Loder poised for run at state title

GB senior puts unbeaten record on line in Bakersfield
By: Andrew Eggers, Special to The Press-Tribune
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Granite Bay’s Ryan Loder will be in Bakersfield this weekend with his sights set on becoming the fourth state champion from the Sierra Foothill League since the creation of the tournament in the 1972-73 season. The senior grappler qualified for the event by winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II and Masters tournaments in the 189-pound weight class, and will have an even tougher test beating the state’s elite in the Rabobank Arena. Grizzles’ head coach Mike Lynch said that Loder has trained rigorously over the past three years to position himself atop the section with a legitimate shot at state supremacy. The hard work has in turn rewarded Loder, who has earned a college scholarship to Northern Iowa where he plans on being a national champion. “He has a tremendous work ethic and he’s an outstanding team leader,” Lynch said. “(Loder) works with and coaches the younger players, bringing them along and showing them how to do things the right way.” “I hate losing and I love winning,” said Loder. “It really keeps me motivated and the goals that I set for myself are really high so I try really hard to (achieve) them.” Loder, a two-sport athlete, racked up a team-best 97 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries this past season on the Grizzles’ football team. He was introduced to football and wrestling in the third grade and instantly fell in love with the physical nature of both sports after originally taking up baseball and soccer. “My parents introduced me to football and I was like ‘Oh what is this? Why should I play any other sport,’” Loder said. “It was like ‘Here, put on some pads and hit some people…then I tried wrestling and there was no other sport with that kind of intensity.’” Unbeaten on the mat this season, Loder was also a first-team all-league linebacker on the gridiron in the fall and shared defensive player of the year honors on The Press-Tribune all-city football team. Loder admits that his life revolves around wrestling and that having two older brothers has prepared him for such an aggressive and physical sport. It may explain why Lynch doesn’t notice any nervousness or anxiety in his demeanor before a match. “He’s more like a Joe Montana. Calm, collected and poised,” Lynch said. “He has intensity, but he’s not like a volcano going off. In wrestling you need to be controlled and disciplined, and that’s him.” Lynch called Loder a “sponge” when it comes to storing nuggets of knowledge and experiences in order to polish his skills on the mat. He has attended numerous wrestling camps and sparred with some of the area’s top prep and college grapplers to get better, while also maintaining fierce weight, speed and agility programs stemming from his football training regiments. “(Loder) is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation (for the state championships),” Lynch said. “If you just look at him, he is built like an athlete. He’s tall, lean and long-limbed. The biggest thing is that he knows how to compete. You put him in any kind of competition and he’s going to do well. He’s going to beat guys who are better than him because he is such a competitor.”