Wyoming People: Meet Cody’s Beaudrie Brothers (And A Sister), A Family Of Champions

With nine state wrestling titles between them, the Beaudrie brothers of Cody, Wyoming, are athletes all. And now a sister joins the huddle.

Jake Nichols

May 21, 202312 min read

Bros John Danny Charlie Grayson support their sister Maddie

John Beaudrie is what some call a generational athlete, a once-in-a-lifetime record-setting stud in high school.

Except he isn’t and wasn’t.

There are three more Beaudrie brothers, each tougher than the one before. And now even a sister, making this Cody family one of the most freakishly athletic and competitive Park County, Wyoming, has ever produced.

Growing Up Beaudrie

A celebration of Joe and Dawn’s love for each other includes five blessings:

·       John, 26

·       Dan, 23

·       Charlie, 21

·       Grayson, 18

·       Maddie, 15

Each Beaudrie boy is uniquely individual, but the brothers also share some common characteristics. They are each fiercely competitive. They win with humility and lose with grace. And they’re hell on furniture.

“They were always coming up with something, always competing against each other,” said their mother, Dawn. “There was never a quiet moment when they were home.”

Four rambunctious boys are hard on any mom. But these four were in another league. Whether it was wrestling or boxing matches in the basement or full-on BB gun shootouts outdoors, the kids were constantly pitting their strengths against one another.

“I still have a blowgun in my closet that I had to take away from the boys one day. They had Grayson in his underwear and a coat running by as they shot blow darts at him,” their dad Joe remembered. “They found an old pair of boxing gloves I kept, so they would have parties in the basement in middle school and high school where they would arrange boxing matches between everyone who came over.”

Growing up in the Beaudrie household was not for the faint of heart. Joe became a spackling expert. Dawn could dress most minor injuries in her sleep.

If the local hospital offered a punch card or frequent flyer discount, the Beaudries would be first in line. Fractured ankles, ruptured pecs, torn ACLs — name it, the brothers Beaudrie suffered it.

As competitive as they were, Joe said he has been pleasantly surprised how they never lauded it over each other.

Winners didn’t gloat, losers never whined. Each brother was keenly aware of his particular strengths and skillset, and where a sibling might be better at something else.

“They were always supportive of each other and cheered each other on when they competed in high school sports,” Dawn said.

  • Bros boys with maddie
  • Boys beaudrie 5 21 23


The family legacy got started with John.

As firstborn with no sibling to push him, John had to be self-motivated. And boy was he.

“John was born a competitor. At 2 ½, he was hitting pitched baseballs. At 4, I would take him along to wrestling practice where he worked out with fourth, fifth and sixth graders,” Joe said.

Joe taught at Rosebud Elementary School on the reservation in South Dakota before the family moved to Cody in 2005. He also coached basketball and track, and helped out with the wrestling program, headed by Troy Heinert, later a South Dakota state senator.

At the end of each school day, John would accompany his father to the gym and to wrestling practice. That’s where he caught the bug.

“John would hang out and roll around with these older kids, jumping right in whatever we were doing,” Joe said. “At first, Troy would give these fifth and sixth graders crap, saying, ‘Look at this little kid, he’s outworking all of you.’ In later years, Troy would say to me in all honesty, ‘You know, your kid has a real knack for this.’”

Through the years, it was obvious to his parents that John was a gifted athlete. And his drive to be better seemed genetically imbedded.

“I remember him coming off the field in Little League [baseball] telling me how frustrated he was about not being able to locate his pitches better,” Joe recalled.

“Like I tell all the boys to this day: ‘We don’t make excuses. Find a way in and not a way out,’” he said. “And, ‘If you want to be better than anyone else, you have to do more than anyone else.’”

That stuck with John. All his life — through two state titles in wrestling and a baseball career that took him to Colorado Mesa University before he was sidelined by shoulder issues — the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder put in the work.

“We had this chain-link fence around our house, and I put this strike zone up on it so he could practice pitching. By the end of the summer he had almost drilled a hole in that fence throwing a ball against it,” Joe said.

Still, John had trouble fully believing in himself, up until his junior year of high school.

“It was like he flipped a switch that year. He was not going to be intimidated by anyone after that,” Dawn said.

John went on to earn a wrestling title in 2014 and did the same the following year, pinning a two-time state champion in the process.

Today, John attends medical school in North Dakota. He and his wife have two kids.

Beaudrie family 5 21 23


In many ways, Dan was the opposite of John — brains to his brawn.

“When he was little, he was not as naturally athletic as John. He had to work a lot harder,” Dawn said. “He became a student of wrestling. That is what propelled him forward.”

Joe agreed.

“Danny was more cerebral. For instance, he knew the whole football playbook and everyone’s responsibilities on every play,” he said. “It was important for him to really know it in order to go and do it.”

But Dan was as competitive and motivated to win as anyone. Dad remembered when Dan said he wanted to quit wrestling around third grade.

“He was happy for a while that he got out of wrestling, so proud of himself. He became this bookworm, reading all the time,” Joe said.

“But he still had to be dragged along to watch John wrestle. I remember him at the first few tournaments, peeking over the top of whatever book he was reading,” he said. “Next couple of tournaments he is setting the book aside to watch now and then. By the end of the season he was tugging on my arm asking me, ‘You think that kid is in my weight class?’”

