original photo courtesy of Lori Nichols; NJ.com
This week’s High Wrestler of the Week is Brandon Green of Paulsboro High School, in Paulsboro, New Jersey. Brandon captured the 170 lb championship at the Escape the Rock tournament hosted by Council Rock South High School in Holland, Pennsylvania.
Seeded second in his bracket, Brandon advanced to the semifinals on the strength of a pair of first period falls and a forfeit. In the semis, Green was paired up with seventh-ranked Lenny Pinto (Stroudsburg, PA). Pinto was a Pennsylvania third-place finisher last season as a sophomore and a U16 national champion in freestyle. Despite giving up the first takedown, Green locked up a cradle and earned the fall over Pinto in only 1:06. For the championship, Brandon faced another returning Pennsylvania placewinner Angel Garcia (Mariana Bracetti, PA). Like Pinto, Garcia also had success this summer in Fargo, as he was a Junior National Champion in Greco-Roman. Locked in a 5-5 tie at the start of the third period, Brandon picked up an early reversal, which ended up being the deciding factor in his 7-6 win.
The 170 lb bracket at Escape the Rock proved to be one of the more difficult weights in the tournament. To get to the finals, Garcia needed to get through 17th ranked Jaden Bullock (Oscar Smith, VA). Last year at this tournament, Garcia defeated Green 3-1 in the semifinals. Brandon would take third place by downing Pinto, 6-3. He also placed at this tournament as a sophomore when he was fifth at 170 lbs.
Green is a senior that has already signed to continue his wrestling career at Virginia Tech. Brandon is a returning New Jersey state champion at 170 lbs who is part of a recruiting class for Hokie head coach Tony Robie that was ranked second in the nation during TOM’s November Recruiting Rankings. With his success this weekend, Brandon is sure to move up from his current spot at #13 in the national rankings at 170 lbs.