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Cory Geyer has been granted permission to come aboard. To the United States Coast Guard Academy wrestling team, that is.
Geyer, a standout wrestler for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers, with two top-four finishes in his prep career, has been accepted to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
It’s a big accomplishment for one of the top wrestlers to come through Los Alamos’ program in recent years, but Geyer said he’s not quite ready to jump on ship just yet. He said he will still continue the application process to attend the Air Force Academy, but at his point he likes what he’s seen from the Coast Guard.
Regardless of where he ends up, Geyer said his primary objective is to serve his country.
“I’ve always had the idea that everyone should serve their country to the best of their abilities,” Geyer said. “If you think the best way to serve your country is by being a teacher and being the best teacher you can be, or by being a garbage man, be the best garbage man you can be. With my skill set, I think I can help out the most in the military.”
Specifically, Geyer said, he wants to be an aircraft pilot and, interestingly, thinks the Coast Guard might give him more opportunity to do so than the Air Force.
At this point, he said that, barring something unexpected, he will probably opt for the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard Academy got on Geyer’s radar after he signed up for its “cadet for a day” program and liked what he saw from the school and the program.
Geyer has been a solid wrestler for the Hilltoppers since his freshman year. In his sophomore season, wrestling at 145 pounds, Geyer finished fourth at the state tournament.
He improved one slot last year, coming in third at the 152-pound weight division. This year, Geyer is wrestling at 160 pounds and has high hopes for a big finish to his high school career.
Should he continue this season the way he’s started – he went 7-1 at the very tough Southwest Duals two weeks ago – he will likely end up with a high seed and a favorable draw at February’s state tournament.
Making the cut onto the Bears varsity roster might be more of a challenge, however. While Geyer said he thinks the team may have gaps in it and is willing to move up or down to secure a roster spot, he said he’s well aware he’ll need to step things up to compete at the collegiate level.
“(Wrestling is) different there than in New Mexico,” he said. “Here, if you’re a good on-mat wrestler, if you’re a good top-bottom wrestler, you’re a good wrestler. They have got a little more of a complete game. Takedowns, on-mat, everything. That weeds out the kids who don’t have all aspects of their game.”
He wasn’t sure what his prospects were of getting on the roster or travel team next year, but that may depend at least partially on the turnout for wrestling. At the Coast Guard, most cadets are required to work out with at least two varsity sports programs — Geyer is undecided whether he’d rather do football or lacrosse as his other sport.
Should Geyer make his attendance at the Coast Guard Academy official, he will be the second Hilltopper in three years to do so. Three-sport letter-winner Madison Ahlers went to the Coast Guard Academy’s preparatory school following the 2010-11 academic year playing soccer and competing in track and field.
Prior to getting more interested in the academy, Geyer was also looking at Adams State in Alamosa, Colo., and Northern Arizona as possible school options.
He said he might look into engineering or possibly government as a major.
But if he does decide to compete for the Bears, he said the change of lifestyle shouldn’t be a problem for him at all.
“I have had a lot of structure being part of this team,” he said. “My dad was in the Navy and he set the expectations at home. In the wrestling room and in other parts of my life there’s structure, too. It will be more extreme at the academy, but I’m somewhat used to it.”