Legally blind Russell wrestler excels, headed to state

Published On: Feb 26 2014 06:40:44 PM CST

Dalton Brand is headed to state this year. He’s put together a good season so far, with only six losses, all to seniors who have medaled in state.

“It’s been a goal of mine to go to state, ever since I got into high school,” Brand said.

Brand’s strengths and quickness have helped in in his wrestling career, but it is something he has worked for.

“You tell him to go lift, go run, go work, drill, whatever it is, he does it.” head coach Roger Sells said. “He doesn’t say why or how many do we have to do.”

Brand is also legally blind. He has Stargardts disease and retinal deterioration. His central vision has been dimming for years.

“It’s something I was born with, but it didn’t really affect me, it wasn’t noticeable until I got into about fourth grade.” Brand said

That doesn’t slow him down according to his wrestling partner  Joey Oste said.

“He’s one of the best people that I’ve wrestled,” Oste said.

Brand says his he doesn’t believe his eyesight is a disability, but his coaches and teammates respect what he has done.

“Not a lot of kids could go through what he’s going through and be where he’s at.” Sells said. “He’s a special kid.”

Brand will get his first shot at state on Friday in Salina.