Syracuse wrestler finds home on the mat
Where in the country is Brock George?
The junior-to-be at Syracuse High played the role of a domestic Carmen Sandiego this summer, traveling the country to compete in wrestling tournaments.
In May, he was in Tucson, Ariz., were he went undefeated in the Junior Western Regionals.
In June, it was off to Pocatello, Idaho, for the Western Junior Duals, where he went 12-1. A week later, it was off to Oklahoma City, where George went 13-3 at the National Junior Duals.
Finally, in July, George placed sixth in the 100-pound freestyle class at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D.
"All wrestling, all the time," George said. "I'm pretty exhausted, but I'm sure in about a week or two, I'll be bored and I'll want to get back out there."
By placing at nationals, George earned All-America status for the second time in freestyle, following his accomplishment in the Schoolboy Division in 2009.
He also wrapped up an eight-month stretch of training and competition.
"I've hardly seen him at all this summer," said George's father, Todd George who took his son on a camping trip last weekend. "He loves it, though, so what can you do?"
The grueling schedule fits George's passion for the sport, in which he began competing four years ago. He has no plans to slow down or take more time away from the mat.
"I like that it's really tough and it takes a lot of strength," George said. "It takes strength in your mind and your body. It helps me in everything else I do."
Going hard for two-thirds of the calendar year seems as though it would lead to fatigue or burnout. But Syracuse coach Troy Brown said athletes such as George just get stronger.
"Their bodies get used to training all the time," Brown said. "Not everyone can handle it, but the guys who do handle it, they are the ones who are pounding on people instead of getting pounded on."
George, who wrestles at 106 pounds for the Titans, was one of two Syracuse High and Attack Club wrestlers to place at nationals. Teammate Bryce Brimhall finished eighth in the 88-pound junior freestyle class to join George as an All-American.
Brown said expectations will be high next season for George, who didn't place at state as a sophomore.
"There wasn't a kid who was better than him last year," Brown said. "They just kind of pushed him around a little bit. I think he could have won it if he was the same size as everyone else.
"This year, now that he has some more size, I think he will be one of the best 106-pounders in the state."
In addition to George and Brimhall, the Titans return fellow state contenders Zane and Seth Rich, both of whom competed at the nationals in Fargo. Syracuse, which placed fifth in state last season, again will be among those vying for the top prize out of a stacked Region 1.
Brock George wrestling his way across the map
Syracuse junior-to-be Brock George earned All-America status with a sixth-place finish at the Junior Freestlye Nationals last month in Fargo, N.D.
George spent the summer traveling the country for wrestling camps and competitions in Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Syracuse coach Troy Brown expects George will compete for the 106-pound state title next season.