Earl Eppard, Lansdowne, wrestling

Q&A --

February 28, 2007|By LEM SATTERFIELD

Sophomore Earl Eppard enters this weekend's Class 2A-1A state tournament looking to become Lansdowne's first state champion wrestler. A B-average student, Eppard, who wrestles at 112 pounds, has won the Baltimore County and 2A-1A North regional tournaments this season after being a runner-up in both last year. Eppard's 33-1 record includes 10 pins and four technical falls. He has beaten three-time Baltimore City champion Lamone Wilson (Mervo), Howard County champion Tyler Bulger (Howard), Baltimore City runner-up Terone Boone (Poly) and Southern Maryland Athletic Conference runner-up Daniel Justice (Huntingtown).

How long have you been wrestling?

I started out at age 7 in Lansdowne's junior league. I got serious when I was about 11, finishing my last three years at Old Mill's junior league. I got better when I started wrestling in the offseason, beating kids who had always beat me.

Were you satisfied with last year's 28-7 record?

No. I lost at counties by a point, regions by two points and missed placing at states by one match.

What are your biggest wins?

Bulger was big because it's a possible state tournament matchup. The Wilson match was more about personal pride. I wanted to prove myself since he was seeded higher than me at the Overlea tournament.

Is assistant coach Shawn Sims a motivational force?

Yes. He talks about how close he came to winning it [Sims was a state runner-up as a senior at Lansdowne in 2002], and that makes me want to be Lansdowne's first state champ. I know that as good as he was, it will take a lot to win it.

Can you describe your style?

I try to attack on my feet to keep the pressure on for six minutes. I'm much better scoring from bottom this year. I'm riding and scoring more points from top, and I've pinned a few more times this year.

Are there any personal obstacles you've overcome?

My grandmother died during my last junior league season. She loved to watch me wrestle.

LEM SATTERFIELD

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