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Remember the Wrestler: Brandon Cummings, Mediapolis HS and Wartburg College

L-R Brandon Cummings, Jamey Cummings, Dan Cummings, Deb Cummings, Ryan Cummings

When Brandon was a Senior, he was so cool that everyone wanted to be like him.  He was an all-around stud athlete. In fact, he was the All-Hawkeye Athlete of the Year when he was a Senior. When he pitched, he had a unique way of winding up and delivering the baseball. I remember every kid who pitched in JH at the time, me being one of them, trying to emulate his style.  His dad is Hall of Fame coach, Dan Cummings…which was my wrestling coach.  Love the guy as a coach and a person.  I don’t recall a time in my life where “Brandon Cummings” wasn’t a part of my vocabulary, for my grandma McLaughlin loved him so much and had pictures of the Cummings bros posted all over her refrigerator.  The Cummings family lived right next door to my grandma and grandpa McLaughlin and they were all very good neighbors to them.  When my grandma got older, she sadly developed a condition called agoraphobia, which essentially means that she had a fear of leaving the house.  All 3 Cummings boys made life better for her by visiting with her at least semi-regularly and it meant the world to her and in turn, meant the world to our entire family.  Brandon qualified for state 3 times and placed 3rd as a Senior…he was good enough to win it each year. And the dude is funny as hell.


Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?

Two older brothers wrestled and my Dad was the coach.Didn’t take much to encourage me.


Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?

Oldest brother, Jamey, wrestled for the Naval Academy and middle brother,  Ryan, wrestled at UNI. Our old man wrestled for Mankato State University.


What were your youth results? Any rivals there?

Placed 1st at AAU in 5th or 6th grade and top 6 in the USA tourney three times I think.


What was your record in HS?



How did you place at state every year?

Freshman – DNQ, Sophomore – Qualified, Junior – Qualified, Senior -3rd


What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?

There was a little pressure on me in high school knowing that both of my brothers were multiple time place winners with Ryan winning 3 championships. I think I got past that and just wrestled not worrying about comparing myself to my brothers.


How would you describe your wrestling style?

Most dominant position was on my feet. I was a decent mat wrestler with scrambling ability. Not great on top, but decent with the legs.


Who was your most influential coach?

I would say that my Dad, Dan was definitely very influential and never treated me any different than any of his other wrestlers. And of course Jim “Millboy” Miller had a big influence on my wrestling career. I learned a lot about myself wrestling for him .


What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?

That would have to be in the semifinals my senior year at state. Lost 10-9 and gave up 3 takedowns that match. Only gave up 3 takedowns all year to that point. That was a tough loss that I still think about from time to time.


Was your team competitive in HS/college?

Yes. Our teams at Mediapolis were always tough and we always had a few studs in the lineup. At Wartburg we were the D3 National runner-up my freshman year and National champs my sophomore year.


Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?

I would have to say my brother Ryan even though I hate to admit it.


Who are your favorite current wrestlers?

Cole Erickson (Coe), Stephen Holloway (Iowa), Drew Foster (PWC) and the Swafford Boys (Graceland) Easy choices.


If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?

I would probably change my work ethic at times in high school. Would have pushed myself a little harder in practice to make myself better.


What was your best wrestling memory/accomplishment? How hard did you work?

My best wrestling memory would probably be placing high at the Mick Pickford a couple years, freestyle was definitely my best style of wrestling. I would say I worked pretty hard but could have definitely worked a little harder like I said earlier.


Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?

Ty Wilson from Wapello/CJ and I battled. Creighton Duncan from Pleasant Valley and I wrestled as kids and also in high school. He gave me one of my 2 losses my senior year. Think it was a 3-2 match.


Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?

Did quite a hit of freestyle starting my freshman year.


Did you wrestle after high school?



What other sports did you play?

Football, Baseball and Track one year


You were the All-Hawkeye Athlete of the Year as a Senior. How did wrestling contribute to your success in other sports? How did other sports contribute to your wrestling?

I would say that wrestling definitely helped my agility and quickness in football. I believe that student athletes should participate in as many sports as possible because there are different benefits that every sport offers and it is an opportunity to build lifetime relationships.


Ever able to beat your dad in Pickleball? Did you ever catch him cheating to try to win? 😊

Junior year. Remember Josh. I won the high school pickleball tourney my senior year, not only in singles but doubles and mixed doubles as well. That’s right. 3 championships in a single pickleball season!!


How proud are you of you dad with his wrestling accolades?

Very proud of him. He has put the time in and basically grew the sport at Mediapolis. He did it the right way and has always been very humble about it. Tons of respect for him.


Deb Cummings…possibly the best wrestling mom of all-time?

Has to be tight up there I would say!🙂


What are your favorite sports teams?

Vikings, Twins, UNI Panthers wrestling and Iowa Hawkeyes athletics


What are your hobbies?

Hunting basically.


How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?

It made me tougher over the years and I have built a lot of great relationships through wrestling.


What do you do now?

Manager at Hy-Vee.


Are you still involved with wrestling?

Not for the past few years. 3 daughters have changed the sports I am involved in.


Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?

Stick with it! It’s a tough sport that’s not always fun but it will be worth it in the end.


Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?

Ummm, can I wear shorts and a t-shirt?


Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?

Too many to name.


Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.

Two time Iowa conference JV conference champ. How you like them apples? Funny enough?


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Fred Whipple December 19, 2019, 11:52 am

    Brandon is a great person and thoroughly enjoyable to be around. I will not forget the short drag on the tee box at New London that left grass stains on my jeans forever or his ability to hit a 9 iron 160 yards. He is definitely like his Dad. A class act!

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