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Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight – Samuel Bruss, De Pere wrestling, cross country

Samuel Bruss
Samuel Bruss (Vicki Mulvey Photo)

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

DE PERE – De Pere High School senior Samuel Bruss’ older brother Max has the career wrestling wins record at the school, but the younger Bruss wants to make a name for himself before he graduates next spring.

“If all goes well, I should be close to Max’s record by the end of the season,” said Bruss, who wrestles in the 145-pound weight class. “We have a good program at De Pere, and it’s fun to wrestle.”

Bruss has missed out on the state experience thus far but hopes he can change that this year.

“I probably should have made state last year, but in my most embarrassing wrestling moment, I lost the first match at sectionals last season in overtime. The loss gives me the motivation to work hard this year and make it to Madison. It’s going to be tough, but I like where I’m at.”

At the Division 1 sectional meet, if wrestlers lose their first match, they lose their chance to go to the individual state tournament.

Bruss, who said he is determined, self-disciplined and confident, played baseball his freshman and sophomore years at De Pere, and ran cross country all four years.

“If I could have done one other sport, football would have been fun,” said Bruss, whose parents are Anne and Ken. “It would have been fun to play defense and tackle people.”

The Redbirds are led on the mat by head coach Matt Kincade, an intense leader who Bruss said brings out the best in his wrestlers.

“It’s a love/hate relationship with coach,” said a laughing Bruss. “He always brings a challenge, and he pushes you to find your limits. He’s a great coach. Our potential as a team is there. I think we can make a push to get to team state.”

De Pere finished third as a team at the 27-team Battle on the Bay tournament at Bay Port High School Dec. 14.

Bruss finished sixth at the tournament among 30 wrestlers in his weight class.

Before the wrestling postseason begins this February, the Redbirds will face challenges in the rugged Fox River Classic Conference.

“My favorite team to wrestle against is Bay Port,” Bruss said. “It’s intense and a challenge. When we beat them my sophomore year for the first time under Coach Kincade, it was an awesome moment.”

Bruss plans to attend the University of Mary, a Division II college in Bismarck, North Dakota.

He will again wrestle alongside his older brother Max, who also wrestles at the university.

“My brother going to the University of Mary affected me going there, too,” said Bruss, who will study criminal justice in the hopes of becoming a law enforcement agent someday. “I get along with Max well, but I won’t be rooming with him. I think I will be redshirting my freshman year.”

Bruss said he wants to be remembered at De Pere “as a nice guy who kids looked up to.”

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