Mind's eye clearly sees perfection, state title

Wrestling: Motivated by a close loss for last year's crown, River Hill's Ryan Green is ranked No. 1 with a 25-0 record and sights set on an unbeaten record and championship.

High Schools

January 30, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

River Hill's Ryan Green has mentally re-wrestled the final moments of his 130-pound state championship loss to Westlake's Jon Peters for nearly a year now.

In his replays, he wins: His lunge beats the buzzer for a takedown that forces overtime, where he grabs the victory. But reality always foils this fantasy for Green, who did not get the favorable call from the referee and finished as state runner-up.

"I'm so sure I had the takedown. If we were in the middle of the mat, I would have had a takedown and backpoints and won the match," said Green, a three-time Howard County and two-time regional champ. "I was disappointed, but I shook his hand, told him, `Good match,' and went over and sat in the stands by myself. It hurt, but I knew I had one more year."

And Green is making the most of it, having run his record to 25-0 with 19 pins and two technical falls as The Sun's No. 1 wrestler at 135 pounds.

"This is my senior year and I'm motivated to go out and wrestle better," Green said. "I'd like to be an undefeated champion, and I'd like to see my team win states also."

That quest begins tomorrow night at River Hill, when the fifth-ranked Hawks (14-2 overall, 8-0 league) defend their county dual meet crown against third-ranked Mount Hebron (13-0, 8-0). A program whose Cinderella season has swept the wrestling community statewide, Mount Hebron already has twice finished ahead of preseason favorite River Hill in tournaments at Magruder of Montgomery County and Arundel of Anne Arundel County.

"They're up there getting all of the attention, and we can come from behind and take it right from them," Green said. "It's a plus that we'll be in our gym. We've won two county championships there. And this year, we blew out Hammond and Damascus there. I think you're going to see a focused River Hill team that's ready to win."

Green's school-record 119 career victories against only 17 losses have surpassed the mark of 111 established by former teammate and three-time state champion Brandon Lauer, now a 133-pound starter at West Virginia University.

"He's wrestled up at 140, taken on all comers. I think he's wrestling a lot better than last year, and he's certainly done everything I've asked him to do," said River Hill coach Earl Lauer, Brandon's father. "If there's a tough kid, you take your best and put him against their best. I've given him tough competition when given the opportunity much like I did with Brandon."

Although Green does not like to compare himself to his predecessor, Lauer, who did not lose a high school match, he can do a few things that Lauer could not, such as win a fourth county title (Lauer wrestled only three high school seasons).

Green, who was fourth at states as a sophomore, also can help the Hawks improve on their dual meet state runner-up finish two years ago.

"It's different for me now than when I could sit back and watch Brandon get all the press. It's a little bit harder when everyone's looking at you to perform, but I like it," said Green. "I think I have the perfect build for a wrestler, someone who is big, strong, muscular and who can be quick when he needs to be."

Said Coach Lauer: "Technique-wise, he knows where he is and doesn't get himself into trouble too often," Lauer said. "And when he does, he comes out of it rapidly."

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