MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - High School Wrestling is beginning to heat up. Sectionals were last weekend and States are a little over a week away, and over at Maumee, they've got a senior who will not only be wrestling in college, but will also be serving our country.
Brandon Phillips knows what it takes to become a state champion wrestler. Last year, he made it all the way to the final match of the year down in Columbus, only to come up just short. But that experience has driven everything he's done this year.
"The experience was unreal," said Phillips. "Obviously, I was upset that I couldn't follow through and win it, but I think about it every day. I've dreamed about it every night, and I'm so excited to get back there and give it another shot."
In the Maumee wrestling room, there is a board with all of their state qualifiers. Phillips name is at the bottom of that board and it says second place. Every practice, that serves as a reminder of just how close he came last year.
"I stare at it just about all practice, every practice," says Phillips. "It hurts. Second place is not my goal. I want to be on top, I want to be number one."
Whenever his Maumee career ends, Phillips has a much higher calling in life. He was recruited for wrestling and has signed to go to West Point. He's always wanted to serve in the military, so this was the perfect fit.
"I love this country, it's my home, it's been my home, and it always will be my home," said Phillips. "To get to serve for my country is just the ultimate thing I can think of."
Before he trades in his singlet for his army boots, Phillips has some work to do before he makes that return trip to Columbus to finish what he started. He's trying to become Maumee's first state champion since 2004.
He has already won an NLL title this year and won the sectional title this past weekend.