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Toby Eveleth is making up for lost time

Catonsville’s Toby Eveleth is wrestling with the intensity of someone who is trying to make up for lost time.

That’s because he is.

Ranked ninth by Legacy Wrestling at 120 pounds, Eveleth is competing at that weight for the first time this season as the top seed at this weekend’s Baltimore County Tournament at Perry Hall.

Eveleth missed counties a year ago due to an illness after having been a county runner-up and regional champion as a sophomore.

Eveleth rebounded last year to finish second in the regions and to place fourth at the Class 4A-3A state tournament, but the senior is fired up to add a county title to the regional crown he won as a 10th grader.

“This season I’m trying to wrestle to the best of my abilities,” Eveleth said. “I’m staying loose and focusing on what I can control.”

Eveleth was in command on Friday at Perry Hall, winning his quarterfinal bout, 7-0, over Franklin junior Joe Silberman to improve his record on the year to 19-1 with 10 pins. Eveleth’s only setback was by fall from a split-cradle pinning maneuver used by 126-pound junior Tommy Blankenship of North Harford, a fifth-place finisher at last year’s Class 2A-1A state tournament.

Ranked ninth at 126 pounds, Blankenship also owns an overtime, 8-6 victory over fifth-ranked Class 4A-3A state champion Neil Sharma of Magruder.

Due to heavy snowfall, Eveleth and other tournament wrestlers will resume competition with the semifinals on Monday.

Eveleth will face Sparrows Point freshman Mike Whisner in an event whose top three team leaders are Owings Mills (73 points), Franklin (67) and Sparrows Point (64.5)

“This is my last season wrestling in high school,” Eveleth said. “I’m going to leave everything out on the mat.”

At states, Eveleth went 4-2 with two each in falls and major decisions, ending the year with a record of 33-5 for the Comets, for whom his father, Brian, serves as an assistant to third-year coach George Dunn.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Toby compete in the final high school postseason,” Brian Eveleth said. “Toby has put in a lot of extra time and worked really hard to develop solid technique and strength.”

Toby is the nephew of the late Matthew Tobey Eveleth, a four-time Class 4A-3A state finalist and three-time champion for Chesapeake-Anne Arundel High whose initials, "MTE," are tattooed on Toby's right biceps.

Matt Eveleth was 37 when he died of pancreatic cancer in July 2021 as the most accomplished wrestler in the history of Chesapeake High.

Toby is named for Matt, whose middle name is Tobey, and who was the youngest of three siblings, all of whom were state title winners for the Cougars. Older brother, Brian, Toby's father, was a one-time champion in 1991. Middle sibling, Jeff, was a two-time title winner, the latter being a senior teammate with Matt on the Cougars’ 2000 championship squad.

Matt earned three state titles in four championship berths, leading the Cougars to state tournament crowns as a sophomore and again as a senior in 2002.

In January 2022, ninth-year Chesapeake coach Randy Curtin oversaw the Cougars’ wrestling room being renamed in honor of Matt Eveleth. Toby wrestles with the resiliency similar to that of his uncle and namesake.

“I’m really proud of the physical and mental toughness that Toby has demonstrated throughout his high school career dealing with quite a bit of adversity,” Brian Eveleth said. “He’s had to deal with a lot of significant injuries and hasn’t been able to compete much in the offseason.”

Matt Eveleth coached Toby during his junior league career, one of which ended with a third-place finish at states.

Toby’s final victory that season came against Calvin Kraisser, who is currently a junior two-time defending Class 4A-3A state champion at Centennial High in Howard County.

“It has been a pleasure to be one of Toby’s coaches,” Dunn said. “He’s a very hard worker with excellent technical skills. We’re going to miss him next year.”

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