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Average to All-American: The journey of Providence's heavyweight stud, KC Buday

KC Buday Providence Wrestling
Posted at 12:11 PM, Nov 23, 2023

GREAT FALLS — The Providence wrestling program has found itself another stud in the heavyweight division.

Currently ranked second in the NAIA, Great Falls CMR alum KC Buday is on a mission to finish his senior year with a national title. However, this level of success is one that even Buday himself couldn’t have pictured when he started wrestling in the second grade.

Buday wrestled for the North Montana Wrestling Club that year, but wasn’t having the best of time. The following year he joined the Little Rustlers and discovered that he actually loved to wrestle. He went on to compete for CMR in high school, but it didn’t go as well as he expected it to.

“My high school career was the definition of 'OK.' I went to state my sophomore, junior, and senior year. My sophomore and junior year I didn’t place and my senior year I took sixth,” said Buday. “I think part of it is I just didn’t take it seriously. I had all the potential in the world and I didn’t really use it.”

A big reason for the lack of seriousness in his wrestling career was because he never planned on competing on the mat in college. During his time at CMR, he was part of a monster offensive line and believed that it was football or nothing. Buday played both guard and tackle in the East-West Shrine game and thought his performance was well enough to get him recognition from college coaches.

After not receiving any scholarship offers for football, he went on to to be a student at the University of Montana. After watching a couple of the Griz football games, the idea sparked of being a walk-on for the team. After talking with one of the coaches, the plan was to tryout in the spring but that was around the same time he began thinking of returning to Great Falls to wrestle for Providence.

After making the decision to compete for the Argos, things still were not going so well for Buday. In his first year on the mat, he was taking beatings in competitions and every day at practice.

“My freshman year we had a stud at heavyweight, Justin Harbison, and I wrestled with him basically every day at practice and he beat the living crap out of me,” said Buday. “Every single day for a hour or two hours. I think I got one take down on him the entire year.”

Moving along in his career, Buday qualified for the NAIA championships and made it to the third round of the consolation bracket as a redshirt sophomore. The following year he finished fourth at nationals and ended the season with a 25-3 overall record.

“Dedication. I wouldn’t say I’m a super, super talented wrestler technique-wise but I put in a lot of work,” said Buday. 'We have morning lifts, we have practice, I lift after practice, and I am constantly doing something. Fitness has become a love of mine and it’s hard to see me not in a gym or in a weight room doing something.”

A huge part of Buday’s journey was changing his diet. In high school, he was eating junk food and fast food every single day but changed his habits when he got to Providence. He subbed out the fast foods and sodas for healthy foods and protein shakes, and began to see the fat fall off of him in the process.

In his freshman year, he entered at 280 pounds with very little muscle, and by the start of his sophomore year he was down to 220 pounds. Over the next two years, he built his muscle back up and currently sits at 270 pounds with limited body fat.

“This year I’m really excited because it’s a good 270. I feel strong, I feel athletic, and it’s a game changer. That’s for sure.”

Buday is determined to win both an individual national title and a team trophy to end his collegiate wrestling career.

“I know I have the ability to do it. I just have to peek at the right time, keep working hard, and getting in my extra reps," He said. "Another thing I want is a team trophy. I love my team, I love my teammates. I’m a team captain and I take that super seriously. I find that leading a group of men and forming bonds with all of them has been one of the most rewarding things that’s come out of wrestling.”

When his final season is all said and done, he is unsure what the future holds. The one thing he is sure of is that he will be graduating with his degree in health and physical education.