TENNERTON – West Liberty University has one of the top wrestling programs in the nation so it would only make sense that one of the best wrestlers in the state of West Virginia would want to join them.
And that is exactly what Buckhannon-Upshur’s Breagan Pearson did as he signed his letter of intent to continue his wrestling career as a Hilltopper at a special ceremony at the high school.
Pearson will join a West Liberty squad that just finished fourth at the NCAA championships, won the Super Region 3 championship along with the Mountain East Conference title and their head coach, Danny Irwin was named the MEC Coach of the Year after coaching four All-Americans this past season including a pair of NCAA champions and one runner-up.
Pearson had been in the sights of West Liberty, as he was for many schools, during this past wrestling campaign.
“One of their assistant coaches reached out to me with a phone call telling me about the program,” stated Pearson. “I went up for a visit after that it just felt like the right place to be.”
Success breeds success and that is another reason Pearson wanted to become a Hilltopper.
Pearson helped build the Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling program to one of the top 10 in the state after being a four-time qualifier at the state championship tournaments.
He recorded his 100th victory this year wrestling in the 145-pound division and finished third in the state losing just one match this past season.
His one loss was in the state semifinals to eventual state champion Gage Wright of Parkersburg South.
He ended his senior year with a 27-1 record.
“West Liberty has a lot of success in wrestling and Buckhannon-Upshur has a lot of success in wrestling,” said Pearson. “We have built up the B-U program into a successful program and I wanted to go somewhere I could continue to build on that.”
Despite a stellar high school career, Pearson said he wasn’t sure if wrestling was something he wanted to continue during his freshman year. He credits Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr for showing him the way.
“My freshman year I had a lot of doubts if this is what I wanted to do, but coach Orr and his staff really kept me drawn in and really put me in the right mindset of getting use to the discipline and what it takes to be successful in this sport. Honestly wrestling for coach Orr and at Buckhannon-Upshur changed my life. I am going to miss this it – putting on the Blue and White competing with my brothers.”
“You watch and develop these kids for four years, it is always tough to see them move on,” stated Orr. “You hate to see them leave but you are happy to see them move on the collegiate level. Breagan always worked so hard for us. He always bought into what the coaching staff was trying to get out of him. He brought a lot of dedication and hard work to the program, and we are going to lose that. Breagan wanted to succeed but he wanted to make everyone around him better as well.”
Pearson isn’t taking the opportunity not only continue his wrestling career, but with one of the top programs in the nation lightly.
“Not everyone gets an opportunity like this, and it was one of the big things that wanted to make me wrestle in college,” remarked Pearson. “I felt like I was given an opportunity that not everyone get and that I have to take advantage this.”