Howard

Ryan Howard

Name: Ryan Howard

School: Waynesburg

Sport: Wrestling

Class: Senior

Howard’s week: The Waynesburg heavyweight pinned his way through the WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament. His four pins came in a combined 7:02.

He began the postseason with a pin of 3:01 over Ben Streiff of Mt. Lebanon and followed that with a pin of Rob Williams of Peters Township in just 11 seconds. In the semifinals, Howard stuck Luke Rumpler of North Allegheny and in the finals, he won by fall in 3:07 over Sennaca Harney of Seneca Valley.

Howard has a 17-3 record with 13 pins, three shy of last year’s wins total. As a junior, Howard had 16 pins. As a sophomore, he had 11 pins and eight pins as a freshman.

“I’ve been working on this lateral drop,” he said. “It does the job for me.”

Howard has increased his win total the first three seasons, going 14-19 as a freshman and 31-13 as a junior.

“You have to learn how to pin. It’s a matter of total control,” said Waynesburg head coach Joe Throckmorton. “One of his better attributes is that he is in better shape than most heavyweights. Ryan is powerful. I used to wrestle him all the time (in practice). I can hardly wrestle him anymore. He’s so powerful, I have to watch myself so I don’t get hurt.”

Howard sits at 87 career victories and has a good chance to reach 100 if he goes deep into this postseason.

Rebirth: Howard quit the sport in eighth grade. He was always a larger wrestler but didn’t have the type of success he enjoys now.

“I came back in ninth grade for my freshman year,” Howard said. “I’m building momentum. That decision made me what I am today. That’s what molded me into a wrestler.”

“In junior high, he didn’t even come our because he wasn’t having success,” Throckmorton said. “He started getting more confidence when he came back. You can count on him like crazy.”

Howard’s father, Jim, is an assistant coach for Waynesburg and keeps a sharp eye out when his son wrestles.

“It’s a pretty good situation,” said Howard. “He’s very thorough and that helps me.”

Compiled by Joe Tuscano

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