Those watching this series have been pulled in by each season with its unique story.
As a soft fresh-faced freshman, Humpherys made some noise, but at the end of that year the kid decided he wanted to be the best.
Humpherys and his father went to work, and in his second season, viewers watched as Humpherys rose to the top of the heap, winning a state championship.
But his junior year took a turn downward, and those who are fans of this story watched as their hero failed to repeat as state champion.
The 2010-11 season is under way, and on Saturday night in his 4th season Humpherys met last year’s Utah High School Wrestler of the year in Delta High’s Jace Abbott. And the Layton senior showed this season will be a unique year as he dominated his opponent 9-4 in a match that wasn’t even that close.
“I knew after last year that I had to dedicate myself to being the best,” Humpherys said. “So I went away for a month-long camp that was brutal, intense — and I re-committed myself to doing all of those little things to get better.”
Some of those things include finding people who can beat him up during his early 5:30 a.m. personal training sessions. It’s either the beatings or drilling when the rest of the competition is hitting the snooze button.
“I have to get up early and get that extra work,” Humpherys said. “It’s when I can get an advantage over the other wrestlers. I usually find a former college wrestler to come over and beat on me so I can keep battling and not get cocky.”
Humpherys said he also revamped his mental approach to wrestling. This mental adjustment has been as important as anything. He no longer thinks about his opponents or what they have achieved.
“I think about me,” Humpherys said. “Not worrying about who I’m wrestling or what they have done or their style. I just wrestle my match.”
Humpherys speed and intensity is at an all-time high and the match against Abbott was called by his coach John Fager, “the best high school match I’ve seen in a long time.
“Brayden did what kids need to do if they want to be great,” Fager said. “He made the sacrifice and continues to make sacrifices because he wants to be the state champion. Beating Abbott is huge.”
An upset? Humpherys doesn’t see it that way.
“He is a great wrestler but I don’t think it’s some huge upset,” he said. “It was just a great match.”