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The most successful wrestler coming out of the Los Alamos High School program in recent history will take his game to the next level.
Los Alamos’ Brian Geyer, a two-time state champion, will sign his National Letter of Intent Thursday to join the University of Nebraska-Kearney next year, one of the top small-school programs in the country.
Geyer, a three-sport athlete, won back-to-back state titles, including one to cap off a huge 2013-14 season while wrestling under the eye of head coach and father Bob Geyer.
Nebraska-Kearney has about 7,000 students and the campus is relatively compact, something that appealed to Geyer as he toured colleges around the area following the season.
“I really did like the campus,” he said. “Some of the other campuses, they weren’t as green or anything. They were really spread out. (Colorado State University-Pueblo) was really spread out. It was a bigger campus, but it has less people. I didn’t have to spend 30 minutes walking across to my next class…my mom said, ‘you’re going to spend the next four years there, you’d better like it.’”
He said he was never sure he could wrestle in college, even after winning the first of two consecutive state titles following the 2012-13 season.
That championship match was a doozy, with him and Mark Hussey of Los Lunas going into overtime. Geyer won in a tiebreaker, riding out Hussey for the final period of the contest to win.
“I practiced hard this whole year,” he said. “I knew I was going to have to push it, keep improving. I really wanted to have a dominant performance this year. The goal was to make it not exactly as hard as last year. The four overtimes, I didn’t want to go through that again. I wanted to have a little more control of the match. Finally, I got it done.”
Geyer had an impressive run through this year’s state tournament. While he won all his bouts by decision, he said he really wasn’t going for pins but rather keeping control of his opponents.
In that tournament, in February, Geyer rolled over Cesar Haro of Farmington in the 195-pound Class 4A final, winning that bout going away, 7-1.
His win, along with Lane Saunders winning at 170 pounds, made them the first duo at Los Alamos to pick up titles since 1996.
When Geyer starts at Kearney, he will be the second Geyer brother to wrestle in college. Older brother Cory Geyer, who graduated in 2012, is currently attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and wrestled for the Bears at 184 pounds last season.
Kearney is a Division II school which competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Last season was a big one for the Lopers. They took second in the nation among D-II schools at the NCAA championship tournament in Cleveland. Individually, the Lopers picked up a national championship at 197 pounds – that won by Romero Cotton – as well as a second and a third place finish.
Cotton will like play a role in prepping Geyer for collegiate competition. Heading into the season, Geyer will likely be looking at wrestling at either 184 or 197 pounds.
Kearney got on Geyer’s radar early. In fact, Kearney was the first college that made contact with him during last season.
Geyer went on a visit to Kearney in the spring, one stop of a grueling four-day trip where he made stops at five colleges. Kearney was the last stop on that tour.
Along with the campus, Geyer also liked the school’s athletic facilities and, more importantly, its athletic training program. Geyer said he wants to study athletic training in college and has already learned a little bit about that subject working with the high school’s training program.
The wrestling season is scheduled to start in early November. This summer, along with working and trying to save up some money for school, Geyer said he’s going to hit the weight room and do some roadwork in order to get ready for collegiate-level wrestling.
Geyer realizes advancing to the collegiate level is a pretty big deal and he’s more than willing to put in the time and effort for it.
“It’s such an honor to be able to continue,” he said. “Most people that play sports in high school don’t get the opportunity to move on. I feel honored to be able to. At the same time, there’s also that extra. You have to be able to focus on school at college, too. There’s extra work for me.”