Garrett Ryan grappled with wrestling decision - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Garrett Ryan grappled with wrestling decision

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Jason P. Skoda is a reporter at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach him at (480) 898-7915 or

Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 6:29 pm | Updated: 10:38 am, Wed Aug 8, 2012.

Denis Ryan thought he played his cards just right.

When his son, Garrett, approached him about moving to Pennsylvania in order to wrestle for Wyoming Seminary his senior year, the elder Ryan said, ‘"If your mom agrees we will make it work.’"

It wasn’'t long after that a text came back saying, “"She’'s on board.”"

After telling Horizon coach Ben Wick, the decision became final and Garrett will find himself in one of the nation’s toughest wrestling room everyday while competing in some of country’s top wrestling tournaments this winter.

“"I had so little to do with this decision,"” the proud father said. "“I have a sister there that he will live with and his decision shows me he has his priorities straight and knows what he wants.”"

What the Fargo double All-American wants is the competition level he craves in order to be an impactful college wrestler. The 220-pounder wasn’'t going to get it here in Arizona so he found a way to do what all elite wrestlers want – get better every day.

Wyoming Seminary is nationally ranked each year and has a roster full of kids from other states, including Preston Lehmann of North Dakota at 182 pounds. Ryan will be challenged by teammates like Lehmann, Eric Morris (170) and heavyweight Michael Johnson.

Then there is the schedule.

Wyoming Seminary in years past have competed in the Ironman (Ohio), Beast of the East (Delaware) and Cheesehead Invitational (Wisconsin), while facing opponents like Blair Academy (New Jersey) and Pennsylvania’s top programs in dual meets.

“"He said it was like going to a wrestling fantasy camp and he couldn’'t pass it up,” Denis said. “I told him it will be like wrestling in the toughest tournament every day in practice.”"

Ryan, who won the Arizona state title at 170 pounds before finding his true comfort level this summer at 220 pounds, will represent the United States in the FILA Cadet World Championships on Aug. 21-27 in Baku, Azerbaijan after winning the FILA Cadet national titles in freestyle and Greco-roman titles from Akron, Ohio.

Soon after he returns to the states, Ryan will being moving across the country.

Ryan has heard from wrestling programs like Columbia, Princeton, Penn and Cal Poly with Virginia, North Carolina State, Stanford and Arizona State.

The new exposure in a wrestling state like PA will only enhance the chances of getting wrestling powers from the Midwest to enter the mix.

“He has put himself in a position to take full advantage of the opportunities that are starting to come his way,” Denis said.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

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