Austin Alley remembers walking into the South River wrestling room for the first time and looking up at the record boards in disbelief.
A wiry 93-pound freshman, he could barely wrap his mind around amassing 122 victories in a high school career. Now a senior 132-pounder, Alley has eclipsed that mark. His 123 career victory are more than any wrestler in school history.
With his last defeats, Alley surpassed the record set by 2005 Maryland 4A/3A state champion Andrew Mulry (120 pounds).
“Now that I’m at that level it kind of leaves something for someone else to look up to,” Alley said.
Still, Alley is in danger of dropping his freshly minted record to the grappler he wrestles in his own basement.
His twin brother, Collin (138), has compiled 120 wins for the Seahawks. The Alley boys have a wrestling mat downstairs in case they need to settle a dispute or want to try out new techniques.
Physical facsimiles of one another, the twins make for ideal training partners.
“I made breakthroughs just wrestling Collin,” said Austin, who is older by two minutes. “We go back and forth a lot just pushing each other.”
Each brother entered South River’s varsity lineup as a freshman. Austin earned 25 victories that year, but he lost his roster spot in a wrestle-off and went down to junior varsity. Collin defeated the same wrestler in a similar scenario and took his brother’s spot.
The experience motivated Austin and instilled confidence in Collin, who said he previously thought he would be successful if he just made the team.
“I didn’t see myself as being anything special,” Collin Alley said. “Coach (John) Klessinger thought we were going to have a special career, and it’s turned out to be that way so far.”
Both Alley brothers said their confidence took off their sophomore year. Austin felt he could beat anyone after he used a chin whip to upset Wilde Lake’s defending 112-pound state champion Alex Polonsky at the 4A/3A East tournament.
Two years later, as No. 9 South River eyes a postseason run, the Alley twins anchor the Seahawks.
Austin will cut weight to 128 pounds in order to form a better dual meet lineup and a more “open path” to the state championship.
The twins would like to wrestle collegiately, but they do not have any offers to date. Austin plans on wrestling like it’s the end of his prolific run.
“I have to go all out,” he said. “I don’t want to have to look back in four years thinking I should have done something more.”
While top-ranked Good Counsel dominated the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship on Saturday, No. 7 Georgetown Prep was equally impressive at the Interstate Athletic Conference tournament at St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes.
Eleven out of 14 Little Hoyas won individual championships, including 10 consecutive winners to end the event, and Prep finished with 244.5 team points to second-place Landon’s 127.
The win is the ninth straight IAC championship for Georgetown Prep, who will compete with most of the area’s best private school teams at the St. Albans Invitational tournament this weekend. . . .
Second-ranked Robinson edged archrival No. 3 Westfield to win the Virginia AAA Concorde District title this weekend at Westfield.
Seven Rams won individual titles to give Robinson 221 team points, while Westfield had six individual winners and 200 team points.
The perennial powers have dominated the Virginia AAA Northern Region in recent years, and will be the two heavy favorites again this weekend at the Northern Region tournament at Hayfield.