LEX 18 — This academic school year has been a year of firsts for Sayre High School.
Last September, Sayre had a football team compete for the first time in over four decades. The Spartans are coached by former NFL Quarterback Chad Pennington.
Freshman Bill Bradley was one of Pennington’s players as an offensive and defensive lineman.
“That was awesome,” said Bradley. “Being a part of the first Sayre team in like 40 something years. It was fun starting something new.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Bradley started something new in terms of athletics at Sayre.
Bradley began wrestling when he was 10 years old under Coach Joe Carr, Sr., a three-time NCAA All-American, and Joe Carr Jr., who was also an All-American.
It was a sport he wanted to continue to pursue throughout high school.
But there was one problem.
Sayre doesn’t have a wrestling team.
So Bill had to overcome some hurdles.
“His parents and I got together and just wanted to find out how he can continue to do this under the KHSAA guidelines,” said Sayre Athletic Director Richard Little. “[Wrestling] is one of those sports where they do allow student athletes to participate at other schools.”
Since Bill had no one to practice with at Sayre, he was given permission to join the wrestling team at Lafayette High School, while still representing Sayre High School.
The team has welcomed him with open arms, and have included Bradley as one of their own throughout the season.
“We are a family, and Bill is in this family,” said Lafayette Wrestling Coach William Green. “So there’s no distinction as ‘you’re over there, you’re over there.’ We’re all in this together. He’s in all of our pictures so we don’t even look at it like that anymore, so everything is fine with that.”
“They treat me like teammates would even though I’m not exactly a part of their team,” said Bradley. “I’ve been treated really well here and am grateful for that.”
Bradley wrestled at 237 pounds, the heavyweight division, and finished the year 14-13.
He went 2-2 in last weekend’s Wrestling Regionals at Lafayette High School, falling in double overtime to one of the state qualifiers.
Even though he will not be able to wrestle for a State Championship at Alltech Arena, he will be there to support his peers and wrestling partners from Lafayette.
Outside of athletics, Bill has a 3.8 GPA. He is also a member of the Sayre Players, an instrumental ensemble group at the high school, making the 9th grade district honor band playing the tuba.