South Dade senior wrestler Bretli Reyna is building on his legacy.
The three-time state champion won the prestigious Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C., and was named the Adidas High School Wrestler of the Week.
“This was huge because I didn’t think he would ever get the respect he deserves,” South Dade head coach Vic Balmeceda said.
Reyna won the 145-pound title as the 10-seed over Missouri native and top-seeded Josh Saunders with an 8-7 win in the most prestigious tournament in the country.
“It was a good feeling to finally accomplish something that not many wrestlers can do,” Reyna said. “It was very exciting. There were so many mixed emotions running through my body at that time.”
He wrestled at a higher weight class than he originally expected after winning the 132-pound state title as a junior.
“I was actually supposed to go 138 for the tournament,” Reyna said. “I got back from Michigan from the previous tournament, checked my weight and
I was just too heavy.
I could have made the weight and I’m used to doing that, but I didn’t want to go 138, I wanted to go 145. Then I told my mom, ‘Look I’m going to come home with a belt.’”
The Super 32 title was the second title in a national tournament for Reyna in as many weeks as he also took home the crown at the Michigan Grappler in East Lansing.
“He’s had a great career with three state titles and countless All-American honors, but has not put it all together at the right time and won a national tournament,” Balmeceda said. “To win two in a row and the style he did as the third-seed last week and somewhat disrespected. This tournament (at the Super 32) he was seeded 10th and he had to go through the 3-seed, 2-seed, and 1-seed to win it.”
The two titles were big accomplishments, but Reyna is not satisfied.
“I still want more,” Reyna said. “There’s always something better out there and I know that I can accomplish more. There’s always room for improvement and I always want to get better.”
Reyna, who has amassed a 175-5 record at South Dade, has two official visits for colleges planned in the upcoming weeks to Iowa and Lehigh while others such as Ohio State and North Carolina are also vying for his services.
“If it’s the right choice I think I should have my decision after I visit Lehigh and most likely I think that will be the case and I might have my choice by early November,” Reyna said.
With Reyna, who plans to wrestle at 145 as a senior, as the Bucs’ top returner along with other key returners including junior state runner-up Joshua Swan, South Dade will be looking for a seventh consecutive state championship and 15th overall when the season begins in November.
“All you ever want is a shot to win a state title and we absolutely have a
realistic chance to win state this year,” Balmeceda said. “I think we have the firepower to at least make it interesting. Southwest Miami is on the rise and Fleming Island is always going to be challenging, but I feel we have a team good enough to win our seventh in a row.”
South Dade’s preseason classic is on Nov. 27.