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Hereford High's Turnbaugh tabbed as male Athlete of Year

When it comes to football, wrestling and lacrosse, few athletes can match the all-around success of Hereford's Brock Turnbaugh, who uses toughness and strength to dominate opponents.

The 2014 North County News male Athlete of the Year earned Associated Press All-State Small School Division honors in football as a middle linebacker, won a Class 1A/2A state championship in wrestling and was named a US Lacrosse All-American as a goalie.

It would have been difficult for Turnbaugh to script a much better senior year than the one he just finished at Hereford.

"I really did a lot of training over the summer," Turnbaugh said of the most rigorous workouts of his high school career. "I feel it helped me in every sport."

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Turnbaugh co-captained all three teams, carried a 3.93 grade point average and received a lacrosse scholarship to John Hopkins University.

He could have played college football, too. Towson University and the University of Delaware were hot after him to be a long snapper.

"He is probably the most mature 18-year-old kid I have ever been around," Hereford boys lacrosse coach Brian King said. "He is the first athlete I have seen in 10 years do three sports at a high level. Three sport athletes are kind of dying out in this age of specialization. It's generation to have a three-sport athlete, who is the best at all three."

All anyone needs to know about Turnbaugh's wrestling ability can be found in his stellar 42-2 senior record.

He tied the school record for most victories in a season, winning a county championship, Franklin Invitational crown and best of all, a state title.

Turnbaugh beat Fallston's Alex Helm, 11-6, to capture the state championship at 220 pounds in early March in College Park. 

"It was a goal of mine from the very beginning of the season and I had to work harder than everybody else," Turnbaugh said. "And it eventually paid off. You have to make sure your moves are flawless at the state tournament. That's what I did throughout it. I made sure every move I made was perfect."

Turnbaugh also went 5-0 at the Iron Horse duals, beating four opponents ranked in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

Turnbaugh, who transferred to Hereford after his freshman year at Boys' Latin, finished his three-year career with a 105-15 record.

"I think as a tenth and eleventh grader, he was still thinking about things out on the mat," Hereford assistant wrestling coach Brett Baier said. "This year, things just clicked. You saw him react to things without thinking. He outworked everybody at practice and all of his opponents. He got up Sunday mornings to lift weights. He ran extra steps."

Turnbaugh committed to play lacrosse at John Hopkins before his junior season, choosing the Blue Jays over offers from Penn State, Navy and Towson.

He played for the past three years for one of the nation's top lacrosse club teams, the Baltimore Crabs.

At Hereford, he helped the Bulls to consecutive Class 3A-2A state championships as a sophomore and junior, seeing a lot of time between the pipes.

Turnbaugh took over as the full-time starter as a senior, making 220 saves for the 17-4 Bulls.

His standout performances came against Boys' Latin (18 saves), Gilman (17) and state semifinalist Glenelg (15).

"I thought I played well," Turnbaugh said of the Boys' Latin game. "I proved I could hang in there against the number one team in the nation."

His leadership skills were just as important as any eye-catching saves Turnbaugh made.

Hereford started two sophomores and a freshman on defense.

Turnbaugh stood out as a vocal leader, telling teammates to play the right way.

They listened.

"His leadership skills were unbelievable," King said. "He understood everything about a defense. He had instant credibility with his peers. He knows what he is talking about and the kids listed to him because he is a winner."

Turnbaugh made a huge impact in football as three-year starter at linebacker and center.

He led the team in tackles last fall with 103, forced two fumbles and recorded two sacks.

"He was the captain of the offense and the defense," Hereford assistant coach Joe Bosley said of Turnbaugh, who also long snapped on punts and kickoffs. "He called the signals on defense and made the line calls on offense. He was very intelligent. He was an All-Star caliber player."

Turnbaugh played in Baltimore Touchdown Club Senior All-Star game in December at Archbishop Spalding.

Something that may have aided in getting him there was his 20-tackle performance in a victory over Sparrows Point.

"He was our leading tackler since his sophomore year." said Turnbaugh's father Steve, Hereford's head coach football from 1995 to 2013. "He was always around the football. We always had our coaches' meeting on Sunday at my house, so he would always get so much film work. He pretty much knew what the other teams were going to do."

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