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Avon senior looks for a deep run in his final wrestling postseason

Orioles senior Tyler Conley is working toward a top finish in the state wrestling meet and plans to continue the sport at the University of Indianapolis. (Photo by Rick Myers)

Experience matters

By Mike Beas

Tyler Conley enters this season’s wrestling postseason with 114 career victories, which puts experience on the side of the Avon senior.

Exactly how Conley uses it to his advantage will be answered in the weeks ahead.

A two-time state finals qualifier looking to make it three, Conley takes the mat for the Avon sectional on Jan. 30 ranked seventh in the state at 152 pounds. He carries a 24-2 record into the postseason, the losses coming as a 160-pounder to third-ranked Andrew Wilson of Cathedral, 3-2, and No. 2 Brody Bauman of Evansville Mater Dei, 9-4.

“Career-wise, Tyler has done a really good job, but he’s had some injuries and wrestled through some of them,” said Orioles coach Zach Errett. “He’s always been one of the top wrestlers in the state, but because of (tournament) draws and other circumstances, he’s just had a tough go of it.

“Tyler is wrestling with a lot of confidence right now.”

Conley started his high school career at 113 pounds, moved to 120 a year later and focused on being a 132-pounder as a junior. One of the driving forces for the state’s ninth-ranked squad, Conley in November signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Indianapolis beginning the 2021-22 school year.

He carries a 4.53 grade-point average at Avon and plans to major in business at UIndy. Once a Greyhound, he’ll again be teammates with his older brother, Nathan, a four-time state finalist during his Avon career finishing sixth as a sophomore (138) and seventh as a junior (145).

Tyler Conley did a Q&A with ICON:

Q: This has been a difficult season with limited attendance at meets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Has it been challenging to compete with so few people in the crowd?

A: Yeah. The crowd definitely feeds energy into wrestling matches. You can focus now more on what your coach is saying, but it is a lot different with just parents there or no one at all.

Q: When you see that you’re ranked seventh in the state, how does that motivate you — or does it?

A: It definitely motivates me. If they have me ranked seventh, that means they think there are six kids better than me. I just try to focus on myself and getting better.

Q: Avon currently has five wrestlers ranked in the state in their weight class, yourself included. How challenging are those after-school practices?

A: It definitely helps having guys who are ranked and can push you to be better. Colton Roberts (13th in the state at 138 pounds) and Jaden Reynolds (first at 145) are around my weight, and wrestling against them makes you better. We like to get after it, and are good friends off the mat.

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