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Sports

January 10, 2013

Smooth transition

Former Central standout O'Boyle making waves at McDaniel College

So far, Ryan O’Boyle has not missed a beat.

The McDaniel (Md.) College freshman from North Reading may have moved up a level, but his domination on the mat is nearly as complete as it was during his four years at Central Catholic, during which he won 177 matches and was a two-time New England champion.

With the new year hardly started, O’Boyle is already 16-3 and the No. 1-seeded 133-pounder in the Centennial Conference and eighth nationally in Division 3.

“I’m pretty excited with the way I’m wrestling,” said O’Boyle. “It was a bit of an adjustment at first, but I’m feeling pretty confident now.”

McDaniel coach Davey Blake couldn’t be happier with O’Boyle’s quick transition to college wrestling.

“Ryan is everything that you would want as a coach and as a freshman athlete,” said Blake. “He has a strong work ethic, a natural feel for wrestling, has a kind and caring personality and is an excellent student (3.3 GPA).

“The best part about his wrestling is that he is already one of the top 133-pounders in the country, but he has not come close to reaching or maximizing his potential. That allows us to set lofty goals that are also realistic. We want (him) to be an NCAA Champion. That is the bottom line.”

O’Boyle credits his quick adjustment to two factors.

“I think the big thing that helped me was all the offseason wrestling I did against great competition,” he said. “I got a lot of close decisions in tough tournaments so I learned how to win the close ones. You’re always going to have a lot of close matches in college.”

O’Boyle also gives a lot of credit to older brother Mike, who was 23-9 as a freshman 125-pounder last year. He’s back at 125 this year — barely — and has been Ryan’s daily training partner, just as he was in youth wrestling years ago.

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