Senior captain Steve Brooks left his mark in the record book for the wrestling team.
A four-year starter and two-year captain, Steve Brooks left quite a mark on the Whitman-Hanson Regional High wrestling program — especially this winter.
The senior captain, who wrestled out of the 160-pound weight class, went 38-11, while tying a school-record for pins in a single-season with 32, as the Panthers (11-8) finished with a winning record for the first time in five years. Brooks also placed fifth at the Div. 2 state tournament to become W-H’s highest finisher since 2015.
“Now that my high school wrestling career has ended, the thing I am most proud of is the fact that I helped to lead my team to the best record we have had in years,” Brooks said. “I wanted to prove to my coaches and myself that my leadership, along with the other captains’ efforts, can create a winning culture in our team for years to come.”
Additionally, Brooks pinned his way to two in-season tournament titles at both Sandwich and Oliver Ames.
“Steve Brooks is a pinning machine,” said W-H wrestling head coach Gary Rabinovitz. “Steve had an exceptional career. I could not be more proud of the hard work and sacrifice that Steve has dedicated to our program over his career.”
Brooks hit the mat as much as he could this offseason.
“Sometimes I’d drive all the way to Dedham to practice with another wrestling team,” he said. “It’s great to have a wide variety of coaches and disciplinary styles to work with. My coaches have done a great job at pushing all the kids to stay in that wrestling groove by working out or going to offseason practice. Even just running for thirty minutes a day is a good way to stay in wrestling shape.”
For as eye-popping as Brooks’ stats were, it was his leadership that stuck out to fellow senior captain Bethany Ralph. She said Brooks, a Patriot League All-Star, knows exactly when and just how to lead.
“Steve is an amazing leader, he’s the quiet yet strong type of leader,” Ralph said. “Whether it’s getting everyone hyped up for our match or whether it’s helping one of the guys cool off after they lost. He’s taught me a lot but the most important being that after you think you don’t have anything left to give, take it from my opponent and work harder.”
Leadership is always at the top of Brooks’ mind.
“I take a lot of pride in being a leader, being a role model and leading by example is one of my most important responsibilities as a captain,” Brooks said. “I’m glad I had my junior year to work on my leadership skills with the team. However, this year I believe I did a much better job at governing my team and motivating them all to work as hard as they humanly can.”
Next season, Brooks will continue his wrestling career at Plymouth State University. And while he’ll trade in his Panther red and black for Panther black and green, he won’t ever forget his roots.
“Whitman-Hanson will always be my home, so I plan on staying in touch with the program and the coaches,” Brooks said. “I can’t wait to see how the team does in the future.”