Windermere High junior Ticiano Brito is a leader on the Wolverines’ wrestling team.
As a junior on the Windermere High wrestling team, Ticiano Brito has learned a thing or two out on the mat in the past three years. Since picking up the sport as a freshman, Brito has become a leader for the Wolverines in the 113-pound weight class.
How did you first get into wrestling?
I got into wrestling in ninth grade, because I didn’t make the soccer team. Coach (Todd) Hauser — I had a class with him — and he just told me to come and join the wrestling team. So I did, and I loved it.
What’s your favorite part about being on the team?
The whole team is just a family — we are all good friends with (one another). And the sport is really hard, but it really pays off — if you work hard you will get better.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since ninth grade?
I’m a lot more confident in everything that I do. In every aspect of life, I’m a lot more confident after starting wrestling.
Had you ever tried wrestling before you got to Windermere?
Not wrestling, because I’m from Brazil, so there’s not a lot of wrestling in Brazil. I didn’t really know what it actually was, but I watched UFC and MMA, and I always liked it.
What is the most challenging part about wrestling?
It’s definitely pushing yourself a little bit more every time, and when you are at the end of the match, whoever has got more in them — whoever wants it more — will win. It’s a mental game.
When you first started wrestling, did you know what you had to do?
I knew I had to take someone down and pin them, but I didn’t really know how it worked, and I didn’t really know the rules or anything, so everything kind of surprised me.
As far as preparing for a match, what is your routine?
I’ll just be in my zone the whole day, drinking water — after weigh-ins of course — and then just listen to my music, not let anyone bother me and just be really quiet. Then get a nice warm up and go up for it.
Has there been a highlight moment for you during your time at Windermere?
There was an individual tournament and I went against this kid from Hagerty, and I wrestled him the first day and he beat me. And then I wrestled him again the day after and he was beating me 8-3, and then third period started. I flipped a switch in my mind, and I just kept going — scoring, scoring, scoring. With five seconds left in the match, I pinned the kid — I felt really good about that one.
What’s the hardest part about being out there on the mat?
Starting, definitely starting. Everything kicks in and you’re like, “OK, let’s go.” After that, you don’t even think about it much, because when you’re on the mat you’re letting your mind and your body do the work.