Making top grade in new class

Wrestling: Broadneck junior Tyler Moyer is undefeated in 18 matches at the new 215-pound weight division.

High Schools

January 26, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

He has won 18 matches in as many tries and he has put 16 of his opponents on the mat with both shoulders down.

So just who is this new kid at Broadneck, the one who has taken to the state's new 215-pound weight class likes it's his own?

The early-season whispers about Tyler Moyer - a transfer from the state of Washington - have turned into a roar with the junior gaining the Maryland State Wrestling Association's No. 1 ranking for the weight class from out of nowhere. The lofty status has been well-earned.

"Clearly, I think pound for pound Tyler is one of the best if not the best wrestler in the state," said Broadneck coach Jake Vickery.

At the South River Tournament on Jan. 18 Tyler - ranked third in the state at the time - methodically chopped down Northwestern (Prince George's County) senior Chad Nkang with a 12-4 major decision.

Nkang came into the match with an impressive resume of his own: a third-place finish at states last year after going 31-1 with 30 pins (his only loss came to eventual state champion Greg Fisher of Quince Orchard in the semifinals) and the No. 1 ranking this season with pins against all 17 of his opponents.

He left the match tired and baffled.

"Chad ran out of gas by the second period, but that's no excuse," said Northwestern coach Ed Ladd. "In the first period, Tyler beat him on his feet. They went toe to toe and Tyler was getting the takedowns, not Chad. It woke him. We're looking forward to seeing him at states - Tyler's extremely good."

It was just how Moyer, who was set on side-stepping the initial charge from the aggressive Nkang and going from there, had it planned.

"I knew he hadn't wrestled six minutes all year, so that was one of my goals, to stay after him for all six minutes and that pretty much worked out well for me," said Moyer.

The outcome came as no surprise to Vickery.

"Certainly, people knew about Tyler, there was whispering going on," he said. "But Nkang was preseason No. 1 based on last year and everybody was going to wait until they saw this match. He didn't have anything to go against what Tyler had."

Vickery says Moyer has an endless work ethic, incredible skills on his feet and an uncanny ability to manage a match. The first-year coach was immediately impressed and appointed Moyer a team co-captain.

Nobody has had a closer look of Moyer's season than Bruins senior heavyweight Matt Caudill, who partners with him every day in the practice room.

"I've never been as sore as I have been this year," said Caudill, who added he has yet to get a single takedown on Moyer in all the practice hours so far. "He's extremely intense, extremely focused. When I see him out on the mat, I just feel sorry for the other guy. Tyler does what he wants to pretty much."

Moyer, whose father is a career naval officer, has gone from place to place around the country always able to find one constant: wrestling.

He started at age 5 with the Navy Junior Wrestling program when he first lived in Annapolis. After a two-year layoff from the sport when the family moved to Virginia, he picked it up in the fourth grade when he lived in Nebraska for two years. His longest stay was in Washington, from the sixth grade to 10th, where last year as a sophomore at Central Kitsap High, he went 35-5 as a 189-pounder.

After some reservations about having to leave behind friends, he's happy he made the move to Broadneck.

Carrying a 3.1 grade-point average, he likes what the school has to offer from an academic standpoint. In addition, there are some tough wrestlers to push him to reach his goal of winning a state title.

Playing football for the Bruins in the fall (starting guard and defensive end) helped with the adjustment, but he says there's always just something about taking to the mat.

"Once wrestling starts I always get a little more comfortable - I don't know why but that's how it always is," he said. "For me, the mat - that's home. No matter where I go there'd be wrestling mats, so it's a good thing."

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