Athlete of the Week – Brendan Hawley – Week of February 22, 2019

Returning to the mats after a difficult and often frustrating year full of injuries in 2018, redemption has been sweet for this week’s Athlete of the Week, freshman Brendan Hawley. Hawley’s talent on the mats was apparent from the first day he joined the Cape Henry Collegiate wrestling ranks in Middle School. While last season may not have brought the results he anticipated, his patience and dedication throughout the offseason paid off during his breakout freshman season.

Brendan boasts a career record of 59-28 after accumulating 31 wins throughout his sensational 2019 wrestling season. Combined with only 14 losses, Brendan amassed a win percentage of 68% this year. Leading into this past week’s VISAA State Wrestling Championship, Brendan had already built a formidable wrestling resume. Throughout the season, he earned a 2nd place finish in the season-opening Cape Henry Collegiate Invitational, a 2nd place finish in the VISAA Invitational, a 1st place finish in the Fred Diem Invitational, and a 3rd place finish in the TCIS wrestling tournament. His success throughout the season can be directly attributed to his warrior-like mentality on the mats. Brendan is fearless while competing, and at the same time, is tactical in his thinking at all times.

“Technique, strength, and conditioning are all very important in wrestling, but just as important is a person’s ability to battle. Brendan is best at the battle, when he turns it on, watch out,” Coach Effner said of Brendan Hawley. “Wrestling is essentially hand to hand combat with rules, so it helps if you can get mean when needed. Brendan’s best asset in wrestling is his ‘mean switch,’ when he flips this on, he is one of the most fierce competitors.”

This past weekend, the Dolphins battled the State’s top competition in the VISAA State Championships with 29 teams all competing for the State title and a chance to wrestle at the National Prep Championships. Brendan finished the two-day tournament scoring the most points for the Dolphins and grabbing the highest Cape Henry Collegiate finish of the tournament. His 22 overall points included three pins, which led the Dolphins to a 3rd place team finish on Saturday behind only St. Christopher’s and Benedictine. Brendan’s 4th place finish in the state tournament earned a bid to the National Prep Championships featuring the top wrestlers from all over the United States. His technical ability along with his supreme confidence has Brendan prepped to be a force for the final three years of his high school wrestling career.

“Brendan is an elite wrestler because he is solid in all three start positions and has above-average technique in each position,” Coach Effner finished of Brendan. “While he still has room to grow as a wrestler, what he lacks physically at this point he makes up for mentally by believing in himself and never giving up.”

This year was truly a breakout season for Brendan after spending a large portion of the previous season out due to an injury. Now that Brendan found his redemption on the mats in 2019, he must wrestle the toughest competition of his career this weekend. Brendan will complete the season as the lone Dolphin in the National Prep Championships after guiding Cape Henry Collegiate to the highest VISAA finish since the 2013 campaign. The entire Dolphin community wishes Brendan well as he competes for a chance to become the next All-American wrestler for CHC.