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West Newsmagazine 4-11-18

Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.

22 I SPORTS I April

22 I SPORTS I April 11, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE @WESTNEWSMAG WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM F L O O R I N G , L L C “Your Flooring Professionals” NOW OPEN SUNDAY 10-4 * Mohawk Carpet Sale - Our carpet Installation includes carpet, pad installation, take up & disposal of old carpet, and furniture removal Lifetime guarantee on installation * Hardwood Sale - We are “the hardwood experts” for sales & installation * LVT Sale - Mohawk Solid Tek LVT - special sale * Family owned & operated * More 5 star reviews than any other flooring company - view on our website, google, and Mohawk website * For Mohawk sale details please visit our showroom Sale begins April 12th thru May 24 FLOORING FOR ALL PETS SAVE UP TO $1000 15324 Manchester Road • Ellisville 63011 636-230-6900 AllSurfaceFlooringSTL.com Outstanding 5 star reviews available on our website, Mohawk website, Yelp and Google Priory wrestler Greg Rowles [top] Priory wrestler Rowles enjoys recordbreaking career with the Rebels By WARREN MAYES For an athlete who got into wrestling by happenstance, Priory senior Greg Rowles’ career showed he made a shrewd choice. “I didn’t become involved in wrestling until the seventh grade at Priory when I had to choose a winter sport as part of the school’s sports requirement. Wrestling wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do at first. It was just the natural choice since I had so many family members involved with it,” Rowles said. Those family members include his cousin, Steve, Priory’s head wrestling coach. Greg picked up the sport quickly and recently finished second in the 170-pound division at the Class 2 state tournament in Columbia. He lost to defending state champion Kellen Ekern, of Mexico, Missouri. Ekern, who ended with a 49-1 record, won by fall over Greg in 4 minutes, 46 seconds for his third state title. Greg finished with a 45-5 mark. That match ended Greg’s wrestling career [he’s playing rugby this spring], but he left a lasting legacy that will be hard to top at Priory. Greg broke nine school records: most wins in a season [48], most pins in a season [35], most match points scored in a season [361], most team points scored in a season [325], most wins in a career [137], most pins in a career [78], most takedowns in a career [274], most match points in a career [914] and most team points scored in a career [850]. He was the first Priory matman to reach the state finals in more than 30 years. Steve describes his cousin’s career as “amazing, incredulous, historical.” Greg now is the standard bearer to catch for future Rebels. “Easily,” Steve said. “Being the first to place in almost 30 years, then the first to reach the finals in 33 years, plus holding nine school records and being a three-time [Metro] League champ – he has set the expectations higher than they have ever been. I think it is safe to say he is the best wrestler we have had in school history. “I have never met someone who works as hard as Greg. When he sets his mind toward a goal nothing gets in his way of accomplishing it. To put it in perspective, he would run seven miles on his off days just to stay in shape.” Greg had a dominant senior season. Of his 48 wins, 35 were by pin, and on many of those, he was close to a technical fall before the pin. “I believe he is the first person from our school to be the league champ three straight years,” Steve said. Greg won at 152 in 2016, 160 in 2017, and 170 in 2018. “He also was named the Metro League Wrestler of the Year. Obviously, the biggest highlight was his performance at the state tournament and being our first state finalist since 1985.” In the district final, Ekern pinned Greg in 1:44. At state, he faced Ekern in the semifinals and again in the final match. He was under no illusions. “Going into the final I knew I was the heavy underdog. However, I knew I could at least keep the match close and exciting if I wrestled to the best of my ability,” Greg said. “Unfortunately, the same problem I had in the semifinals, with not committing to my shots, kept me from doing that.” Losses are hard to take, but Greg is happy with his career at Priory. He is uncertain about wrestling in college. “I don’t think I can come to terms yet that I won’t ever wrestle again,” Greg said. “I don’t know what I want to study either, I’m really trying to figure that out right now. “I remember my sophomore year I thought [about] how much had happened in my high school career and it was only halfway through. Now, I wish I could go back to that point with so much wrestling left. These last four years felt like an eternity when I was in them, but now it feels like it was far too short.” • • • [For more on Greg Rowles’ wrestling career, see this story online at westnewsmagazine.com]

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