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Bronson faces a new battle

Keegan Bronson, cancer, Steele County
Ex-Westfield wrestler Keegan Bronson looks to earn the pin at a home dual last season. Bronson graduated from Hayfield High School in 2022 and is now attending Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. Staff photo by Johnnie Phillips
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

Former Westfield wrestler and Hayfield High School golfer Keegan Bronson had just begun his freshman year as a member of Waldorf University’s golf team when his life took an unexpected turn.

After dealing with knee soreness for a few months, a near-fall out of his team van led Bronson to get his leg checked out – a decision that would lead him to discover that he had developed a cancerous tumor.

“They diagnosed it as osteosarcoma and said that we found it sort of early. The tumor was in the bone but was just starting to exit it. Luckily, it hadn’t engulfed any major blood vessels or entered any nervous systems,” said Bronson.

At 19 years old, Bronson’s days had suddenly shifted from rounds at his local golf course to rounds of chemotherapy.

According to Bronson, doctors told him his battle is expected to last nine months.

Already two months into chemotherapy, Bronson mentioned that the medication will take its standard toll on hair loss and sickness.

However, what it won’t take from him is his mental toughness.

“Wrestling has definitely prepared me for this. I know this is the hardest thing I’ll have to go through, but I always think of the quote from Dan Gable, ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.’”

Luckily for Bronson – unlike on the wrestling mats he used to shine on – he will not have to fight this battle alone.

Bronson’s family has stuck close by his side through days spent in the hospital while members of the community in Hayfield and surrounding towns have shown their support in a creative way.

“I like goofy socks with, like, weird, random stuff on them. So I have, like, a 25-gallon tub in my room that is overflowing with socks that people have sent.”

While seven months remain in Bronson’s journey to beating cancer, the freshman already has a vision of how he sees life going after treatments conclude.

“My plan is to golf… and golf… and golf,” said Bronson with a laugh.

Those looking to show support for Bronson in his journey can attend a silent auction scheduled at The Village Pub in Hayfield on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 1 to 7 p.m., or contact Jessica Simonson at for donations.

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