Garrett Kyner
Garrett Kyner
Garrett Kyner is a freshman, but he already had an extensive background in wrestling when he started the season.

What's been impressive to his coach at Chambersburg, Doug Rine, is how much Kyner has improved during his first high school season.

"He just keeps getting better and better, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he wrestles in the postseason," Rine said.

He started just fine. At the Section I Class AAA Tournament on Saturday, Kyner went 3-0, including a technical fall and a 9-0 demolition of top-seeded Ben Allwein of West Perry in the final to earn a title. He is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.

Kyner said he's been wrestling practically all of his life and has been in competitions since the sixth grade.

"I did wrestling, baseball and football when I was growing up, but in seventh or eighth grade, I decided to dedicate myself to wrestling," Kyner said.

It shouldn't be a surprise he's into wrestling. His father, Brad, was a three-time P.O. All-Star, won a sectional crown and held the school record at Shippensburg for career wins (74) when he graduated.

"I like it because it's an individual sport, and the only person you can blame is yourself," Garrett Kyner said.

There is no blame necessary when you win, however, and he's done plenty of that. Entering the District 3 Tournament on Friday, Kyner has a 28-12 record. He was handed most of those losses in the high-caliber tournaments the Trojans wrestled in.

Kyner said, "Those big tournaments really helped me focus on the things I need to do to get better. You need to face good competition to find out the things you need to work on."

The way he's used that experience to improve is to work hard at practice against the likes of Tanner Shoap and David Rump.

"They point out things I can work on," Kyner said, "and they also help me with the mental aspect of things, especially in tournaments. They give me tips, like making sure you warm up the same way to get ready for your match."

Rine said, "I think Garrett is a lot better on top now (he scored 33 points at sectionals), his defense on his feet is much better and I think he's scoring better off bottom, too. It's no secret why - he works his butt off in practice."

The District 3 Tournament wil be a big challenge, but with the strong competition he has faced already and the workout partners he deals with every day, Kyner could be in position to prolong his first season.

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Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and egotwals@publicopinionnews.com.

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Garrett Kyner, Chambersburg

Sport: Wrestling

Weight: 120

Height: 5-foot-5

Grade: Freshman

Parents: Brad and Jennifer Kyner

Interests: Hunting and fishing

Surprising fact: His nickname "Blue" was given to him when he was young and didn't want to go to school until he saw an episode of "Blue's Clues."

Favorite pro teams: Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles.

Athlete most admired: Dan Gable

Most influential person in athletic career: His father ("I've always looked up to him.")

Statistics: Kyner won a Section I Class AAA title at 126 pounds on Saturday, going 3-0 with a technical fall, a 9-4 decision over the No. 2 seed and a 9-0 major decision over the No. 1 seed in the final For the season, he is 28-12, with 4 pins, 3 tech falls and 4 majors.