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MO West in the News: Taylor Brown

04/19/2016, 9:00am CDT
By MO West

Taylor Brown is a great example of how combining MO West training/traveling and hard work ensures improvement. Check out the article below:

Above & Beyond: Tiger grapples year-round


Warrensburg – Take a quick look at Taylor Brown.

At 16 years old, Brown is of normal build, hovering around 5-foot-9 and just shy of 130 pounds. He stays reserved, almost timid amid normal conversation as he moves closer to an adult identity. He wears modern clothing and laughs and jokes with friends after school.

From afar he is Warrensburg’s teenage prototype.

Spend a little time watching Brown grapple opponents on a wrestling mat and he clearly is far from ordinary.

Brown said he spends at least 10 hours a week training, often much more.

Jeff Brown, Taylor’s father and Warrensburg High School wrestling coach, said his son is a workout warrior.

Taylor’s typical winter season regimen includes lifting weights at 6 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and open mat sessions on other weekdays.

His intensive preparation led him to a fifth place finish at the 2015 MSHSAA Class 3 Wrestling Championships in February. Taylor wrestled into the semifinal round where he dropped a tight 5-0 match to eventual champion Chandler Fohey, Hannibal.

After a week off, Taylor’s hunger for triumph took over again.

He began training four days weekly with the MO West Championship Club team, based in Blue Springs. There he wrestles teammates from the Kansas City metro area, including Grain Valley’s Mavrick Alexander and Harrison Bamman, both MSHSAA state tournament qualifiers. Other partners include Jet Tryon and Connor Brown, both of Oak Grove, and current and former Warrensburg teammates Sheldon BloseZeelan and Zadac LankfordCollin Braun and J.D. Culp

“All the practices are a lot of live wrestling with some good partners,” Taylor said. “That club has kids that come from all over.”

For Taylor, hard work paid massive dividends this summer.

He hopped in travel vans, charter buses and commercial jets to wrestle in tournaments in Maryland, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

“He did all this by himself,” Jeff said. “I don’t know how many hours he’s been on a bus this summer.”

As much traveling hardly bothered Taylor.

“It’s pretty fun,” he said. “We play card games and sleep a lot.”

The Western Junior Regional Tournament, held in May in Las Vegas, Nevada, took place during the Las Vegas Open, a professional wrestling tournament featuring Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, among others.

Taylor found success in all preparation and eventually scored a gig with the Missouri Cadet National Dual Team in June, where he placed third in the Greco-Roman and ninth in the freestyle brackets.

From there, coaches from the Missouri Junior National Dual Team, which consists of wrestlers ages 17-18, added Taylor to the roster. Facing older competition netted him a ninth-place finish in the freestyle and an 11th-place finish in the Greco-Roman brackets in mid-June.

Taylor, still unsatisfied with all the work put in, then rode with his father to Annapolis, Maryland, where he participated with about 200 others in a week-long Navy SEALS training program.

Each day included four workouts, long runs twice daily and about 700 pushups.

The same day the Browns returned home around 4 a.m. in mid-July, Taylor snuck off to practice in Blue Springs and got right back to work.

“We drove straight home, 16 hours, and I was wiped,” Jeff said. “Taylor said, ‘Dad, I’m taking the car and going to MO West, I have two-a-days.”

Everything finally culminated in a tournament in Fargo, North Dakota in late July. Brown worked his way through a 128-person bracket and placed eighth, enough for a Fargo All-American bid.

“It’s the second biggest bracket out of all the weight classes in Greco and freestyle,” Jeff said.

Now that Brown is back home and finished with summer tournaments, he’s right back to his regular training for the winter season and beyond.

“Some of the goals I have are not just for next season in high school, but in college,” Taylor said. “I just keep my goals written down and that’s how I stay motivated.”

With two years left in high school, Taylor said he hopes to become a two-time state champion and land a spot with the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team.

To stay in shape, Taylor participates on the Warrensburg swimming team in the fall before his real passion peeks back around the corner.

“I’m really happy for him, really proud of him,” Jeff said. “He works really hard ... is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. He puts a lot of extra time in.”

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