Nye happy to be back on the mats
Brendan Nye decided to go back to his wrestling roots.
The Catasauqua senior returned to the sport this winter, and he took a rather unusual route to get there. A few years ago, his current 8-5 record in the 127-pound bracket seemed like an eternity away.
Nye decided not to wrestle his freshman year after he was sidelined with surgeries on his ankle and knee after he broke plates in both places wrestling in eighth grade. It was going to be roughly a 14-month rehab.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Nye. “My ankle happened in practice, and my knee happened when I tripped. I went down hard in both cases, and I wasn’t sure what had happened.
“It was painful, and I knew it would take a while to come back from.”
He decided to make the switch to basketball his freshman year.
“I went out for basketball my freshman year and sat on the bench,” he recalled. “I still could feel some pain in my knee and ankle. I wore a knee pad to be cautious. It was a different experience.
“I only played rec basketball growing up.”
Still reeling from the effects of both surgeries, Nye chose to go back to wrestling – a sport he began at the age of three - his sophomore year, but he couldn’t put it all together.
“It just didn’t work out,” he noted. “I really didn’t like the experience. It was frustrating that I couldn’t totally do what I wanted to do.
“I ended up quitting in practice.”
Nye decided to go back to basketball, and he regained a positive outlook.
“Basketball was good, and I ended up being a starting guard,” said Nye. “We didn’t win, but I kept working at it. I wasn’t really good at it, but it was different.
“I figured it was time to go back to wrestling for my senior year.”
In his early days of wrestling, Nye figured it would be his sport. He was aided by his stepfather and current head coach Joe Russo, who guided him along the way.
“He always had been there for me,” said Nye. “He coached me in every sport that I played. He has been with me since I was two, and he is a very important person in my life who has taught me everything I know.”
Russo was pleased to see Nye back in the fold, and spend a final year on the mats with friends and fellow seniors Will Bear, Gavin Fehr, and Trevor Rigits.
“It’s great to see him back out,” said Russo. “He started wrestling with Fehr and some of the other guys in the youth program and did well. This fall, we talked and I told him that we have a good team and need someone at his weight. I thought it would be fun for him with the other seniors on the team that he hangs out with like Gavin, Will, and Trevor.
“He placed in the Rough Rider tournament and had a big pin for us against Southern Lehigh. I’m obviously happy to see him return and finish what we started together many years ago.”
Nye has accumulated many accolades along the way. He will always remember a tournament match in fifth grade in which he was losing with 12 seconds left and flipped his opponent for a pin.
This season, Nye has changed his wrestling style, going from throws and cradles to being more technical. He has overcome an arm injury, and is ready for the season’s final chapter.
He plans to pursue a career as a teacher and will either attend Kutztown University or Northampton Community College and then transfer.
Nye still has a passion for soccer, a sport he has played since his early youth. He has entertained the thought of someday coaching the sport.
Until then, it is all wrestling, the sport that never got away from him.
“We have a good team and we all support each other,” said Nye. “We all believe we can have a good postseason, and we all have to keep working.”
Nye is one wrestler who knows what working hard is all about.