It was the suggestion of a football coach that steered Levi Ball-Bryant toward the sport of wrestling.
“I first started off playing football, actually,” says Ball-Bryant. “I had a football coach who told me to try out for wrestling. So I went in, I tried it, and it just amazed me how everyone is so open and ready to accept you. I kept going back…and I fell in love with wrestling.”
The Servite High School senior has found success in his new sport, winning the 2016 Trinity League championship in the 220-pound weight class. For a program that has only been in existence for 10 seasons, the Fight’n Friars already have a long list of achievements, including four Trinity League championships, two CIF Dual Meet championships and two CIF-SS championships. Ball-Bryant feels the program’s success stems from strong leadership.
“It really has a legacy behind it,” says Ball-Bryant of Servite’s wrestling program. “The leaders are really the ones…who push everyone to be great.”
As one of the team’s captains this year, the 17-year-old varsity wrestler is looking forward to how he will leave his mark on the program.
“Being captain this year, it’s a great honor,” says Ball-Bryant. “There’s so much responsibility that I just love being there.”
With the support of the coaching staff, Ball-Bryant made the decision to switch his weight class this year from 220 pounds to 195 pounds, as he feels it will be a better fit for him competitively. Servite’s head wrestling coach, Alan Clinton, is looking to Ball-Bryant to help guide the team to another successful season.
“Levi is a well-balanced wrestler who is a strong all-around athlete both physically and mentally,” says Clinton. “He’s one of our main senior leaders this up coming season, and since our team is young in age this year, Levi’s experience will be a huge contributing factor.”
One of Ball-Bryant’s most difficult challenges in the sport came when he was recently hit by a car and hospitalized. The time spent recovering with the support of his teammates, coaches and family has left a lasting impact on both his view of Servite brotherhood and his future goals. Because of his experience, along with his participation in the Sports Medicine Club on campus, Ball-Bryant has decided to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant. He credits wrestling with giving him the skills he needs to overcome any obstacle.
“The biggest quality I take from wrestling is determination,” says Ball-Bryant. “You always push yourself in every aspect of your life as a wrestler.”
The Anaheim resident would love to wrestle at the collegiate level. But regardless of his path, Ball-Bryant views family as most important, leaning on his uncle as a strong role model in his life.
“He really inspires me,” says Ball-Bryant of his uncle. “He really taught me that no matter what, family is always first.