Brock Bobzien began his wrestling career back in Indiana as a 5-year-old.
When the family moved to Poway, Bobzien quickly enrolled in the Poway Elite youth program on the high school campus.
“I’ll bet I’ve had about 1,000 matches before I even got to high school,’’ said the 5-foot-6 Poway High senior, who is signed to compete for Wisconsin in the fall. “I know back then, I hated to lose.’’
It was as an Elite wrestler a short time later that his dream expanded to include the Olympics.
Being the best around is still a major part of the plan.
In addition to his time at Poway, interrupted by the coronavirus for almost 1½ seasons, Bobzien, a two-time San Diego Section champion, has represented the USA three times.
Twice, he wrestled in the Pan Am Games, winning tournament titles at 114 and later 132 pounds. Both of those tournament titles came in Mexico.
Bobzien also participated once in the world championships in Greco-Roman. That appearance was less successful.
“It’s been a big boost to my career seeing the international field,’’ said Bobzien, one of eight Titan seniors on the team. “I am not content to just be the best in the U.S.
“Wrestling internationally is different. I’ve seen how much better international wrestlers are out there,” he said. “I need more international experience.’’
Bobzien will be heading to Iowa in May for the Under-20 tryouts for the USA squad for a possible return to the world championships.
Because last season was delayed by the virus until springtime, last year’s tryouts in South Dakota cost Bobzien a chance to compete for a third section championship with Poway.
He earned a spot on the UWW Cadet World Greco Roman Team that competed in Budapest, Hungary.
“I’ve thought about nothing else since stepping off the mat at last year’s worlds than going back there,’’ he said. “Even hearing crowds boo us at Poway helps the education process.
“Booing is like applause for me.’’
Bobzien opened senior year with the 132-pound crown in the Newbury Park Invitational.
All four wins for the state’s No. 4-ranked wrestler came via pins in 51 seconds, 2:41, 1:48 and 1:07 in the finals against George Rosas of Clovis, who is ranked No. 7 in the state at 138 pounds.
“Kids in our program, like Brock, are shooting to be a world champion some day, not to be just a CIF champion,’’ Poway coach John Meyers said. “No reason Brock can’t reach that level.
“Brock was on the Greco world team last year and he was the second best at freestyle in the country,” he said. “That’s a really big deal.’’
So is going to the Midwest for college wrestling.
“Once you start wrestling college guys, you are a big deal,’’ Bobzien said. “Just another step toward being competitive around the world.’’
Wisconsin has been Bobzien’s dream school since he was 4. His dad is still a huge Badgers’ fan.
When Wisconsin was in San Diego for a dual meet on the Midway carrier back when Bobzien was a freshman, Meyers took the opportunity to talk with the Badgers’ coaches about his international wrestler.
A coach called Bobzien the next day right before practice.
“I saw the number on my phone was from Michigan and I didn’t know who it could be and I almost didn’t answer it, but I answered it anyway,’’ Bobzien recalled. “It was a dream come true.
“I called my dad right away and I was freaking out, but I think he knew the call was coming.’’
Bobzien committed to Wisconsin back in April, becoming one of three Titans to commit to a college.
“Now it’s all about winning,’’ he said. “At Poway, at worlds and at Wisconsin.
“I want to win state this year and win the team title too, then go on from there. I know I can do this.’’
He’s always known.
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