Xavier’s Chidi Broderick first stepped onto a wrestling mat as a sophomore after much convincing from a former teammate.
“At first I didn’t think much of it,” Broderick said. “It doesn’t look that hard when you look at it, but when you actually do it, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”
Know more as a football standout, Broderick has since developed into of the state’s best wrestlers in just three short years.
This season as a senior, Broderick won the State Open, Class LL and SCC championships in the heavyweight division, and earned Register Area MVP honors.
Broderick joined the wrestling team after being persuaded by Colin Cunningham, son of Xavier coach Mike Cunningham. Broderick finished .500 as a sophomore, but finished fourth in Class LL at 220 and qualified for the State Open.
“He was just a raw athlete that had no idea how to control his body,” Mike Cunningham said. “Technique wise, he didn’t know how to take his athleticism and put it into wrestling. But he learned very quickly.”
As a junior, Broderick won the SCC title, placed second in Class LL and fourth at the Open at 220.
“His progress was a combination of the fact that he’s a quick learner and he cares about getting better and winning,” Mike Cunningham said. “He doesn’t know a ton of moves, he just does them very well.”
The progression from novice to state champion was fueled by hard work and dedication, and a push from teammates and coaches.
“The encouragement that my coaches gave me,” Broderick said. “Without them I don’t think I would be in the position that I am at right now. Their encouragement helped me a lot, and the encouragement of my teammates, and the motivation that I wanted to be a State Open champ.”
Broderick moved up to heavyweight as a senior. He began the season weighing in at 230 and gained about 20 pounds as the season progressed. But he still weight significantly less than most of his opponents.
“Obviously they’re a lot bigger at 285,” Broderick said. “Other than that, the only difference was that they’re a little slower but they make up for that with their strength.”
Broderick finished the season at 44-2, losing both matches en route to a fourth-place finish at the New England meet. Broderick compiled a career record of 103-21.
During the football season, Broderick helped lead the Falcons to the Class LL-Small state title. Broderick said it was difficult to choose which championships were more meaningful, but added that this year was everything he dreamed about.
“I think this is the ideal senior season that people want,” Broderick said. “This is the typical movie, the fairy tale senior year that people want. To go out with straight championships, achieving every single one of your goals that you set for yourself.”