Emerson twins star for OC wrestling

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By Brad Stephens


Brady and Max Emerson aren’t identical twins, but they’ve had nearly identical success for Oldham County’s wrestling team this season.

Brady goes into Saturday’s state duals in Mt. Sterling as one of the state’s best wrestlers in the 126-pound class. The sophomore is 32-3 this season with just one of his losses coming against Kentucky competition.

His twin brother Max has been just as good, going 33-2 in the 170-pound weight class and losing just one match against state competition.

The brothers take pride when it comes to who has the better record, Brady said.

“It’s been pretty tight,” Brady said. “I’m pretty sure we’ve lost the same amount at almost every single tournament.”

They’re two key reasons OC has high hopes for this weekend’s large-school state competition at the Montgomery County High School Arena.

The Colonels advanced to state by winning one of the state’s toughest sectionals, coming in first in a three-way tiebreaker against Trinity and Fern Creek in duals held Jan. 18 at Eastern High School.

North Oldham will also be competing Saturday, trying its luck in the small-school state competition. The Mustangs advanced to state by coming in second to Moore in their sectional, which was held the same day.

“State tournament, you always have to wrestle your best every single match,” Max said. “You can’t slack off at any time.”

Brady and Max have gotten to this point in their careers by doing just that.

The pair began wrestling as children and was in the same weight class as first graders.

But Max grew bigger than his twin brother. The pair advanced through the ranks wrestling in different weight classes.

Brady and Max wrestled at Oldham County Middle School where their dad, Steve Emerson, was an assistant coach. He’s now assistant principal at South Oldham Middle School.

Brady first began competing for OC as an eighth grader and it didn’t take him long to do well. He finished fifth in state individual competition two years ago as an eighth grader before finishing  fourth last year.

Brady’s wrestling style is unconventional, Max said, but it’s gotten the job done.

“He does a lot of funky stuff that people shouldn’t do, but it works,” Max said.  “You’re not supposed to reach back when you’re on bottom and he does it all the time. We’re like, ‘Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that!’ Then we’re like, ‘Yeah, yeah, go ahead, do that!’”

Max has made his mark in a heavier weight class where most wrestlers rely on muscle, Brady said.

“Max, throughout the years he’s always been under the radar on a lot of people’s judgments,” Brady said. “Now people are starting to notice how he’s beating top performers. He’s getting a lot more respect and attention in his weight class and throughout the state.”

Colonels coach Aaron Riordan said last week he liked his team’s chances at state. The Emersons agreed.

“We have a pretty good team this year,” Brady said, “so we’d like to win it all.”