Cover photo courtesy of Michelle Gilbert

Maple Grove senior Luke Tomlinson became only the second wrestler in Red Dragons’ program history to achieve the 200 career victory milestone last Saturday at the Ripley Invitational where he was also named tournament MOW. Tomlinson recently surpassed 2016 NYS champion Brad Bihler for the second spot on the all-time wins list and trails only three-time state place winner Ryan Hetrick’s 224 wins on the program leaderboard. Hetrick is #20 all-time in wins in WNY, so with over a month to go in the 2021-2022 season, Tomlinson has a chance to possibly match or overtake that position.

“Luke is one of the hardest workers I have ever coached,” said Maple Grove head coach Mark Hetrick on Tomlinson. “He has an uncanny ability to pin. He has been such a great role model to the kids on the team and the younger kids and is every coaches dream. I can honestly say I have been so fortunate and privileged to have the chance to coach someone like Luke. He is humble and carries himself like a gentleman on and off the mat. Luke has truly made myself and all of Maple Grove very proud.”

‘Uncanny’ is certainly the word to describe Tomlinson’s pin record which currently tallies over 150 falls. Tomlinson’s current season record is 23-1 with twenty wins by pin and three by forfeit.

Tomlinson references an active youth wrestling experience, great coaching throughout his career, and learning from older wrestlers on the team after being brought up in 7th grade to the varsity room for the success he’s enjoyed. Luke is a four-time sectional place winner and three time finalist with state tournament experience as a wildcard entry in the 2019-2020 tournament. At the halfway point in the 2021-2022 season, Tomlinson has emerged as a Section VI and NYS tournament title contender.

“I just want to thank Coach Hetrick who’s been there my whole career as well as Coach [Terry] Norris,” said Tomlinson. “I just want to thank my parents as well, for always getting me to practice, and especially for everything back in youth wrestling.”

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