Brown gets Division I ride

By Todd Irwin

For the Mirror

Moshannon Valley’s Larry Brown’s thoughts since he finished fifth at the PIAA Class 2A Championships have been primarily focused on where he was going to continue his wrestling career.

In the end, though, the Black Knight senior 160-pounder chose Division I Lock Haven University over Division III Lycoming College. Brown signed his letter of intent on Wednesday at Mo Valley.

“I haven’t been sleeping well not knowing where I want to go,” Brown said. “I was going back and forth with Lycoming and Lock Haven. And then after sitting down with Coach (Justin) Fye and my parents, I felt like Lock Haven was the best fit for me.”

Brown visited Lock Haven before Christmas and met with head coach Scott Moore and the assistant coaches. He left the campus impressed.

“I felt more comfortable being around the coaches,” Brown said. “I know going to Lock Haven I can become a better wrestler. It’s amazing. It’s great to know that I can continue my wrestling career for another four years, possibly five. I’m very thankful for my family, coaches, friends and everybody that has been supporting me throughout the whole process.”

Brown and Fye have been talking about what to do for awhile. When his choices were down to LHU and Lycoming, they sat down, Fye said, and went over the pros and cons. There were more pros with Lock Haven, and after talking it over with his parents, Brown chose the Bald Eagles, verbally committing last Wednesday.

Brown is the second of Fye’s wrestlers to go Division 1, with the other being James Stodart, who signed with West Virginia.

“I think he made an excellent choice,” Fye said. “I would have been happy with him picking any school he wanted to go to. He’s worked really hard to go to where he’s at right now. To be able to go to college is a big accomplishment, and then to go and wrestle at a Division I level is huge, not only for himself but also for our entire program, school and community.

Brown said he could be wrestling at 165 or 174 his freshman year. He doesn’t know yet if he’ll be redshirting his first year.

“I’m probably a 157-pounder, but I have to gain some muscle throughout the summer,” Brown said.

Lock Haven has improved under Moore, who was 3-10 his first year, 7-12 the next season and then 9-9 and 8-8 the last two years. Huntingdon graduate Collin Glorioso redshirted as a freshman for the Eagles this season.

“It’s definitely on the rise,” Brown said. “Everybody is wanting to go there for Division I wrestling. They’re building the program back up, and in a few years no one is going to want to mess with them. That’s why I want to go there. I know they want to be great, and I want to be great, too.

“I know people have a lot of doubt in me, but I feel like I can become a national champ at Lock Haven. I’ll be training as hard as I can to be at the national tournament.”

Brown, who will likely major in early childhood education, said he’ll be starting classes at Lock Haven on June 26 rather than wait until the fall semester.

“They want me to get in and start training with everybody,” Brown said.

Brown went 39-3 and reached the state semifinals before suffering a controversial 4-2 loss to Wyalusing’s eventual champion Creighton Edsell.

Brown, who went 111-18 in his career, won two District 6 titles and his first Southwest Regional title this past season. He was ranked No. 1 for much of the season.

“I’m definitely disappointed with how the ending happened at Hershey,” Brown said, “but I can’t dwell on it. I just have to go back into the room and work harder. It makes me want to train harder.”

Some really good high school wrestlers can’t take their skill to another level in college, but Fye is confident that Brown will take that step.

“He’s a kid that’s willing to learn and get better,” Fye said. “If he redshirts, he can hit the weights, diet the right way and roll around with some of the best kids in the country. I know it’s definitely going to help Larry because he’s like a sponge. He’s going to be able to take a lot of the information in and be able to put it to good use. He’s going in with some great coaches who are going to bring a lot of knowledge to help him take his offense to the next level and be able to get more confident on his feet.”