It is always a transition from high school to college, Lake Highlands and Team Texas wrestler D’Andre Brumfield had trials in life captured by sports reporter Marcus Hill.
It was like a scene from a movie.
Colorado State University-Pueblo wrestler D’Andre Brumfield sat in his room at his home in Dallas, Texas, with his hands covering the back of his head and staring at the ceiling.
He believes every problem in life has a solution. At that time, Brumfield searched for an answer.
Brumfield had recently flunked out of University of Nebraska-Kearney and moved back to his hometown.
“I failed like half of my classes. I came out of there with like half of my credits,” Brumfield said. “I’m not used to that. I’m not a bad kid, but I wasn’t ready for the world and I wasn’t ready to be responsible for my studies.
“I thought I was, but I didn’t have good study habits and I wouldn’t go to class all the time.”
Brumfield was a solid student in high school and said he maintained a 3.0 GPA along with being a solid wrestler at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas.
The joys of college got Brumfield in his first semester, however.
“I lost track of what I was doing and where I was going,” Brumfield said. “I took a step back once that all happened and then I decided I should just go home for a little bit and see how things went.
“If I’m not going to pass school then I probably shouldn’t be wrestling. I took a full year off of school and just started working.”
That paradigm shift proved to be exactly what Brumfield needed.
ON THE RIGHT PATH
During his time away from school, Brumfield worked at Mental Giants CrossFit in Dallas where he met Keegan Mueller, owner of the gym.
It’s there that Mueller began to work with Brumfield and showed various aspects of life aside from training.
Brumfield said he had multiple mentors who guided him back on the right track, but Mueller’s impact stood out.
“He showed me different things and showed me the right path and got me on this path of where I’m headed now,” Brumfield said. “We go to church together and he talks to me about finances and my credit.”
Prior to Brumfield working at Mental Giants CrossFit, Mueller said he saw him at an In-N-Out and recalled Brumfield from his wrestling days.
Mueller noticed Brumfield’s physique, demeanor and personality hadn’t changed.
That’s when Mueller recruited Brumfield to his gym.
“He’s fit, he’s jacked and he has a great personality and he’s super nice and humble,” Mueller said. “I wanted to get him in the gym. … I see this guy and I want him in the gym. I want him around.”
During Brumfield’s spell at the crossfit facility, Mueller challenged him to grow between the ears.
Mueller said he’s passionate about passing on information, notably in finance.
“As a follower of Jesus, and as someone who graduated in economics but also somebody who knows that in no way makes me an economist, (my degree) helped me want to continue to learn,” Mueller said. “It empowered me to know these degrees are meaningless if we’re not constantly teaching ourselves or teaching someone else.”
Brumfield spent nearly two years in Texas and returned to school while in the Lone Star State. It wasn’t an easy decision.
“I encouraged him not to go back to school right away. He took my thoughts and still believed going back was the right thing,” Mueller said. “That is something he will own. He made the decision to do these things and they paid off. He’s been his own man. It’s a cool story.”
BACK TO SCHOOL
Brumfield attended Richland Community College for the fall semester where he left with a 3.4 GPA.
While searching for a college to attend in the spring, he received a call from Preston Lauterbach, former teammate at Iowa Western Community College and current teammate and roommate at CSU-Pueblo.
Lauterbach coaxed Brumfield into attending Iowa Western in Council Bluffs. Brumfield sat out the spring semester, headed to Iowa and returned to the mats that fall.
Brumfield was an NJCAA All-American as well as a two-time UIL state placer and runner up for the Reivers.
“It was beyond satisfying,” Brumfield said of getting back on track. “At that time when I was taking that time off, I was lost and confused. I remember specifically that summer when I got back home. I was sitting in my room look at the ceiling, so disappointed in myself.
“Now, I haven’t had much trouble with school and I’m doing way better in my studying and time management. I read more, I talk to people more, I get help more. It was a good learning experience.”
Prior to becoming a ThunderWolf, Brumfield believed he’d return to Colorado. During his time at Iowa Western, his then-roommate Joseph Sutter brought him back to Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving Break.
That’s when Brumfield confirmed his belief at a fitting location.
“We went to Garden of the Gods and we were hiking around and I was just sitting out and looking out and something was speaking to me while I was out there,” Brumfield said. “I fell in love with the place and something told me I was going to be back. I feel like it was a plan and it was God’s will.”
Lauterbach left Iowa Western the year prior and transferred to CSU-Pueblo. Lauterbach informed ThunderWolves wrestling coach Dax Charles of Brumfield and his abilities.
“When I recruit kids I look for strong character,” Charles said. “Guys who communicate with eye contact, they’re respectful, provide a good hand shake, they know how to win and lose with respect.”
Brumfield had all of the aforementioned. And Brumfield has exceeded Charles’ expectations since his decision to attend CSU-Pueblo.
“D’Andre has been everything I have expected and more through his work ethic, his character and his grit to fight,” Charles said. “He’s a great wrestler and great teammate and a great person all around.
″… He’s done a great job on and off the mat and in his social life.”
Brumfield, a 133-pounder, is currently first in the region and fifth in the nation in his class with a 5-3 record.
More encouraging, though, Brumfield is taking freshmen under his wing, making certain they don’t relive his mistakes and guiding them when necessary.
“I give them advice and say ‘I know you’re struggling right now but don’t stress yourself out too much because your life ain’t over,’” Brumfield said. “You have plenty of time to get back on the right track. If I can do it, you can do it, too.”