Athlete of Week: Second sport grows on Bernhardt

Carolina Forest senior Braeden Bernhardt’s first love is lacrosse. But with all due respect to his favorite sport, he hopes his final season on  the field starts a little later this spring.

That’s because Bernhardt and the Panthers wrestling team are poised to post new records on the mat this season. Carolina Forest hosts the first two rounds of the Class 5A playoffs on Saturday, and two wins would send the Panthers to the Lower State semifinals for the first time in program history. Furthermore, Bernhardt hopes to qualify for the individual state tournament for the first time in his five-year wrestling career – a move that might postpone his lacrosse season for a few weeks.

“Lacrosse has always been my favorite sport; wrestling was just for fun,” said Bernhardt, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the week after going 3-0 and helping the Panthers secure their third straight Region 6-5A title. “But this year we have a chance to do something big,Our team has never made it to the third round before so we want to do that and see how far we can go.

“I haven’t made it to (individual) states before. My goal is to finish in the top four, but just to make it to the final eight would be an accomplishment.”

That hasn’t stopped him from pulling some double duty on the wrestling mat and the lacrosse field as  has been spending time working out with both squads It’s a routine he has grown familiar with in recent years while he was playing both sports – school and club – to improve his skills.

“Wrestling started out just for fun and as a way to stay in shape for lacrosse, but I wanted to get better at it,” Bernhardt said. “In the summers I would go to Tough Time (Wrestling Club) practices in the mornings and go out to play lacrosse at nights. It was tough but it is great to see the hard work paying off.”

Bernhardt also tried his hand at football, a tough sport for a kid who wrestles in the 120-pound class. “My freshman year I played center and I weighed 124 pounds, but I could snap the ball and block. My sophomore year I played linebacker. I hit this guy who weighed about 300 pounds right in the chest and I just bounced off him,” he laughed. “I loved football but it was a struggle trying to gain weight for football season and then lose weight for wrestling season.”

Carolina Forest coach Forrest Blake, a longtime football and wrestling coach, can see that Bernhardt is a football player trapped in a wrestler’s body. “He definitely has that mentality. He gets after it,” Blake said. “He’s also a great kid and teammate. A lot of the lighter weights are younger kids and Braeden works with them and helps them get better. Those are the kind of kids you need to build a program.”

Bernhardt knows the last match of his career is not far away, but he still has plenty of time for lacrosse in his future. After his senior season with the Panthers, Bernhardt plans to play lacrosse at the college level. He has verbally committed to Newberry College, which also has a wrestling program. So would he consider pulling double duty at the next level?

“No way,” Bernhardt joked. “This is my last shot at wrestling and I want to make the most of it.”

Photo by Prep Stars Media

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on Tuesday

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on TuesdayCoastal Carolina baseball split Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with [more]

Monday After The Masters celebrates 25th anniversary

Monday After The Masters celebrates 25th anniversaryThe team led by former NFL player Jimbo Covert and [more]

Green follows his hoops dream to South Carolina

Green follows his hoops dream to South CarolinaChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball standout Mike Green [more]

Chants top Jags in series, visit Wolfpack Wednesday

Chants top Jags in series, visit Wolfpack WednesdayNo. 19 Coastal Carolina baseball got a strong start on [more]

Chadwell likes energy in Coastal's Spring Game

Chadwell likes energy in Coastal's Spring GameThe Coastal Carolina football team concluded its 2019 spring schedule [more]

Lerud brings fresh face, new attitude to Pelicans

Lerud brings fresh face, new attitude to PelicansGrand Strand baseball fans will notice a few changes when [more]

Sharks sink their teeth into inside track for region title

Sharks sink their teeth into inside track for region titleThe first batter of the game not only reached base [more]

CAC swimmers score wins at Lower Palmetto meet

CAC swimmers score wins at Lower Palmetto meetCarolina Aquatics (CA) hosted the 2019 Lower Palmetto Championship Meet [more]

Chants split with Wolves; Gilmore gets 1,200th win

Chants split with Wolves; Gilmore gets 1,200th winCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore recorded his 1,200th [more]

Home runs doom Chants in round 1 with Red Wolves

Home runs doom Chants in round 1 with Red WolvesNo. 10 Coastal Carolina was held to a season-low two [more]

Seahawks ride defense to Soccer at the Beach final

Seahawks ride defense to Soccer at the Beach finalDespite being shorthanded, the Myrtle Beach High boys and girls [more]

Chants' season shut down by Demons in CBI semis

Chants' season shut down by Demons in CBI semisZac Cuthbertson led four Chanticleers in double-digits with 21 points, [more]

Coastal's hot bats salvage series split with Seahawks

Coastal's hot bats salvage series split with SeahawksNo. 10 Coastal Carolina's Kieton Rivers hit two home runs [more]

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch

Young Panthers starting to put it all together on pitch When Cole Poirier slotted home his third goal against Conway [more]

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinals

Chants shoot lights out at WVU, reach CBI semifinalsFreshman DeVante Jones scored a career-high 32 points in leading [more]

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach Run

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach RunThere was a time when Myrtle Beach was invaded by [more]

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to Trojans

Chants suffer first Sun Belt Conference loss to TrojansNo. 16 Coastal Carolina outhit the Troy Trojans 16-12 for [more]

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning course

NMB coach Alderson has Chiefs on winning courseWhen North Myrtle Beach hired Brian Alderson to take over [more]

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweep

Skeels' walk-off home run puts CCU in line for sweepRedshirt junior catcher Kyle Skeels blasted a two-run walk-off home [more]

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performance

Chants win Sun Belt home debut via 14K performanceSophomore right-handed pitcher Zach McCambley struck out a career-high 10 [more]

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia Monday

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia MondayJunior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 22 points and [more]

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time The door bell rang at the Smith house, and a [more]

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer season

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer seasonCarolina Forest entered last season with a roster full of [more]

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach