Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn State Leader Brown Wants Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn State Leader Brown Wants Title

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK - Tales of Matt Brown's exploits have been told again and again inside the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex and whispered throughout the community, and Cael Sanderson believes one day they'll be used as textbook examples - how-to's for the next group of Penn State wrestlers who walk through the training facility doors.

The stories about the quiet, reserved Penn State senior are reaching legendary status as Brown's career came to a close this week with the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.

There was that time Brown, then just months removed from a two- year stay in sub-saharan Africa where he abandoned wrestling altogether to focus on digging ditches, raising chickens and planting trees for locals in Angola and Mozambique, weighed in at 173 pounds and battered a man 24 pounds heavier into virtual submission.

Then, Brown forced Nebraska fifth-year senior James Nakashima to back up all over the mat where he was warned for stalling twice, too exhausted to mount any offense. Brown won 2-1. He did it again two days later, when he gave up 20-plus pounds to Michigan's Max Huntley and still beat him 3-1.

He just wanted to win. Like he wanted to help others in Africa.

Like he wants to help others more when he graduates and is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, where he plans to use his ROTC training and background abroad.

But still, that NCAA championship has eluded him. He's finished second and fifth the past two seasons. He entered his final tournament as the No. 2 seed at 174.

He's not one to get sentimental, but Brown hinted that this final tournament could be his last in the sport.

"I think I'll reflect when it's over," Brown said.

"Going into [the tournament] knowing my days in a Penn State singlet are numbered, I'm excited though. It's fun. This is what we've trained for. I don't want to do this for the rest of my life, but I want to do it now. This is it."

His teammates have noticed his demeanor has grown much more serious as the tournament has grown closer.

"I know he wants it and I know he's trained hard for it," Penn State junior Morgan McIntosh said. …

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