Long ride to top for Patrick of McDonogh

Senior is eyeing state title at Independent Schools tourney

February 20, 2010|By Sandra McKee | sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

For McDonogh's Scott Patrick, getting to this point, being the No. 1 seed in the 171-pound class at the Maryland Independent Schools State Wrestling Tournament, has taken four years of patience and a lot of work.

"For my first two years, I wasn't in the starting lineup," Patrick said. "I was wrestling behind two great wrestlers, Albert Woody and Josh Fitch. Coach [Pete Welch] was able to work me in for some matches, but most of the time I was on the bench watching them.

"I tell a lot of people those two years in the waiting, wrestling in the [practice] room everyday against two state champions, made me the wrestler I am. I have no regrets about that."

The intensive training set him up for his junior year, when he finished fourth here, and for this year, his last try at a state title. The tournament began Friday at McDonogh and continues today with the semifinals and finals. The finals begin at 3 p.m.

A week ago, Patrick captured his first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association title, getting a 3-1 semifinal victory over Mount St. Joseph's Bobby Bowman and beating Archbishop Spalding's Kvaunte Smith, 5-2, in the final. Bowman and Smith had both beaten Patrick in dual-meet matches earlier this season.

"Those were both really hard matches," said Patrick, who earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the MIAA tournament. "If I make the finals, I'll probably see one of them again. I think they are scheduled to meet each other in the semifinals if everything goes as bracketed."

Patrick, who is 18 and has committed to wrestle for Davidson College next year, smiles at the situation. He said that in past years he has been in a different position.

"I was always the one looking for the upset," he said. "I'd be seeded in the lower brackets. But this year, I'm in the top bracket. No. 1. I've been put in a leadership position on the team. We have a lot of freshmen starting, including my younger brother, Tyler, and I feel motivated to act as a leader."

On Friday evening, every competitor he faced was looking to take him out of the competition. Today, it will be the same.

"It's a tough position to be in, and there are a lot more teams, a lot more wrestlers and a lot more competition here than there was last week," he said. "Upsets do happen. But I plan to stay aggressive and keep my offense going. I like to take shots and initiate the action during the matches."

Patrick is 43-7 this season with 28 pins, and a number of them have been set up by his aggressiveness.

"The key," he said, "is to be explosive and commit to the shot you're taking."

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