Freeman Program Brings Out Best In Wrestlers Three Contenders Have Different Stories, But Share Same Goals
Three Freeman High School wrestlers from divergent geographic locations have produced a common result.
Combined, seniors Dustin Reed, Beau Bradley and Mike Amend, are the most Freeman wrestlers in one year to qualify for the Region IV A-B Tournament, concluding today in Chelan.
“I will miss these guys tremendously (when they graduate),” said seventh-year coach Ted Lundgren. “They have grown up through the program, are strong leaders and are inspirations as well as models.”
Reed has attended Freeman schools for all 12 years. The rangy 190-pounder was Freeman’s best football lineman and has been a varsity wrestler for four years. He is a repeat regional performer who missed by one place qualifying for the state tournament last year.
Bradley attended Ferris High School before coming to Freeman and still lives in the Ferris district. The 168-pounder was an all-league tight end in football and is a thirdyear wrestler.
“My sister was not doing well in school and my parents thought this would be better,” he said. “I came out with her and liked it better than she did.”
After a semester Bradley’s sister went back to Ferris, but he stayed.
Amend attended Mead schools before following his father, Superintendent Harry Amend, to Freeman as a freshman. The 101-pounder is another fourth-year wrestler.
“I had gotten beaten up (in junior high wrestling) and was feeling down,” Amend said. “My dad said Freeman was in a tournament in Leavenworth and if I came out by Wednesday I might be eligible.
“I’m not exactly a physical specimen and wouldn’t have done sports at Mead.”
All three, however, have been a part of Freeman’s rise in wrestling credibility. The Scotties were 3-4 during their second year in the Northeast A League, qualified eight wrestlers to district and pushed the trio on to this weekend’s state qualifying meet.
“This is the best team I’ve put together,” said Lundgren. “These guys stepped up to a level they needed in order to go on.”
Reed weighed 220 pounds as an eighth grader. After losing 20 pounds because of illness, he exercised away another 30 pounds because he liked his new appearance.
“He was recruited heavily for basketball and wrestling,” said Lundgren. “I think the only reason he chose wrestling is because we started practice at 3:30 p.m.”
Last year Reed compiled a 19-5 record, finishing fourth in a league weight class that included the state’s first- and third-place wrestlers.
This year he was 18-6 but reached the league tournament finals.
“Going in as a No. 2 seed will help,” he said. “It all comes down to wrestling smart.”
Discovered by Lundgren in football, Bradley decided to give wrestling a shot his sophomore season. This has been his best season. After a slow start he wound up 19-6 and third in district.
“I’m wrestling better now,” he said. “I’m more aggressive.”
Bradley is one of the team leaders in takedowns with 32 and was the one who chose warmup music (AC-DC and Guns ‘n Roses) at home meets.
The outgoing Amend’s size made wrestling a natural participatory sport, although baseball is his first love.
“I got beat up really bad my freshman and sophomore years,” he said. “Last year I was over .500. This year has been a lot better.”
Amend went 19-4 with a team high 12 pins and designed the team’s warmup T-shirts. It has been his goal and the goals of his teammates to qualify for a trip to Tacoma.
“I believe and they believe they can go to state,” said Lundgren.
Today will tell the tale.