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Three Bakersfield students wrestling in North Dakota at the Junior Nationals

Posted at 9:06 AM, May 30, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Aiden Simmons, Braden Priest, and Beau Priest high school wrestlers from Bakersfield will be heading to Fargo, North Dakota representing their school and city.

  • Wrestle for and attend Bakersfield Highschool (Drillers)
  • Coming back for revenge, all three have been before and are set on higher winnings this year.
  • All three contenders had to qualify in events before being able to head to the nationals for July 12-20th.


This is just a couple of the moves these athletes might use in their championship competitions. I'm Eric J. Dockery your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter and I'll show you what they have to go through to compete at the highest rank.

Three grapplers on the Bakersfield High School wrestling team are heading to the junior nationals.

Two have been on the mats since they were five.. one beginning at 11. Now all are ready to show what they've got on a national stage.

Aiden Simmons one of the contenders said "It builds character because it's a one-on-one combat sport. Your loss is on you. It makes you humble, to know where you stand and the other opponent stands rank wise."

Two of the athletes are more than just brothers... they are twins. They tell me that its more than just brotherly love in the wrestling room. Its competition born at home

Beau Priest who is heading to the junior nationals said "It's pretty fun like we get into it sometimes. Like he'll be mad at me, or i'm mad at him. We just going back and forth sometimes. It may be times I'm laughing, and he's pissed off and we go back and forth. It's pretty fun, he definitely pushes me a lot. While gives me motivation to push through hard times and stuff like that.

All three say that every day in practice they start with the rest of the team, and then break off. Going into their own workouts to prepare for the championships.

Braden Priest said "In a match, you can't really stop. Cause if you stop it's other guys who are going to try to do a move on you and they'll score points. It's kind of like, in life if you stop going after your dreams or goals someone else is going to catch up to you. That's like the worst feeling ever. Because you could be going for a huge goal, and just fail because you stopped and resting. Like in a match, you can't really do that you have to keep going score points, and finish the job. If it's hard you just, try to push through it.

One of the three has placed as high as 7th in the nation.... this year... the plan is for all of them to reach the podium.

The Fargo National Championships will be held from July 12-20th. For 23 ABC im Eric J. Dockery.

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