magazine one day and he decided I should try it because I had a lot of energy as a little kid. I’m the first in my family [to wrestle].”
GS: Can you describe your brand of wrestling?
BJ: “I’d say wait and react and I’d also say kind of funky. Scramble-wise and stuff like that Jarod Lawrence up there, taught me. Just to go with the flow. He’s helped me to create my wrestling style.”
GS: Any one moment you remember?
BJ: “My first state title and all the nerves going through. Ninth grade was just insane and being the first ever from my high school to win it was just a really big honor too.”
GS: What goes into being a four-time state champ that people don’t see?
BJ: “I don’t know, just preparation. I guess, mentally you got to be there, emotionally. And I’m a faith-based person too, so spiritually too.”
GS: What do you think was that one moment when you thought ‘I can do this.’?
BJ: “Kind of just the confidence my coaches had in me. And telling myself that, that was my goal. And I had winning state written on my piece of paper. Everyday I’d write it out, I’d just write it out in my notebook to remind myself of my goals."
GS: What are some of your goals for this year?
BJ: “My goals are to win as many freshman tournaments as I can. And just to get better every day and to improve every day.”
GS: Explain to someone who doesn’t wrestle, what goes on mentally in a match?
BJ: “I’d say beginning of the match, I do a prayer before every match which kind of gets me relaxed and spiritually there and emotionally there. And just throughout the match you don’t really have a mind at all, it’s just pure process of your body movements. I don’t really think when I wrestle until the buzzer at the end of the match.”
GS: What would you say is something you want to focus on?
BJ: “Getting stronger. Weight lifting, I wasn’t the biggest weight lifter in high school and I want to get into that a develop my strength. I think with the strength, everything else will come with it.”
GS: What are some other things that you are interested in?
BJ: “I watch Netflix a lot. I like Frisbee golf. We have a course in Shakopee I used to go to all the time.”
GS: What are your aspirations years down the road?
BJ: “I want to win a national title obviously, that’s the goal. And to be a four-time All-American, that’s another goal of mine.”
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