Carr stares down wrestling title
Mike Carr stares down every opponent he faces on the wrestling mat; a ploy he picked up from Mike Tyson.
“[Tyson] says that if your opponent looks away, then you’ve already won,” Carr explained. “Obviously,” he added. “You still have to go out and wrestle.”
During the WPIAL Class AA championships held at Chartiers Valley, that’s exactly what the South Fayette sophomore did. After he mentally psyched out Evan Myers with his eye technique, Carr defeated the Southmoreland sophomore in the 132-pound finals. His 9-2 decision earned Carr his first district title.
“I felt alright,” Carr said of his performance. “I’ve wrestled better but the goal is the PIAA and I’m still trying to peak and get into that tournament.”
To win the district title and advance to the regionals took a lot of hard work, says Carr. And, to duplicate the state championship feat of his brother, Nick, will require even further diligence. In addition to his training at school and at Quest, Carr will practice at Washington and Jefferson College where Nick is currently excelling for the Presidents.
“It’s good having him home,” said Carr of his older brother, who won a PIAA title in 2010 before he set off for Kent State. “I get to practice with him and we talk all the time.”
The brothers talk strategy but since he was 12, Mike, has dreamed of emulating his older sibling. “When Nick won his state title, I was in sixth grade and that’s when I set that as my goal.
“This,” Mike added of his district gold medal, “doesn’t mean anything yet.”
The WPIAL title just means more matches for Carr. He is now qualified for the Southwest AA Regional Tournament to be held Feb. 28-March 1 at the Cambria County War Mermorial in Johnstown. The regional is the steppingstone for the PIAA tournament set for March 6-8 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
In addition to his workouts in the gym, Carr may grapple at home with Nick as well as his other brother, Seth. That proved a recipe for success during their youthful days.
“We all wrestled a lot,” Carr said. “Nick and Seth are a little different but I learned something from both of them.
“The dining room used to be our wrestling room, Carr added. “Mom would flip out because sometimes we broke things.”
Once a foot went through the wall. Mike laughed when he recalled the memory. “It was my foot,” he admitted.
Two of Carr’s teammates joined him in the championships. Jared Walker pinned Ryan Zalar from Jefferson Morgan to win the 160-pound title. Grant Fetchet, who holds the school record for victories at South Fayette, lost his bid for a championship when he lost in overtime, 5-4, to Steve Edwards from Burrell.