Westminster's Biden gets hold on wrestling success

January 10, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Want to know just how good a wrestler Westminster freshman Bobby Biden is?

"If we had 12 more like him, we would be unbeatable," said Owls coach Henry Mohlhenrich.

Quite a testimony to an athlete who has been in only 15 bouts in his varsity career.

But Biden has earned that kind of high praise from his coach, winning 14 of 15 matches at 103 pounds and dominating his teammates in practice.

"Bobby came in here and beat everybody, including the juniors and seniors," said Mohlhenrich. "Intensity and tenacity are his strong points. I've always said that half of the battle in wrestling is psychological."

Biden's fast start has helped the Owls win the seven-team Friends tournament and get off to a 4-3-1 record in dual- and tri-meets.

Westminster even surfaced at No. 13 in the metro area wrestling poll for one week in mid-December after winning the Friends tourney.

But the Owls have been hurt recently by a lack of success in the higher weight classes.

Biden has responded, winning nine straight bouts since his only loss of the season, which came in the finals of the Annapolis tournament.

"I think Bobby has a point to prove," said Mohlhenrich. "He wants to be accepted by everyone on the team since he is the only freshman starter."

Mohlhenrich said Biden has been so accomplished on the mat that it is hard to find a flaw in his performances.

"He gets tied up in legs sometimes but all young wrestlers have a tendency to do that," said Mohlhenrich.

So just how did Biden get so good so soon?

It has not been easy.

First, he has spent many long hours practicing on a mat in his basement with his father, Randy, a three-time Carroll County champion from 1971 through 1973 at 98, 105 and 119 pounds.

Also, the Bidens live close to Steve Hoff, the only three-time state wrestling champion from Carroll County.

Hoff was coaching in the Francis Scott Key junior program when Biden was in the fifth grade, and the state champ got Biden started at that early age in the outstanding Key program.

Biden wrestled in that program until the eighth grade before switching to the Westminster Junior League. One year later, he entered the ninth grade at Westminster and now Mohlhenrich is his mentor.

"I've learned a lot from Henry," said Biden. "He has worked with me on some moves and he is big on conditioning. We run the steps, the halls and wrestle a lot of matches in practice."

All of which Biden loves to do.

He is hooked on wrestling and wrestles year round, long since giving up baseball and football.

"I like wrestling because you are out on the mat by yourself and can't blame anybody else if you lose," he said. "I have no problems with weight. You just can't eat a lot of junk food. I eat mostly tacos and salads and some meat for protein."

Biden believes his quickness and good moves have carried him through the first 15 bouts. But he admits that intensity has helped him a lot.

"When I'm out on the mat, I don't hear anything," he said.

Not even his grandmother, Evelyn Biden, and his mother, Trudy, who attend all the matches.

"It's nice that they come to the matches but it really doesn't help me," he said. "I can't hear them."

The only distraction Biden allows when he is going after an opponent is his coach shouting instructions.

"I'll look over at him and try to hear what he is telling me to do," he said.

With every Biden victory, he is making his father look better and better as a prognosticator.

Mohlhenrich said, "I go back with his dad. We both wrestled at Westminster High, only I was out of there three years before he was. When Bobby was in the Junior League wrestling, all I heard from Randy was 'My son is going to start for you on the varsity next year and be real good.' "

Mohlhenrich said he got so tired of hearing about Bobby Biden that he told his wife Christina: "I wish he [Randy] would shut up."

Now Mohlhenrich wishes there were 12 more Randy Bidens around to brag about their sons.

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