Since his freshman year at Independence High, senior Brian Tiderman has been making a name for himself on the wrestling mat.
He’d already set the Patriots’ career wins mark even before this season began and had cemented himself as the best to ever wear the green and yellow that defines the Patriots.
But Tiderman found a different kind of success this year – albeit in a very good way that helped better define him on and off the mat.
“I matured as a person,” Tiderman said. “I think I learned a lot about myself and about being a leader this year. Last year I was a leader but I was more of a dictator and people had to look up to me because I was meaner and one of the best wrestlers on the team.
“I think this year people looked up to me for the right reasons and I helped people out in wrestling and life situations. I learned a lot about myself this year and I’m happy for all that I accomplished.”
While Tiderman grew off the mat, he continued his torrid pace on it.
Tiderman burst onto the scene as a freshman in the 2011-12 season, going 46-14 as a wide-eyed 152-pounder looking for respect. The following year, he earned more of his teammates’ admiration as he went 55-11 as a more defined 182-pounder looking to come into his own.
Tiderman kept up his remarkable progression last year, posting a 55-9 record as a chiseled 195-pounder.
But something was missing. As Tiderman walked off the mat at last year’s individual tournament as the all-time Patriot wins leader, he was more disappointed that he wasn’t standing on the podium as a champion.
He wanted a state title this year, but there were bigger things he hoped to accomplish, too.
Maybe they stemmed from missing much of the Patriots’ football season with an ankle injury. Maybe it was the thought that football may be his best option to continue his career in college, but something was different.
“Even though I didn’t win states, I don’t have any regrets about anything,” he said proudly. “I know I worked hard and I had a few bad bounces – not bad calls because I don’t blame anything on the refs – but I went for it when I had the
“I’m happy that I made it to states. I had a really fun year. This year was more relaxed compared to my sophomore and junior year because I just felt like there wasn’t as much pressure for some reason on me.”
While fun, it was still a largely successful.
Tiderman went 53-4 as a 220-pounder. He broke the 200-win barrier for his career – Tiderman finished 209-38 – and he re-established the Mecklenburg County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools career win standard – feats that won’t soon be broken.
In addition, for the second consecutive season, Tiderman is the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly Wrestler of the Year.
“I’m happy for everything that I did here,” Tiderman said of his career. “I think I’m most happy that I got the CMS record, that’s the coolest thing for me. It was great to get to 200 wins, but getting that record was the best and it probably will stand for a while, so that’s cool.”
Tiderman said he isn’t sure what’s next. He would love the chance to play football in college, something Independence football coach Joe Evans has said should be a possibility. One day he said he’d like to give back to the sport of wrestling by coaching – maybe at a school around Charlotte.
In the end, Tiderman will leave Independence as the Patriots’ most accomplished wrestler and, for now at least, that’s pretty good for him.
“I think I did leave my mark here. I have the school record (and) the county record and hopefully they won’t be broken soon,” he said. “I had a great season and a good career. I’m happy with it