South Carroll's Fryrear turns thing around

January 18, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Before the season, South Carroll wrestling coach Pete Olson said the key would be whether a few of his wrestlers could "turn the corner."

One of Olson's biggest question marks has become one of his biggest exclamation points: senior Leo Fryrear.

"Leo has definitely improved to the point where we're really starting to count on him," Olson said.

"Last year, he had his bright spots but was unpredictable. This year, he's become an anchor for us, and he knows that's his role."

Fryrear, who competes in the 189-pound division, didn't start participating in the sport until the eighth grade, when a friend talked him into wrestling for the Winfield Warriors junior league team. He made the South Carroll junior varsity as a freshman before moving up to varsity as a sophomore.

After two varsity seasons with a combined record of 14-27, Fryrear is 12-4 this season and looking as if he's wrestled all his life.

"When I was a freshman, I only had a couple of moves and did OK on junior varsity," Fryrear said.

"Then I moved up to varsity my sophomore year and got crushed a lot. I got a little better last year and this year I finally turned the corner. The best feeling is beating a guy who beat me last year."

Last summer, Fryrear went to the Neil Turner Wrestling Training Camp at Western Maryland College and competed in the Walkersville Freestyle Tournament. He said he learned new moves and developed confidence.

"For me, it was always a matter of self-confidence," he said.

"Usually when I went into a match thinking I would win, I'd win. When I went in thinking I would lose, I'd lose. With a positive approach going in all the time, I know I've given myself the best chance to win. Whether I win or lose, I can be proud that I did my best."

Fryrear has played a big part in South Carroll's 8-2 start.

Not only is he winning on a regular basis, but he's doing it in a big way. Nine of his 12 wins have come by pin -- including six in under a minute.

"Our coaches really stress wrestling on your feet. I get a lot of takedowns when I'm on my feet, and some of the moves are like second nature. That's how I get most of the quick ones," he said.

Olson says the added confidence has done wonders.

"He's become very aggressive as he's gained confidence and is very explosive," Olson said.

"He's very hard to hold down and on his feet can really throw you down. His strength is in his legs."

Fryrear's goal since his freshman season has been to qualify for the states. He says every win takes him one step closer.

Olson likes his chances.

"You look at the people he's lost to, and none are in our region," he said.

"I definitely think Leo has the potential to qualify, and I know he's had his eyes set on that. He really wants it."

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