Haverford School wrestler L.J. Barlow is Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week

The junior 195-pounder became the first Haverford School to win the prestigious Beast of the East title. He also placed seventh at the Walsh Ironman tournament, which along with Beast of the East are considered the two of the toughest high school wrestling tournaments in the country. Last winter, he finished fourth at National Preps. Barlow received second team All-Main Line honors last fall as a linebacker for the Haverford School football team, which won a share of the InterAc title. LJ (which stands for Lawrence Jr.) was named after his father, a former Drexel University wrestler, and off the mat is involved in S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) at Haverford School.

Main Line Media News: In your Beast of the East championship finals match, you defeated Matt Correnti 6-5 to win the 195-pound title. What to you was the key moment of that match — can you describe it for us?

L.J. Barlow: Since I scored first in the match, I was able to choose which position to go in during ultimate tiebreaker, the last overtime round in which whoever scores first wins. I chose bottom because earlier in the match I was able to escape very quickly. Correnti cleverly changed his style on top and was able to ride me longer than I had expected. I started to panic, and did a sloppy switch. This resulted in him holding on to my leg for dear life, and with eight seconds left I was finally able to kick my foot out of his grasp and win the title by escaping. Main Line Media News: What does it mean to you to be the first Haverford School wrestler to win the Beast of the East title?

L.J. Barlow: It is an honor. Haverford has had many great wrestlers pass through, and to be able to claim to be the first to do anything in the Haverford School wrestling program is an accomplishment in my eyes. I used to go and watch the Beast of the East as a kid, and to finally stand on top of that podium shows that all my hard work is paying off.Main Line Media News: Coming into the Beast of the East as a fourth seed, it must have been rewarding to knock off a nationally-ranked wrestler and the top seed, Dan Hawkins, in the semifinals, especially since you had lost to him three times last season. Could you describe the key moment of this match?

L.J. Barlow: Since my last three losses to him, Hawkins had become a mental hurdle that I needed to overcome. Beating him was a real boost in my confidence. The key moment of this match was a four-point move – when I shot for a double, switched to a single, kept driving with my feet, and tucked his head with one arm to throw him to his back. Main Line Media News: You also beat another nationally-ranked wrestler, Hunter Ritter, in the quarterfinals, by a 13-3 score. Would you say that was your best match of the tournament?

L.J. Barlow: Yes, it was my best match. Ritter is a great wrestler, and I felt like he would be my hardest match of the tournament. I came ready to go, and I was able to dominate the match by being aggressive and on the attack.

L.J. Barlow: My most vivid moment was losing in Ultimate Tie breaker in the quarterfinals because I could not hold the kid down. This tournament was crucial for my success down at the Beast because it was a wakeup call to get in better shape and train harder.

Main Line Media News: What was the most important thing you learned from your experience at National Preps last winter?

L.J. Barlow: That I needed to be on the attack more. Both my losses occurred because I was timid.

Main Line Media News: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your wrestling?

L.J. Barlow: The strongest aspect of my wrestling is my explosiveness and my body awareness. My shots are explosive, and what to do in funky situations with my body just comes naturally to me.

Main Line Media News: What aspect of your wrestling are you working on the most currently?

L.J. Barlow: I am working on multiple attacks to score, and riding on top.

Main Line Media News: Describe how you see your leadership role on the Haverford School wrestling squad. L.J. Barlow: I feel like I am a leader on the team by example. My skill and tenacity on the mat is respected by my team mates, and I am always a good sport.

Main Line Media News: Do you have a favorite wrestler, or a wrestler that you try to pattern yourself after?

L.J. Barlow: Jordan Burroughs. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but I like him because of his quickness and his explosive doubles.

Main Line Media News: What to you was the most memorable play of Haverford School’s football season — can you describe your role in it?

L.J. Barlow: My most memorable play of the season was chasing and catching up to the Episcopal Academy running back and stopping a touchdown [on Haverford-EA Day].

Main Line Media News: What colleges are among your current favorites?

L.J. Barlow: I am still keeping my options open, but from the schools that have contacted me, the front runners are Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and University of Virignia.L.J. Barlow’s favoritesBook: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien.

Movie: The Dark Night Rises.

Team: Philadelphia Eagles.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply