Blogs > The Best of Don Seeley's Columns

Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Versatile Mauger has been superb

This column originally ran in the Jan. 4, 2011 edition of The Pottstown Mercury

Tyler Mauger has proven time and time again he can carry his own weight. He did it last year on the wrestling mat, this past fall on the football field, and through the first month of the current wrestling season.

And did it with the old-fashioned, blue-collar approach…

“I just go all out all the time,” Mauger explained.

Mauger was the jack-of-all-trades — or the pencil-me-in-wherever-needed upperweight – a year ago. He didn’t have to watch what he ate, and didn’t have to resort to any last-minute running in the gym to shed a pound or two, either. He was a legitimate 171-pounder. But because of the talent around him —namely Brock Hallman, Zach Heffner and Ryan Schwager — he competed in that weight class just eight times, and only once after Christmas.

If there was ever a key to Boyertown’s run to a fourth straight Pioneer Athletic Conference championship and the program’s first District 1-AAA Team Duals title, though, it was Mauger. He often got bumped up to 189. But when the postseason rolled around — a time when most wrestlers stay put or drop a weight class — he was right smack in the middle of a predicament when Hallman locked in at 171 and Heffner dropped and locked in at 189.

Mauger’s only option was to go all the way up to 215. And as unusual as the move may have been — and despite being considerably shorter and obviously lighter than anyone he wrestled — Mauger responded with a second at sectionals, fourth at districts, and an appearance at regionals — where he lost to eventual state medalist Brandan Clark of Methacton and eventual fifth-place finisher Marcus Collins of Bonner.

This past fall, Mauger wasn’t exactly the cut-out-of-stone strong safety, either. But he hit like a boulder and drew praise from virtually every opposing coach. After helping the Bears to a share of the PAC-10 title, he was

named a first-team defensive back on the league and Mercury All-Area teams.

The day after the football season ended, Mauger was one of the first in the wrestling room the following morning.

“I came off the football field and went right into wrestling,” he said. “I knew I had a lot of hard work ahead of me, a lot of hard work just to get in condition. I was running a lot when I wasn’t practicing, too.”

Mauger made up for lost time in a hurry, won four of his first five bouts in the season-opening Bear Duals, and put up a major in the PAC-10 opener against Pope John Paul II.

Up next was the Beast of the East – unquestionably one of the most challenging high school tournaments in the country. A year ago, Mauger lost a 14-0 major and was pinned in 30 seconds, both of which overshadowed his two wins.

No one had any reason to think he’d do much better this time around, either, especially when Heffner moved down to 189 and, once again, Mauger found himself bumped up to 215. But he won his first three bouts before falling to nationally-ranked Kyle Snyder in the semifinals and, eventually, had to settle for sixth place.

Last week, Mauger was back at 189 for the Bethlehem Holiday Classic … and was golden. He started with a first-period pin, then followed with three straight overtime decisions – one of which was a 5-4 semifinal thriller over Michael Mauk of St. Mark’s (Del.) to avenge his lone setback in the season-opening Bear Duals.

“Right now I feel I’m good enough to go out there with anyone,” Mauger explained. “I have that confidence.

“I feel I’ve gotten a lot better since last year. Last year my biggest problem was probably on my feet. But now I feel a lot smoother on my feet.”

Mauger spent a lot of time on the mats last summer, right up until the football season kicked off. The practices, camps, clinics and matches – followed by the turnaround football season that ended with the share of the PAC-10 title and 10-2 overall record – have all played a big part in Mauger’s eye-opening December run.

“I think there was a little carryover from football,” Mauger admitted. “I got used to winning in football, and that helped me going right into wrestling.”

There’s no question Mauger’s technique has improved. There’s no question he has a bit more of a confident strut these days.

But he still wrestles each and every match like he did from the beginning.

“I go hard all six minutes,” he said. “That’s what has won me a lot of matches, and it’s how I’m going to win now. I go hard all the time. I want to be in better shape than the other guy, and I want to be more aggressive and more physical than the other guy. Confidence does help, too.

“But I just go all out, just like I go all out playing football. That’s all I can do. I don’t want to regret that I didn’t give it my best. I don’t want to regret that I didn’t give it everything I have.”

* * *

There are only two PAC-10 matches Wednesday and another on Saturday as the tournament grind continues this weekend. … Up in the Berks Conference, though, defending Division Two champion Daniel Boone visited Exeter on Monday night and hosts defending Division One champion Wilson (3-0, 7-1 overall) on Wednesday night. … The Hill School, off since Dec. 19, returns to the mats Saturday as the host of the annual Mid-Atlantic Prep League and Inter-Ac Duals. … Perkiomen School, off since Dec. 14, is back wrestling on Saturday at the Church Farm School Tournament.

* * *

Methacton’s Brandan Clark is now The Mercury area’s active leader in career wins with 111. Boyertown’s Jeremy Minich, idle due to illness for over a week now, is next at 109. Owen J. Roberts’ Scott Syrek, who has yet to start his senior season due to an injury, has 103 career wins, and Pottsgrove’s Zach Robinson is at 102. … Perkiomen Valley’s Gavin Milligan (97) and Daniel Boone’s Colin Martucci (95) are both closing in on the coveted 100-win mark.

* * *

NATIONAL NOTE: Townsend (Mont.) senior Jade Rauser set a state record last week by winning his 145th straight bout and is now 147-0 in his high school career. The 125-pound Rauser will be looking for his fourth straight state title next month. His twin brother, 130-pound Val, owns two state titles and a 132-4 career record. Both have already committed to Division I Utah Valley.


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