Penn State standout student athlete Brady Berge announced on twitter this morning that he is stepping away from competitive wrestling:
Berge arrived at Penn State in the Fall of 2017, redshirted behind Junior 157-pounder Jason Nolf and competed in one open tourney and finished the season 4-1.
The next year, in the 2019 tourney season, he cut down to 149 and represented the Nittany Lions in the starting lineup and at the Nationals in Pittsburgh, where he finished 2-2 in the Round of 16. He finished the season 20-5 and looked forward to bumping back up to 157 to replace the departing Nolf.
But in the 2020 UWW U23 tourney, Berge suffered a horrific concussion injury that severely dented Penn State’s hopes of holding off Iowa in the not-yet-pandemic-canceled 2020 Nationals, and cast serious doubts on Berge’s future in the sport.
This past Fall, Berge competed against Hayden Hidlay in a Nittany Lion Wrestling Club event and buoyed Penn State fans hopes by looking healthy and competitive against the title contender.
When the college season finally got under way, sort of, in late January, there was our beloved Swedish Chef, still toeing the line and looking tough. His improvement arc was evident in the Major Decisions he posted against overmatched opponents and in the tight, but decisive 1-takedown wins over studly peers.
He earned the 12-seed in a loaded weight class and looked capable of outplacing that seed, as we projected in our BSD preview:
Obviously, in a tight team race, head-to-head matchups are key, and BSD’s beloved Chef Bardy has a fantastic opportunity to suck the air out of the cardboard Hawk fan cutouts inside Enterprise Center on Thursday evening in a first-time matchup with 5-seed Hawkeye, Kaleb Young.
Chef Bardy has kept his secret ingredients pretty secret this season, wrestling in cagey, one-takedown affairs in bouts against top competition. But against overmatched opponents, he’s thrown them the kitchen sink. At B1Gs last week, he went: Major win, 3-2 loss, Major win, Major win, 3-1 SV loss, before Medically Forfeiting his last bout to finish 6th. Those two L’s were against Purdue’s Kendall Coleman and Minnesota’s Brayton Lee, against whom Young has two one-point tiebreaker wins. They’re all close, as Cael says.
If Beard & Bardy come out of Thursday’s action still alive in the Championship bracket, ready to score the first serious points of the tourney in Friday’s Quarterfinals, hoo boy, it very well could be “on.”
With the ingredients thus spoken unto the Internet, Chef Bardy prepared an absolutely delicious meal, and he knocked off the Hawkeye via a first-period takedown!
As Day 1 of the 2021 Nationals came to a close, the team race was very much indeed ‘on,’ but, tragically, not for long.
In Day 2’s Quarterfinals against Rider’s Jesse Dellavechia, Berge again suffered a terrible injury and was forced to default out of the tournament. The BSD Wrestle Community was heartbroken, as was the entire Wrestling Internet, honestly, for the popular and charismatic young man.
Now as Berge’s competitive wrestling career comes to an end, we wish him the best of luck as he finishes out his outstanding academic career (a 3x Academic All Big Ten honoree), and moves on to the next phases of his life.
Thanks for everything, Brady!