Brookfield's five state wrestling qualifiers returned home from Columbia last weekend, and three had hardware to show for it.

The Bulldogs said that the atmosphere was incredible, and that the state competition in such a major environment is hard to describe.

"It's definitely different than any other tournament. It's completely different wrestling," senior Khalil Walker said. He battled through the consolation ladder to finish fourth.

"Last year I got beat out the first day, so I was just disappointed that I didn't medal then, but it's a good way to end my career."

Freshman medalist Donavan Parn, fellow fourth-place finisher, said that despite losing in the semifinals of the championship bracket, still having the opportunity to medal was his major motivation.

Parn, the only underclassman of the group, said that lifting and technical work will be major focuses in the offseason.

"Losing your semifinal match is kind of a downer, but you've got to battle back every match," Parn said. "I wish I would have finished a little higher, but as a freshman, there's always next year."

Junior heavyweight gold medalist Brooks Baker was able to redeem a loss from last year's championship bout against an adversary from perennial powerhouse Whitfield.

Baker said that the task would have been nearly impossible without the offseason help from his teammates. Baker will spend considerable time in the spring wrestling folk style.

"It's amazing to beat the guy I lost to last year," Baker said. "It felt great to beat him finally, my teammates know I've been preparing for that match all year."

The Bulldogs finished eighth in Class 1 as a team.