Latrobe's Mears bound for Colorado School of Mines
For all the individual accolades he has garnered in the past couple of months, Tyler Mears is a team guy. That's one of the key factors that led to the Latrobe senior wrestler's decision to attend the Colorado School of Mines.
“As soon as the coach picked me up from the airport, he was talking about how much he's committed to having team chemistry,” Mears said. “He wants his wrestlers to be close on and off the mat. When I got there and saw how close the team was, that sold it for me.”
Mears, whose career record is 84-29, capped his senior season by winning the WPIAL Class AAA individual title at 285 pounds. He went on to place fourth in the PIAA tournament.
“Those are the things I'm going to remember most,” Mears said. “They've been my goals since I was little.”
While Mears finished his senior season on a high note, the early part of his 2014-15 campaign was hampered by concussion issues and a hamstring injury.
“He hurt his leg at King of the Mountain,” Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said. “He was banged up. We held him out of Powerade and the Westmoreland County tournament to give him time to get healthy, and it worked out.”
Mears ramped up his conditioning prior to his senior season because he felt his stamina was lacking late in matches.
“I wanted to train my hardest so I wasn't dead in the third period and overtime,” Mears said. “I wanted to be in the best shape I could, and I feel like I did that.”
Now Mears is back in training mode in preparation for the rigors of wrestling at the NCAA Division II level. He wants to drop body fat and add muscle before heading to Colorado.
“In college, heavyweight means there's not any fat. It's all muscle,” Mears said. “I need to shed some pounds and put them back on as muscle.”
Harbert feels like the best is yet to come for Mears — both academically and athletically.
“I think he'll be a better wrestler in college than he was in high school,” Harbert said. “He has a chance to be a Division II All-American. He has the right mental framework. He puts the extra work in, and he's very humble.”
Mears has zeroed in on petroleum engineering as his major, so it's no surprise that his college choice is one of the top engineering schools in the country.
Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.