He's Bigger and better

After wrestling at 103 pounds two years ago, River Hill's Taylor Green continued to excel at 152.

March 08, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,SUN REPORTER

For River Hill senior wrestler Taylor Green, success has come in many sizes over his high school career.

So while Green has made the rare jumps from a 103-pound sophomore to 125 last season to 152 this season, he has maintained his quickness, increased his strength and polished the already-sound technique that enabled him to close out a fine career with a 33-1 mark this season and runner-up finish at this weekend's state tournament at Cole Field House in College Park.

Despite a 9-3 loss in the state title bout to Walt Whitman junior Eren Civan, a three-time state champion who is undefeated throughout his career, Green has plenty of positives to look back on in his three-year career.

A three-time state runner-up, he earned his 100th career win with his third regional title, to go with two county titles. Going into Saturday's final, he hadn't allowed a takedown through the entire season - giving up only escape points.

"With wrestling, what you put into it is what you get out of it, and how big you are doesn't matter. It equals the playing field that way and you can excel at any weight or size you may be," said Green, a two-time second-team All-Metro selection.

This season, Green found plenty of success by using the same approach he had used as a lighter weight to gain advantages over the bigger competition. He said this year's adjustment to 152 was more difficult than last year's, but he turned it into an asset.

"He's still wrestling with the lighter weight's mentality. He's always attacking, always moving and trying to create opportunities for himself to score," said River Hill coach Brandon Lauer, a three-time state champion at River Hill who went on to become an All-American at West Virginia University.

Lauer, who has taken over the coaching duties from his father, Earl, has been a big influence on Green's season. The two tied up nearly every day in the practice room, with those one-on-one sessions having presented a far bigger challenge for Green than any opponents he meets in matches.

"To have the chance to wrestle with him every day has gotten me a lot better - just beating up on me has gotten me a lot better. It's a crazy thing if I get a takedown on him," said Green, who added that he's taken down Lauer on five occasions during practice and also had him on his back two weeks ago.

While Lauer jokes that he won't go on record confirming that Green did have him on his back, he has seen tremendous growth from the standout.

"Taylor has really come into his own as a leader and matured not only as a wrestler, but as a young adult as well," Lauer said. "He's the prototypical guy you want as a captain and the kids look up to him. His focus during training has been top notch all year."

That focus also has been on display in matches. Solid and polished in all facets, including improved work on his feet, Green's mental approach is one of the biggest strengths he takes to the mat each time out.

"Taylor knows how to control the match," said Earl Lauer, who stayed on as an assistant coach and has mentored Green since his recreation-league days. "He knows exactly what he needs to do and when he wants to do it. He's never really in trouble because he knows what he has to do in order to get it done."

Green, whose older brother Ryan was a state champion at River Hill, also played football, baseball and lacrosse while growing up, but his sole attention has been on wrestling since he transferred from Atholton after his freshman year. An injury kept him from wrestling for the Raiders as a freshman.

"He wrestles every week of every month and he does it because he loves it. It's part of him and it's a blessing to see somebody work so hard like that," said his father, Mark. "He's a technician out there. It's not that he doesn't get emotional or excited for a big match, but he approaches everything the same way. He let's other people make mistakes and then he takes advantage."

Though he never found his way to the very top of the podium, Green said he has no regrets as he moves forward with plans to wrestle somewhere in college.

"It was disappointing not winning a state title. It was a tough match," he said. "But it's been a good career, and while I never got that state title, I still reached a big goal with 100 wins and a lot more."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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