Roman Boylen showed his resilient to pain last season.
The former Alexander standout wrestler and current Chattanooga junior wrestled with a thumb injury.
Although he didn’t have an impressive record, he did show his character and grit on the collegiate level.
He was 3-8 at the 141-pound class and 0-5 at 149.
“It was very difficult because most people don’t realize how much you use your hands in wrestling,” Boylen said. “The pain was really hard at practice.”
A year later, Boylen is succeeding on the mats for the Mocs. He is 5-4 overall at 149, including a 1-0 record against Southern Conference competition.
The highlight of the season for Boylen came in a tough loss. He was defeated 3-1 by a Virginia Tech wrestler ranked No. 4 in the nation.
“It was a difficult match but it has fueled by fire,” Boylen said. “I just feel more confident now when I step onto the mat. My whole goal is to beat a top-10 wrestler. I had an opportunity to score and win the match.”
During his four-year career at Alexander, Boylen was a two-time state champion who compiled a 95-1 record his last two years.
He said wrestling for Alexander coaches Sean Moistner and Daryk Cochran is what prepared him for the collegiate level.
Moistner and Cochran both wrestled at Chattanooga.
“They really give me that ALX tough mindset,” Boylen said. “I had some some success early in my career there. I’m really happy I had an opportunity to wrestle for them.”
It is that mindset that helped Boylen succeed through adversity his sophomore season. Coming off a freshman season where he went 7-6 overall, Boylen was looking forward to his season year.
However, the thumb injury slowed him down.
“It is definitely in the face of adversity that you learn to thrive,” Boylen said. “It is when you get to your low point that you fight the hardest. I was hurt, and in and out the lineup. I think that helped shape the person and man that I’ve become.”