Assumption's Julien Broderson
'Funky' style: When Broderson weighed in the morning of his Class 2A 182-pound state championship match last month, he was nine pounds under the allotment.
Throughout his high school career, Broderson's weight has been well below the class he has competed.
"People always pick on me because I never have to cut any weight," Broderson said, "but it has definitely helped my wrestling."
Broderson has somewhat of an unorthodox style. He said much of that stems from wrestling for Martinez Wrestling Club in the Chicago area. He lived there in fifth, sixth and seventh grades before moving back to the Quad-Cities.
"I want to be seen as really funky," he said. "Being there in Illinois, it brought me to another level and style. It seems in Illinois those wrestlers do different moves you don't see as often in Iowa."
That, combined with doing freestyle and greco wrestling in the offseason, has enhanced Broderson's skills. He finished fourth in greco at Fargo nationals last summer.
"I was a lot more comfortable this year in different positions," he said. "A lot of people strictly wrestle folkstyle, but you don't get put into too many dangerous positions. When you wrestle greco, which I enjoy the most, you're uncomfortable a lot and have to adapt to that kind of wrestling.
"That has helped me, and it definitely carries over to the folkstyle season."
Building his legacy: Broderson grew up watching former Assumption greats Brody Grothus and Topher Carton. As a middle schooler, he was enticed by Bettendorf state champions Fredy Stroker and Logan Ryan.
"I remember looking up to them and thinking they were all gods," Broderson admitted. "That's what I want little kids to think about me. I want them to grow up and be like me, and that keeps building on our legacy at Assumption."
Broderson can join Josh Watts as the only wrestler in Assumption history to claim three state championships in a Knights singlet next winter.
Not just wrestling: Broderson competed in the War at West Gym on Saturday night in Cedar Falls against Iowa State recruit Tyler Buesgens of Minnesota. Buesgens, ranked 17th nationally, beat Broderson 12-4.
Still, it was a chance for Broderson to get exposure from college programs.
Broderson plans to start attending Assumption baseball workouts in preparation for the summer season. He also hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing football next fall.
College talk: Broderson did not tip his hand about what colleges were at the top of his list right now. Wrestling is in his future.
He plans to take the ACT in April. Once he receives that result, he'll begin sorting through and narrowing his options. Broderson said there are about eight schools involved right now, four that are pretty serious.
"I'm open to all options right now," he said. "Obviously, the main goal is to go Division I, but if there is a college out there I go and visit and really like, that's where I'm going to go."
-- Compiled by Matt Coss