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Tyger wrestler Josh Lyons earns second trip to Fargo nationals

Wrestling coach Zach Brumfield and junior Joshua Lyons look over the schedule for next month’s national tournament in Fargo, N.D.

      Joshua Lyons is quickly making his mark in the Mansfield Senior High wrestling program.

      For the second consecutive year the Tyger junior will compete in the Fargo, N.D., national tournament next month as a member of the Ohio Junior National Greco Roman Wrestling Team.

      What’s more, Lyons, 16, is on pace to become, possibly, the first Tyger wrestler to post 100 wins before his senior year.  The six current members of the “100 club,” including his coach, Zach Brumfield, who was the first to achieve it, were in their final year of high school before reaching the century mark.

      “Josh is a talented athlete and a determined, hard worker,” said Brumfield, a 2008 Senior High graduate who was an assistant to Billy Stevens for five years before becoming head wrestling coach this past season.

      Lyons posted a 25-15 record as a freshman, then soared to 43-9 as a sophomore. He will enter his junior season with 68 wins. He didn’t win at Fargo last year, wrestling in the 120-pound division. He finished third at 120 at the Gorman Invitational in January.

      But Lyons will wrestle in the 138-pound division at Fargo next month.

      “I’ve been lifting (weights) with coach,” said the soft-spoken Lyons, who maintains a strict, weekly workout routine. “I’m excited about going back to Fargo. I’m confident.”

      Brumfield, who also teaches third grade at Prospect Elementary School, is quick to emphasize the purpose of weight-lifting training.

      “Wrestling sometimes gets a bad rap. The point of lifting is to promote athleticism, not to put on a lot of weight or take it off,” he said. “We want our athletes to participate in other sports. The more, the better.”

      Lyons, who qualified for Ohio’s junior national team by placing fourth in the Greco Roman state tournament at Otterbein College, is cheered on by this mother, Kristina, and his father, Matt, who also was a Senior High wrestler.

      Last month Lyons was a member of Team Claws, a group of wrestlers from area schools, who finished 3-3 at the Virginia Beach nationals.

      Lyons will leave July 6 for the Ohio national team’s training camp at Ohio Northern University, then return home for a couple of days before heading to Fargo.

      “Wrestling is a cool experience for these kids. We’re also using the sport as a tool for kids to have new experiences, see new places,” Brumfield said.

      Lyons is the third Senior High wrestler to earn a trip to the Fargo nationals, joining recent graduates Damoni Williams and Brandon Myers. Like Brumfield, Williams and Myers are members of the “100 club,” as are Michael Evans, Jesse Palser and Traevon Dickerson.

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