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Unbeaten Two-Time State Champion Tyler Garvin Talks Family Legacy and Being ‘The Guy’ at Rising Sun

Updated: Dec 13, 2023


(Photo credit Sam Dixon)


Rising Sun senior Tyler Garvin is maintaining the family legacy while approaching a milestone this season.


The 120-pound two-time Class 2A-1A state champion pinned all three opponents at Saturday's Knightmare Invitational Tournament at Parkville High in Baltimore County, running his record on the year to 4-0 (all pins), his career mark to 96-0, and leading his Tigers (222 points) to the overall title in the 19-team event.


Garvin was among four champions including his sophomore sibling Zach Garvin (157), junior Xzavier Brown (126) and senior Mason Testerman (190) as the Tigers out-paced runner-up Calvert Hall (196) and third-place Linganore (187).


As a repeat state champion, Tyler Garvin, 18, is tied with 1994 graduate Jason Townsend and Anthony Cimorosi (2013).


Garvin is not only on pace to join 2008 graduate Matt Jackson – who placed third at states as a freshman – as the Tigers only other three-time state champion, but he can be the first Rising Sun wrestler to complete his entire high school career without suffering defeat.

Tyler's father, Luke, 44, was a 103-pound Class 2A-1A state champ in 1996 and a runner-up at 112 pounds in 1997. Tyler’s uncle, Seth, 45, was a third-place at 112 pounds in 1995. Former head coach Dean Cox, who guided Townsend, Luke and Seth, has joined this year's coaching staff.


"Luke and I have been waiting years for this team to show up, having coached most of these wrestlers in the junior leagues for Rising Sun. The coaching staff is made up of all Rising Sun alumni, including Anthony Cimorosi, who was a 4 time [state] finalist and a two-time state champ, and Maryland Hall Of Fame coach Dean Cox, who will volunteer when he can," said Seth Garvin, hinting that Tyler might be attempting to win a fourth state title were it not for missing his freshman season due to Covid-19.


"Tyler has been one of our team captains since he was a sophomore after missing his freshman year of wrestling. I have been watching Tyler wrestle ever since he was a 4-year-old and I have never coached anyone with the commitment to excellence that he has. It's a true dream to coach my nephews on the team and be able to coach alongside my brother. I know my brother and I would wrestle and give each other fits, but in the end, we were brothers."


Luke Garvin agrees.


"Tyler and Zach push each other, which is really cool," Luke Garvin said. "It's kind of the same thing as when Seth and I were wrestling two years apart. I learned a lot from the beatings I took from my brother."

On the national level, Garvin is currently ranked No. 24 in the country by Scorebook Live at 113lbs as Garvin drops down a weight class for the national competitions. Between his sophomore and junior years, Garvin won the 100lb Fargo Junior Freestyle National Championship.


Following his junior season, Garvin competed at the NHSCA Spring Duals at 106lbs and hung a loss on No. 4 Dominic Deputy (Chestnut Ridge, PA), 4-2 in overtime.


But as good as the Tigers are this season, most eyes will be on the University of Maryland-bound Tyler Garvin, who discussed what it’s like to be “The Guy” among other things relating to his final year of high school wrestling season with Legacy Wrestling in this Q&A.

Legacy Wrestling: What is the longest period of time you’ve been on the mat for any match so far this year?



Tyler Garvin: We’ve had a dual meet and the tournament, and the longest match was in the second period. I haven’t been scored on yet, but that’s not something I think about. I just go out there and worry about scoring the next point.


LW: What college did you commit to, what is your GPA and what do you want your major to be in college?


TG: I committed to the University of Maryland. Right now, I believe my GPA is a 4.3. I’m planning on majoring in Kinesiology, which is like Physical Therapy.


LW: How much pressure do you feel being a Garvin at Rising Sun when it comes to guys like me, for example, who saw Matt Jackson, Jason Townsend, Anthony Cimorosi, your father, Luke, and your uncle, Seth, and the subsequent questions and comparisons?


TG: I feel pressure, but I think pressure is a privilege, especially when you’re “The Guy.” There’s pressure for everyone who is top-ranked and who has everyone gunning for you.

That just comes with the territory. I just think about putting a target on everybody else’s back and taking everybody else out.


LW: What is it like for “The Guy” to put his head on the pillow at night before a big match?


TG: Being “The Guy” means everybody knows who I am at this point. I’ve been on the high school scene for a while now, not just having state success but having national success, too.

So, while everybody’s gunning for you, I still have plenty of room for improvement and plenty of guys I’m working on chasing down because I’m nowhere near where I want to be.


LW: How many junior league state titles did you win?


TG: I won three MSWA junior league state titles.


LW: Do you lament not having that freshman year of high school due to Covid-19?


TG: I mean, it really sucked, especially the way everything else has worked out and the possibility that maybe I could have been a four-time state champion and broken the career wins record at Rising Sun.


LW: Do you feel you would have won states as a freshman?


TG: Looking back on it right now, I was really undersized. My eighth-grade year at states I wrestled at 77 pounds. Coming into my freshman year I was able to get up to about 95 pounds. I put on 20 pounds, so I was pretty undersized for 106 pounds.


Having that extra year entering my sophomore season, I had time to grow up and into the weight class a little more for 106 pounds and to develop my strength and technique. So, if you look back at things in retrospect, I think everything happens for a reason.


LW: Are you lifting weights and sucking weight now?


TG: No, I walk around weighing around at about 118. I’m not lifting weights as much during the season because we have a lot of practices, but during the summer I was lifting pretty heavy most of the time.


LW: Do you feel the eyes on you when you walk into a Maryland gym or more specifically at Rising Sun for competition and if so, what’s that like?


TG: Obviously people are going to be watching me at all of these tournaments and events. I think I’m one of the best wrestlers in the state, so obviously you’re going to attract the eyes of people who are watching you. But I try not to focus on what other people think.

I am my biggest self-critic, so if I’m making myself happy and making sure that I’m taking care of myself and doing my best in representing my team, my parents and my community – the people who really care about me – then nobody else can judge me.


LW: What is your legacy going to be and how do you want to be remembered?


TG: I kind of want my legacy to be dominance, being a big part of the team and making it exciting for everybody that comes out to our matches and watches us wrestling.


I want to focus on bringing wrestling back into the Rising Sun community.


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