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Heavyweight Honcho
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Heavyweight Honcho

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There are a lot of Brandons, but there’s only one “Metz.” Just ask anyone at West Fargo High School, where everyone refers to Brandon Metz by his last name.

The senior went undefeated in wrestling during his junior year, winning the North Dakota state championship at the 285 weight class. As a dominant lineman and a star wrestler at West Fargo, Metz is currently spending his time preparing for his upcoming wrestling season.
Metz started wrestling when he was four years old, and remembers having to face kids 3-4 years older than him.

“You don’t realize when you’re young, but when you grow up and you go through life, you realize what wrestling has given you,” Metz said introspectively. “There’s a quote from Dan Gable: Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

Metz is a force to be reckoned with on the mat, and constantly references his personal motto: Go big or go home.

“I’m very explosive,” Metz said when asked about his wrestling style, “There’s not a whole lot of mystery behind me. I’m not a very timid wrestler. That’s how I like to live my life.”

Metz lived up to his “go big or go home” mantra at last July’s Greco-Roman national tournament. He won a national title in North Dakota Division A for the second year in a row, last year in the cadet division (15-16 year olds) and this year in the more competitive junior division (17-18).

Metz said that Greco-Roman is one of his favorite wrestling styles to compete in, and is appreciative of the support he received from “Team North Dakota,” the friends and family that came to support him at the tournament.

In the first 30 seconds of his final match for the national title, Metz pinned his opponent.
“I hit him with a lateral drop,” Metz said. “After a little bit into the match, he pressured in. I started rolling pretty fast, and the success just came. That goes back to go big or go home. If you work that hard toward your goal, success is something that should come your way.”

Metz is a powerhouse on the mat but has also encountered obstacles on the road to victory.

“Sophomore year of wrestling, I hit some adversity in my life,” Metz said. “That January, I had a conversation with my dad. He said: you need to stay true to yourself and do what’s best for you.”

Since that conversation with his father, Metz says he can count on one hand how many wrestling matches he’s lost since that day.

“The adversity that you face, that is what forms us in our everyday life, not our success.” Metz said. “I look back at that adversity, and I think it’s why my life is so positive now.”
Metz says that his setbacks made him stronger and helped him solidify his “go big or go home” mentality in the training room. He also recognizes the intense sense of discipline that wrestling has instilled in him, with its unique combination as an individual sport and a team sport.

“You gotta go in the room, and think, I want to get a little bit better,” Metz said. “That’s how you compete every day. You gotta go all out. Wrestling teaches you self-dedication. You can’t put the blame on someone else. It’s you. When you have success from that, it makes that so much greater. If you did it, it was you.”

Metz is quick to credit his parents and his coaches, Kevin Fynboh and Ben Berogan, with the success he’s enjoyed in the sport. He recalls long weekend drives with his father as they drove to out-of-town (and sometimes out-of-state) wrestling tournaments.

“My family has given me pretty much everything I ever wanted in life,” Metz said. “My dad saw what the sport had to offer, and he wanted to get me involved with it.”
Metz recognizes his father as one of his major role models and advocates both on and off the mat. The two would often drive long hours to other towns for practices and tournaments on the weekend, and often spent that time in the car discussing Metz’s upcoming matches.

“I’d always ask him: what move do I hit? What do I do if this happens?” Metz laughed and added, “I probably overthought it a lot.”

Metz and his longtime teammate Jesse Shearer are serving as co-captains on the wrestling team for their senior year. As one of the leaders on the team, Metz wants to focus on improving himself and helping the younger wrestlers on the team.

“I think you actually learn more when you’re teaching than wrestling,” Metz said.

In addition to experiencing a high level of success in both football and wrestling, Metz was recently crowned homecoming king and elected as the senior class president, and he also keeps busy with choir and Philanthropy and Youth (PAY), a group that donates money to nonprofit organizations.

“I wouldn’t want to change anything right now, to be honest,” Metz said happily.

When asked what he was looking to achieve in the upcoming wrestling season, Metz said, “It goes back to the hard work. Just to improve as a wrestler. I won’t say I want to go undefeated. You can’t say that, it’s just the way the sport is. I just want to get better every day. Go into the match with the same mentality. Not overthinking it and staying focused throughout the whole year. You lose focus for one match and you’ll probably lose. That’s just the reality of it all.”
Metz has committed to North Dakota State in both wrestling and football, although he’ll be classified as a walk-on in football. Metz has been offered a wrestling scholarship and has already established a good relationship with the NDSU coaches and team, and is anticipating a pretty smooth transition into next year’s wrestling season. Metz is looking to enter NDSU as a sociology or psychology major.

“I want to help people and make an impact on their lives,” Metz said. “I think that is the best path for me.”

As he looks to the future, Metz is most looking forward to seeing how he grows both as an athlete and a person, because, as he says, “There is always room for improvement.”

West Fargo’s wrestling competitions kick off in December, and with Metz’s intense discipline and focused mentality, he is ready to tackle any obstacle, or opponent, in his path. FMSV