MOORE — Deven Brewer likes challenges. The Westmoore freshman has met each of them head on this season as he has begun to stake a claim as one of the top wrestlers in the state.
But Brewer is used to facing down and overcoming the obstacles placed in front of him. Born with a physical abnormality, he hasn’t let it keep him from reaching for his dreams.
“I think I can be in contention for a state title,” Brewer said. “State placer definitely. I’ve worked all my life for it. Since I was four years old. It’s been all I kind of wanted to do.”
When people meet Brewer for the first time, it’s almost impossible for them not to notice the large knot on the right side of his face. They might assume he just exited a tough bout.
But that is not the case. Brewer has a tumor growing in his face.
“I’ve had this since I was born,” Brewer said. “I’ve had it removed once when I was six. Then again last year. But I hit another growth spurt last year and it came back again. I will probably end up getting it removed again in March.”
Even though the tumor is non cancerous, it does carry possible side effects that could prove harmful later in life.
“It’s a Vascular tumor,” Brewer said. “It’s a blood- fed muscle. Every time I grow, it grows with me. It’s just one of those things. It doesn’t hurt or bother me at all. It’s just there. I get asked about it a lot. It’s a conversation starter.”
Brewer has turned the unique trait into a source of motivation. Not only does he use it to better himself on the wrestling mat but also in life.
“I think it helped me adapt and become a bigger person. It’s kind of like a trademark,” he said. “I’m Deven Brewer, the kid from Westmoore with the big cheek.”
These days, Brewer is getting noticed for his mat work. Heading into last week, the 145-pounder was 13-2 .
“He has stepped in as a freshman and really stepped up for us and done some really good things,” Westmoore assistant Jimmy Filippo said. “He had one bad tournament at Geary and didn’t place. But when we went to Louisiana, he was the outstanding wrestler in the lower weights.”
Brewer has also continued to wrestle in junior high matches, where he is undefeated.
“I actually like it,” he said. “It’s a challenge and it helps me keep my weight down. It’s good to be able to help contribute to the junior high. I like to be able to be a leader for them and at the high school. It’s a good thing.”