Success familiar to FSK's Owings Sophomore boasts 12 years on mat

February 19, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

About the only thing that doesn't come naturally to Francis Scott Key wrestler Randy Owings when he's on the mat is losing.

Owings has taken to the mat 23 times this season for the Eagles and 22 times he has left a winner -- 14 by pin. Key coach Bill Hyson says the 16-year-old already wrestles like a polished veteran, despite being only a sophomore.

Owings -- ranked second in the state in the 130-pound class -- has a strong wrestling background that began when he was 4. It was then he started competing in tournaments before joining the FSK Junior Eagles program at 7. He won states as an eighth-grader in the junior program, and his immediate success in high school was no surprise to him.

"I didn't figure on it being that much different," said Owings.

"Wrestling is a good challenge. The self-discipline teaches you to deal with all kinds of different things."

As a freshman last season, Owings took the 119-pound class by storm. He finished with a 24-3-1 record, winning county and regional titles. The only thing that got in his way of a possible state title was a virus that sidelined him the weekend of the tournament.

"It was pretty disappointing working that hard and putting in all that time only to give it away for nothing," he said.

"It's something that's in the past, but something I won't forget and I try to use it to work harder to get back there."

This season, the Eagles are enjoying one of their finest seasons with a 10-1 record going into last night's match against Smithsburg. Owings has moved up to the 130-pound class and hasn't missed a beat.

"He has good physical strength and rides real well. He's just a sound technician," Hyson said.

"He also has a quiet sort of confidence of himself. You don't hear a lot from him, but as a sophomore he's already become a team leader -- particularly to the younger wrestlers."

Owings' only loss of the season was a 9-3 decision to Paint Branch's Craig Middledorf, a defending state champ and the top-ranked wrestler at 130 in the state.

"I don't want to forget how it felt to lose and all I know is I don't want to feel that way again,"Owings said.

Because Paint Branch competes in Class 3A-4A and Key is in 1A-2A, there's no chance the two will meet in state competition. For Owings, this is his time of the year.

"The end of the season is always fun. It's a time to show off all you've learned in practice," he said.

"I'm just trying to set my mind on reaching my goals: winning the county, region and then states."

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