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Sports

February 17, 2014

Raising the scales

Timberlane's Fitzpatrick: From 88-pound freshman to 120-pound standout

Timberlane senior Tyler Fitzpatrick has outdone himself.

As an 88-pound freshman, Fitzpatrick’s vision of his future with the Owls was clear cut.

“I always felt I’d be a senior 103-pounder,” he said.

Well, the weight class was changed to 106 the next year and he was already in the lineup on a semi-regular basis, compiling a 30-10 record, many of his matches coming with the Timberlane B team.

Last year, he was a big 106-pounder and mastered the weight class, going 45-6 as a Division 1 state champion. This year, he grew so much that he moved up two weight classes, to 120.

But guess what? Fitzpatrick is enjoying comparable success at the heavier weight. He’ll bring a 37-5 record that’s included two tournament titles into the state tournament this weekend.

“The guys I’m wrestling are stronger but I’m still able to wrestle my match the way I want to,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick’s style involves non-stop motion, attention to technique and focusing on not making mistakes. He’s effective on the bottom and relentless on the top.

“Tyler is one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had and has had a great career,” said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. “And he’s turned into a great leader.”

Fitzpatrick took up wrestling as a sixth grader weighing a robust 59 pounds as a conditioning tool for football. But he quickly realized that the mat was more for him than the gridiron and he became a one-sport wonder, working out at The Barn in Danville that very first year.

Although Fitzpatrick didn’t win his first tournament until he was an eighth grader, he was growing and starting to turn heads.

I remember going to a Timberlane dual meet my freshman year, and Chooljian pointed to him in a JV match and said: “Look at my little guy out there. He’s exciting and he’s going to be a good one.”

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