MASON – Growing up with a father who was a former collegiate wrestler, Brad Wilton has been groomed for a career on the mat for as long as he can remember. And luckily for Wilton, that’s all he’s ever wanted.
The Mason High School senior, who started wrestling at the age of 4, spent much of his childhood learning the ropes from his dad and aspiring to one day follow in his footsteps.
His dream came true Monday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to wrestle for Michigan State next season.
“It’s been a part of my life, it’s been my lifestyle,” the 189-pound Wilton said. “It’s been a dream of mine to wrestle at the collegiate level, and I’m proud to say that I can do that now.
“It’s a dream come true for me.”
The signing was even more special for Wilton because of where he was committing to. Before he got to high school, Wilton and senior teammate JD Greathouse would often go see Greathouse’s older brother, Tony, wrestle for the Spartans.
Wilton grew up around the program, and it was the place he always envisioned himself going as a young grappler on the rise.
“We’ve always been around MSU, gone to practices at MSU,” Wilton said. “It was a surreal moment (when I signed).”
Before he heads for East Lansing, Wilton wants to get his hands on a state championship. As a junior last year, Wilton, who had a record of 48-4, made it all the way to the Division 2 state title match before losing to Lowell’s Max Dean.
Wilton said he understands that he can’t look too far ahead this season, but he’s focusing all of his attention on grabbing the elusive championship. Mason coach Brian Martel said Wilton, who he describes as an “even-keeled kid,” has upped his intensity as he prepares for his final year with the Bulldogs.
“Falling short in the state title (match), I think that kind of lit a fire under him last year,” Martel added. “He always balances his time with football, and other commitments, during the summer, but he did some summer wrestling this year down in Florida. He was real competitive down there with some elite competition.
“We’ve already seen him take that next step.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.