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2019-20 All-Metro Wrestler of the Year: Cooper Flynn, McDonogh

Cooper Flynn

McDonogh, junior

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Nobody felt more motivated to get over the top this season than Cooper Flynn.

The McDonogh junior from Tennessee had ended his sophomore campaign with disappointment, falling in the semifinals at National Preps en route to placing third at 113 pounds. Flynn, one of the top-ranked 120-pound wrestlers in the country who won national titles as a freshman and sophomore at the National High School Coaches Association sophomore tournament in the offseason, had one thing left to prove.

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“I think coming off that loss was a great motivator,” Flynn said. “It left that sour taste to know it ended like that, you know, a match I thought I should have won.”

That loss, a 4-3 decision that Blair Academy’s Ryan Miller won by securing a takedown with 10 seconds remaining, was the driving force for a stellar season for Flynn. After winning the Ray Oliver tournament and being named outstanding wrestler the first weekend of the season, he avenged that defeat to Miller and beat him, 3-1 in overtime, in the semifinals at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament before losing an overtime decision in the championship match.

Flynn followed that with a third-place finish at the Beast of the East tournament and hasn’t lost a match since, going unbeaten at the Virginia Duals to help McDonogh win the event, and dominating at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Maryland Independent Schools state tournaments, winning both for a second time.

Flynn solidified his status as one of the country’s best at National Preps, allowing one point in his first four victories to reach the championship match where he defeated Miller again, this time 3-2, to become the only Baltimore-area grappler to leave the tournament with a gold medal. He finished the season 47-2 with 29 pins — improving his career record to 132-17 with 76 falls — and is ranked No. 4 in the country by FloWrestling.

“It was — I don’t want to say surreal because I knew I could do it and I knew I should be at the top of that podium,” Flynn said. “It was just a nice relief knowing all that training all year, that extra time and everything paid off on a big stage like that.”

McDonogh coach Pete Welch called Flynn “a student of the game” who stepped up as a leader of a senior-laden team, a first-one-in, last-one-out type of kid.

“He kind of set the tone,” he said. “He’s just a student of the game. He spends so much time studying the sport and working on his craft,” Welch said. “… He’s really well-rounded right now, and he’s worked to be that way.”

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