Dalton High School Catamounts

May 22, 2014

Carlile gets a chance to grind

As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.

The Dalton High School grappler had nothing to worry about, because when the time came, he had his choice.

Carlile signed a partial athletic scholarship Wednesday, one day after his 18th birthday and two days before his graduation, to join Brewton-Parker College’s wrestling team next school year. He signed the scholarship covering more than half his tuition at Dalton High.

Carlile finished third in the 132-pound weight class last winter during the GHSA’s Class 4A state tournament. It was his best finish and concluded a 35-7 season that started late due to a hernia injury, complicated in the preseason after injuring and having surgery during the summer.

For Carlile, wrestling in college has been a goal since elementary school. So when he didn’t receive strong interest after his junior season or when his senior season started, he was worried.

“I went into my senior season without any offers,” he said. “It was tough starting the year with an injury. I didn’t know if I’d have any offers.

“That’s why I was so nervous, because a lot of people were getting offers and committing, and I was still waiting and trying to get my name out there.”

Soon after the high school season ended, Carlile competed in the National High School Coaches Association senior nationals tournament. He finished 2-2 in the 132 class, but on the return home received a call from Life University in Marietta. Then Brewton-Parker expressed interest. On the return from Mount Vernon and a visit to his eventual landing spot, he received a call from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

“It was a stressful two weeks,” Carlile said. “It was overwhelming with good news.”

His high school coach during his junior and senior seasons, Michael Keefe, never had concern. He knew Carlile would land somewhere.

“I know the kind of kid he is and knew he’d have success,” Keefe said. “Coaches are looking for guys like him who have their grades in order. Every coach I knew I told about Dylan.

“The big thing about Dylan is his work ethic. He works hard in the classroom. He’s a perfectionist. He’s got a 3.9 GPA. A big part about being a student-athlete is having the academic part down. With wrestling, he never stops working and getting better. He hates losing.”

Carlile, a four-year starter, compiled a career record of 158-48 with a third-place finish as a sophomore in Area 7-3A and second-place finish as a junior in Area 7-4A and first-place finish in the Class 4A West Sectional. He’s been a full-time wrestler since dropping baseball and football once he entered high school.

“I knew probably halfway through my junior season that my wrestling was starting to click and more than likely I’d have an opportunity to wrestle in college,” Carlile said. “I knew I was the caliber of wrestler that could make it.”

Brewton-Parker coach Jake Brumbelow agreed.

“He’s a grinder,” Brumbelow said. “That’s a style that will be successful in college. The kid works hard and is mentally tough. ... As a grinder, when things get tough, he gets tough. In college, most matches will be close. He’s the type with the heart to pull it out.”

Brewton-Parker is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program. The wrestling team started in the 2012-2013 school year and Carlile is planning to compete for the starter spot in the 133-pound weight class.

“First and foremost, I really bought into and liked what coach Brumbelow was doing with the program,” Carlile said. “I know he wrestled in high school and college and was a very good wrestler.

“What was a big factor for me was the school offered agriculture business, the major I want to study. Another big factor was coach Brumbelow has psychology degrees and spends individual time with each wrestler.”

That individual aspect, not just in coaching but also competing, is a big reason Carlile loves the sport.

“You have that team aspect but when you go on the mat, regardless the result, it’s all on you,” he said. “Another thing is I’ve always been one of the smallest kids in most other sports. Size matters in a lot of sports, but in wrestling it really doesn’t. You can match up with someone your size.”

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