THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!

COLLEGE FUTURE BRIGHT FOR 3 COUNTY WRESTLERS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Brent Layman. Pat Flynn. Brian Eveleth.

In county wrestling circles, they are household names of guys who completed last year's regular season as the Maryland State Wrestling Association's top-ranked, Class 4A-3A state champions. Each was a two-time county champion.

Each now is a freshman grappling in college, where his future looks bright.

As high school seniors, the trio posted a combined 104-1 record with a 60 percent pin ratio (62 falls). Using vastly different styles, they combined for 256 career victories.

As a 135-pound senior, Layman was the flashiest and the most fluid with his moves. "He was just dazzling, simply the finest technician I've ever seen," said his former coach at Old Mill, Mike Hampe.

Though his slender body and huge legs resembled Layman's, Flynn was Layman's perfect foilat 145 pounds. "I don't do the flashy stuff, just your basics," saidFlynn, a former Annapolis wrestler who more or less dissected his opponents.

Eveleth, a Chesapeake graduate, had quickness and power. His execution was overwhelming against his 125-pound adversaries. Just four of his 34 victories lasted the full six minutes.

Yet the highly recruited blue-chippers have discovered one thing about college wrestling: It's not just a job, it's a commitment.

* Eveleth blazed his way to the 125-pound state title at Chesapeake, flattening his first couple of opponents in the initial period, scoring a second-period pin in the semifinals and posting a 21-5 technical fall over McDonough's Larry Green in the championship bout.

He ended his senior season with a 34-0 record, including 23 pins -- 19 in the first period -- and seven technical falls. Eveleth, who was 93-16-1 for his career, captured the Anne Arundel County Sun's inaugural Fall Guys award with 114 points -- seven more that Broadneck's 119-pound state runner-up, Shawn Miller (34-1).

So his biggest challenge at the University of Pennsylvania has been learning to go the distance. High school matches are comprised of three periods of two minutes each, while a standard college match goes 3-2-2.

"It's not so much that you get tired, but you have to maintain your concentration," said Eveleth, whohas an overall 16-8 record (11-3 in varsity matches). "All of the matches are close. You can win or lose a match on a takedown, so you can't find yourself coming out of a stance or getting lazy in a match, or you'll pay for it."

What's paying off is Eveleth's hard work. He bench-presses 260 pounds, has wrestled "two or three former state champs," split victories with a high school national champ and beat a Division III All-American.

"I'm really surprised that I'm doing sowell," said Eveleth, who has scored technical falls over two opponents. "I've got good workout partners and good coaches up here."

* Flynn's third day at Penn State last fall was the last he would set foot on the University Park campus as a student: a truly alarming experience led to his subsequent one-semester suspension from the school.

"A fire alarm was set off and I was charged with actually pulling it, but I don't feel my case was properly investigated," said Flynn, who opted not to return to Penn State. He is now a redshirt freshman at the University of Maryland.

The 18-year-old engineering major now lives in an off-campus apartment with six older students.

"Let's just say I'm done with the party scene for a while," said Flynn, who ended his senior season at Annapolis with an 88-11 career record.

In his final year at Annapolis, Flynn went 33-0 with 17 pins at 145pounds. He led the Panthers to their first Arundel tournament title in the event's eight-year history, and to a share of the county dual-meet crown -- which they shared with Old Mill and Broadneck -- for the first time in the 12-year tenure of Coach Dave Gehrdes.

"Now, I'm carrying around about 165 to 170 pounds," said the former Annapolisteam captain. "My shoulders are broader, my back is bigger and my legs are huge. I'll go with my same old style. My leverage may be less the bigger I get, but I'll be more effective and stronger."

So far, a skin rash has kept Flynn from practicing at Maryland, but Terps coach John McHugh knows his potential.

"He looks like a 158-pounder, and that's what we need," said McHugh, whose Terps have an 8-6 record. "He's still growing, and he'll be real strong once we get him lifting."

"It was nice to walk into practice and see Brent's familiarface," Flynn joked. "Maryland was nice enough to look at my case anddecided that I wasn't a threat to society. I'm on a good team with some hard-working guys. We have a bright future."

* The first week of practice with the Maryland wrestling team literally was an eye-popping experience for Layman, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman.

Specifically, his eye was blackened after taking a knee in it during a workout with 158-pound starter Vas Lahanus.

It was somewhat of an adjustment for a guy who was so slick that he rarely was injured. In high school, Layman seldom had to worry about his mechanics down on the mat, unless he was nailing down one of his school-record 31 pins.

"I was trying to ride Lahanus. Staying on top is something I've been having a hard time with at this level," said Layman, who went 37-1 asa senior with a single-season record of 147 takedowns.

"Finishingtakedowns is a lot tougher up here. There's a big difference," said Layman, whose career-record 218 takedowns at Old Mill eclipsed the old mark of 164. "In high school, you just grab a leg, and the guy gives it to you. Here, that's just half the battle."

As a senior, Layman was an All-County soccer player, captured a state doubles title intennis and was chosen the Anne Arundel County Sun's Male Athlete of the Year.

He has started lifting weights four times a week to improve his strength. Layman, whose natural weight has reached 155 pounds, has competed at 150 in open tournaments at both East Stroudsburg University and the University of North Carolina. He has a 3-3 record.

"In practice, I can hang with just about everybody except Tom Miller," says Layman. "He's ranked fifth in the nation at 142 pounds, and he's an ACC champ."

Layman lives with two other freshmen and another Atlantic Coast Conference champion, 190-pound Poly graduate Kevin Brown.

"When Pat Flynn first walked into practice, I was sick and wasn't wrestling well. So he says, 'That's not the Brent Layman I knew in high school,' " said Layman, who ranks seventh on Old Mill's all-time win list at 75-5-2.

"So I take the guy down and he says, 'Now that's the Old Mill guy I knew.' "

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
39°