TWIN FALLS — Braeden Dickinson has a full season of goals left to accomplish, but he finalized one major objective before the high school season began.
Dickinson, a senior at Canyon Ridge High School, signed his letter of intent Monday to wrestle for the University of Mary, a Division II Catholic school in North Dakota. He signed in front of family, friends and classmates at Canyon Ridge.
Dickinson said a couple other college wrestling programs expressed interest in signing him, but Mary was an easy choice. And that choice was only possible thanks to a key connection.
Post Falls senior Braydon Huber also committed to Mary this fall, and Mary’s coaches asked him if he knew of any strong lightweight wrestlers in Idaho, according to Dickinson. Huber recommended Dickinson, his Idaho national wrestling teammate, and the Marauders soon got in touch with the Riverhawk.
Dickinson went on a trip to Bismark, N.D., in August to visit Mary’s campus and meet the wrestling team.
“I got there and was like, ‘I love this place,’” he told the Times-News on Monday. “’This is the place for me.’”
Dickinson verbally committed on the visit. His scholarship will cover about half of his tuition, he said.
“My dream my whole life has been to be a college athlete,” he said. “I’m really just excited to be a part of that team.”
Not even the 900-mile drive from Twin Falls to Bismarck could deter Dickinson. It helps that he has family in North Dakota, but he’d be all-in with Mary regardless.
“My family and I had talked growing up that wherever I had the chance to go, they’d be OK with,” Dickinson said. “So I wasn’t too scared.”
Dickinson has reached the 4A state semifinals in each of his three seasons at Canyon Ridge, but he’s settled for two fourth-place finishes and a third-place trophy last season in the 120-pound weight class.
He expects that semifinal losing streak to end this winter, and his goals don’t end there.
“I really feel like I have a good chance of going undefeated,” he said. “That’s probably my ultimate goal: undefeated state champ.”