Undefeated senior season earns Bryan Aragao ‘James Johnson’ Award


LELAND, NC (WWAY)–Four years of hard work was capped off in matter of minutes for North Brunswick High School wrestler Bryan Aragao. At the 2020 state tournament he wrapped up his senior season undefeated and claimed his first state title in the process.

“It was the best feeling, especially going undefeated,”says North Brunswick High School graduate Bryan Aragao. “Nobody can say they beat you. You went out there and you dominated everybody. This is exactly what I wanted. It was in my mind from the start to the finish.”

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The work on the wrestling mat earned him the Takedown Report’s James Johnson award. The award is given out annually to the best scholastic wrestlers in eastern North Carolina. The selection committee says Bryan’s work ethic made this selection an easy choice.

“First year he was kind of just there, the next two years he got to go to state, but all of sudden boom,”says Takedown Report editor Martin Fleming. “He just goes undefeated this year, it shows a good measure of his drive and determination.”

Bryan first started wrestling at the age of 16 as a freshman heavy weight. Four years later, he would go on to win a state title at 182 pounds. He says the idea of standing at the top of the podium was something he set his sights on when he first stepped on the mat.

“When I first joined the sport I knew you always had to work hardest,”says Aragao. Especially when you’re new, you have to get the advantage over the other people that have been in it since they were four years old.”

During his senior season Aragao wracked up many accolades from publications all across the state. His head coach says even with all of that he’s equally proud of the man he has become off the mat.

“You know he’d be the first one to clean up the locker room, he’d be the one that would mop the mat,”says North Brunswick High School wrestling coach Tom York. “He was a perfect captain and just molded into this exceptional person.”

After just four years of wrestling Bryan has earned himself an athletic scholarship to wrestle at the University of Mount Olive. He will enroll and become a Trojan this fall.