Dan came back to wrestling to eventually win two state titles just like his older brother. But his fighting spirit and mental toughness were never more tested than by what happened off the mat.

And it shook the whole family.

In 2015, Dan was airlifted to Billings after a near-fatal car accident. It was bad.

“The first thing he said when they took him out of the induced coma was, ‘I will wrestle again,’” Dawn remembered. “With Dan, you never questioned his determination. Ever.”

It would be a year before he could return to any kind of physical training. During that time, the family went through an intense bonding, a rebirth.

“They were all affected by Dan’s accident, not just Dan. The mental wear on the kids was rough,” Dawn said.

“It made them all stronger in a sense. They really got an appreciation for life,” Joe added.

Dan was a walk-on at Michigan State for wrestling until underlying nerve damage from the accident returned to give him trouble. He’s married now and living in Billings, where he is an electrical engineer.  


“Charlie was like John’s mini-me. He tried to keep up with John and do everything his older brother did,” Dawn said. “From early on, it was pretty evident Charlie was extremely blessed physically and athletically. He had a mind for sports as well.”

“And he was fast. Because he had to be. He had a mouth on him. Talk about poking the bear,” Joe added, remembering the times he would agitate his older brothers.

Charlie was the kind of athlete that could do whatever he put his mind to — when he decided to put his mind to it. Things came naturally to him even though he was probably the shyest of the Beaudrie boys.

“Being in the limelight was a little uncomfortable for him unless he was on the mat or the court or the field. That’s where he felt at home,” Joe said.

Charlie played a little football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He finished high school with three state titles in wrestling.

Charlie committed to Chadron State College to play football but just could not stay healthy enough to compete consistently.

He’s back in Cody and in the process of taking over his grandfather’s plumbing business.

Bros family


“Grayson is just his own cat,” mom said.

“He’s like a combination of all of them. He loves to read. He has an imagination. He was the protector of the world from zombies,” Dawn said. “He wrestled, but was never as successful as his brother. He never let the losses get him down. He smiled and always came back for more.”

Grayson took a little longer to develop. Dad described him as a normal, average, fat little kid. “Happy as all get out.”

“The athletic piece wasn’t evident from the beginning. Friends started to shun him in fifth or sixth grade. It really hurt him,” Joe recalled. “Then, when football started in seventh grade, he had a growth spurt — and boy did he grow. Suddenly he was the one everyone wanted to be around.”

To truly experience Grayson one has only to share space with him.

“Grayson is so intense. If you ever sat down with him in the locker room before a football game,” Joe said. “It wasn’t so much what he said. You could just feel the energy off of him.”

Grayson led his Cody Broncs to two straight state titles in football as a two-way player (running back and linebacker). He also picked up a pair of state titles in wrestling.

Grayson just turned 18 is off to wrestle at Dickinson State University.

Bros Grandpa Dennis Joe Maddie Dawn Grayson


The youngest of five, Maddie obviously did not follow the script.

Out of the testosterone-rich environment of the Beaudrie household came a sibling without a Y chromosome. She spent most her life cheering for someone in navy and gold.

“She is nothing but driven herself. She always thought she would be a wrestler since before she could talk,” Dawn said. “She would compete against all the boys in everything. She wanted to race them, wrestle them, whatever. She is all girl, don’t get me wrong, but she is not prissy.”

The Cody freshman played basketball, volleyball and soccer for the Fillies this season. Dad is her biggest fan.

“I’m excited to watch her. She is a spitfire, has been from the word go,” Joe said.

Both parents recalled Maddie’s fearless nature as a precocious kid, tagging along to American Legion baseball games or wrestling tournaments all over the state to watch her brothers.

“If you were anywhere around a Legion baseball game you would remember her,” Joe said. “She would have come right up to you and hit you up for candy or money. We put in miles and miles traveling the state for the boys’ sports and everywhere we went she knew people. Just walked right up and introduced herself and started talking to them.”

“She was 7 years old, and she would know someone in every town we went to,” Dawn said. “Whenever we got somewhere she would be immediately talking to someone we didn’t know.

“‘Who was that?’ we would ask her. ‘Oh, that’s Kevin and Jane. Bobby’s parents. You remember them.’”

Priorities Straight

A few years away now from being empty nesters, Dawn and Joe feel at peace with how they raised their kids, their team. Both athletes themselves in high school, they passed on more than genes.

“From the beginning, Dawn and I agreed we would not push our kids or put pressure on them in any way to achieve in sports,” Joe said. “We would always be supportive. We never pushed but provided when our kids made their own decisions to pursue something.”

Conceit never entered the picture with any of the Beaudries. They are all competitive, but well-adjusted. Driven but humble.

“They are blessed and they know that. They’ve always put God first. It’s something that has always guided them along with the life lessons of sports,” Dawn said.

Joe added, “And we’ve always told them, ‘Your value as a human has nothing to do with you as an athlete. And nothing you do will change who you are to me and your mom. You have been gifted by God with athleticism and that is a great honor. Use it to uplift those around you.’”

Jake Nichols can be reached at: Jake@CowboyStateDaily.com

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Jake Nichols

Features Reporter