NEWBERRY — Deral Brown once hoped to be a football player. But a coach’s suggestion changed that.
“I was horrible at football,” Brown remembers. “I was, like, the third-string tight end.”
Then an assistant coach suggested Brown try out for the wrestling team in high school, telling him it would help him with football. Brown took the coach’s advice, and went on to win the state championship in his first year.
He’s never looked back.
Deral Brown, now a Newberry College senior, came to the college in 2008 on a wrestling scholarship. He’s since become a key member of the wrestling team, representing the college in regional and national competition.
It took time to get there.
Brown first wrestled at the collegiate level during the 2009-10 season, finishing with a 29-16 record and placing as a seventh seed in the super-region tournament, where he finished with a 4-1 record. During the 2010-11 season, Brown had a 31-13 record, made the national competition, and was super-region runner-up for his weight class. In 2011-12, he finished with a 37-8 record.
This past season, Brown made adjustments.
“Last season in wrestling was tough because I invested so much of my life into the sport only to come up short on my goals,” Brown said. “This year is going so much better.”
Brown qualified for the Nationals in the 141-pound class, and will represent Newberry there Friday and Saturday
Wrestling isn’t Brown’s entire life. He plays the piano and trumpet, performs with the Newberry College Jazz Band, and also sings. Brown also leads worship services off-campus. After graduation, he hopes to earn a master’s degree, teach music, and be a wrestling coach.
“In all that I do, I put God first,” Brown says. “I let Him lead me so I can follow, and end up where He wanted to put me from the beginning.