High School Sports

Lafayette twins take different approach to state wrestling tournament

Twins Will Bryant, left, and Sam Bryant are in the state wrestling tournament in weight classes 70 pounds apart — 119 and 189.
Twins Will Bryant, left, and Sam Bryant are in the state wrestling tournament in weight classes 70 pounds apart — 119 and 189.

Most people don't believe Lafayette High School wrestlers Will and Sam Bryant when they introduce themselves as twin brothers.

"Most of the time we have to show our ID's," Will said.

It's easy to see why. Besides their birthday, they don't have a lot in common.

They were born Sept. 1, 1992, with Will arriving five minutes before his brother.

Will is a 5-foot-3 senior who wrestles at 119 pounds. Sam is a 5-11 senior who competes at 189 pounds.

Will has dark hair. Sam has close-cropped red hair.

Will likes country music. Sam calls himself "a hip-hop kind of guy."

Will is serious-minded. "Sam got the funny genes, the comedy genes," Will said.

They've taken only two classes together in four years of high school.

Sam also has played football for Lafayette. Will has been a year-round wrestler.

They do like a few of the same things, including Chinese food and action movies (Full Metal Jacket is a favorite).

And, of course, they share a love of wrestling, and both will be competing in the state tournament in Frankfort this week.

Will is region champ for the second year in a row. Sam qualified for the state as region runner-up.

"I just like the physical challenge of wrestling, the whole struggle of it," Will said.

So does Sam.

"I like the physicality of it," he said. "If you win, you win because you put in the solid effort in practice. It's all up to you."

The Bryants got an early exposure to the sport when older brother Ben wrestled at Tates Creek.

"We were little kids running around on the mats," Will said.

They went out for Lafayette's wrestling team as eighth-graders, and Generals Coach Chris McCoy has watched them develop.

"They're both hard workers and great leaders," he said. "They do what they need to reach personal goals, but they're here for the team, too, to help it do well."

McCoy said there's no sibling rivalry between them.

"Because of their size difference, they're not wrestling for the same spot or competing against each other. They pull for each other and cheer each other on."

Will, who spends his summers attending clinics and tournaments across the nation, is more accomplished on the mat. He finished fourth in the state at 112 pounds as a sophomore, and was fifth at 119 last year. He'll take a 38-1 record to the state tournament.

Sam, whose late summer is occupied by football, was an alternate in the state tournament last year. He's 33-9 this season.

■ Lafayette's Camden Hanley (112 pounds) and Jimmy Lacy (130) also head to Frankfort as region champs. The Generals' Luke Rearic (103) qualified as runner-up.

■ Henry Clay won its first-ever region team title last weekend, qualifying nine wrestlers for the state tournament, led by Joe Whalen, who's rated No. 1 at 145 pounds. His younger brother Mike (103) and Andrew Ogg (145) are also region champs. The Blue Devils' other state qualifiers are Hussein Ayoub (125), Joe Mims (135), Cameron McCoig (140), Brenden Tuggle (152), Ryan Duzyk (171) and John Garrett (189).

■ Henry Clay has "Doc" stitched on its team jackets in memory of Dr. Scott Guiler, who died last spring. He had been the unofficial team doctor, and three of his sons — Cody, Matt and Zach — wrestled for the Devils.

■ Tates Creek's state qualifiers are Naser Equal (112), Adam Sulieman (119), Alberto Velasco (130), Marshall Aiken (145), Colt Brown (152), Drew Kinsel (160), Jacob Soard (189), Freddy Shadeh (215) and Terrell Moore (285).

■ Paul Laurence Dunbar will send region winner Tucker Lyles (171) to Frankfort, along with Brad Milford (119) and Bill Davis (285).

■ Bryan Station's only state qualifier was Taymarcus Taylor (103).