Wrestlers are known for taking on any and all comers, never knowing for sure exactly who they will face when they arrive for high-level tournaments.
However, a wrestler at a state tournament in Colorado wanted no part of his upcoming match when he found out he was facing a girl.
Brendan Johnston declined to face female wrestler Angel Rios in the 106-pound consolation bracket, even though it could have meant getting a chance to place in the statewide tournament.
As Johnston explains it, he just didn’t want to “treat a young lady like that on the mat.”
“And I guess the physical aggression, too. I don’t want to treat a young lady like that on the mat. Or off the mat. And not to disrespect the heart or the effort that she’s put in. That’s not what I want to do, either.”
Johnston’s gesture is even more impressive when you consider what the forfeiture did to his overall record.
According to the Denver Post:
Johnston won 37 of his 43 matches during his senior year at The Classical Academy. Five of those six losses came via forfeit. Four of those forfeits came against Rios.
‘Wrestling is something we do, it’s not who we are,” Johnston explained to the Post. ‘And there are more important things to me than my wrestling. And I’m willing to have those priorities.’
Johnston knocked himself out of the 2018 state tournament in similar fashion when he declined to wrestle Cayden Condit. On Saturday, the decision not to wrestle put an end to his high school wrestling career.
Johnston also forfeited a match against the other female opponent in the tournament, Jaslynn Gallegos.
“Rios went on to finish fourth in the Class 3A 106-pound weight class. Along with Jaslynn Gallegos, who finished fifth in the same weight class, Rios became the first girl to place at the Colorado state tournament.”
Rios ended her season with a 23-3 record.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn