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Athlete of the week: MVP's Urban victorious at Parker Invite

PLANKINTON—Marcus Urban was upset with himself after losing to Parkston's Kyler Holzbauer at the Little B wrestling meet on Jan. 23 in Parkston.

The Mount Vernon/Plankinton wrestler cruised into the 138-pound championship match in the tournament, but ultimately fell in a 3-2 decision to Holzbauer.

Urban—who is 33-4 on the season—used the defeat as motivation in the Parker Invitational on Saturday, rebounding to win the 138-pound bracket with a 6-5 decision over Deuel's Devon Sievers in the first-place match. He had two pins in the early rounds before winning the semifinals and championship on decision.

"When he lost to Parkston last weekend, you could tell he wasn't happy about it," MVP head coach Josh Geppert said. "We knew he'd have some tough competition here at the Parker Invitational, and I was glad to see him come out on top. Winning here got his mind off losing last weekend."

The Plankinton student also picked up three wins at a quad meet on Jan. 26 in Salem. Urban, a junior, defeated McCook Central/Montrose's Jacob Cheeseman by fall and added a pair of forfeit wins against Marion/Freeman and Alcester-Hudson.

For his performance, Urban has been selected as The Daily Republic's Athlete of the Week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.

"He wrestled well (last week)," Geppert said. "He's been pretty consistent all year long. Overall, he's doing well and peaking at the right time. He's building up a lot of steam for regions coming up soon."

The victory at Parker was Urban's fourth tournament title of the season, winning earlier this year at the home Titan Invite Dec. 19, the Miller tournament Jan. 9 and the Tri-Valley tournament on Jan. 16. Geppert added Urban is the "hardest working kid the Titans have."

"He's hard to keep down on the mat and rarely makes mistakes," Geppert said. "He's hard to score on and tough to beat."

With about a year and a month left in Urban's prep wrestling career, Geppert said the lightweight is enjoying every moment he has left on the mat.

But enjoying it almost as much is Geppert, who is Urban's cousin.

"It's been a real pleasure coaching him," Geppert said. "I only have a short time with him left and I have high expectations for him. He also has a lot for himself. The last year and a half will be pretty special. I get excited about seeing all of my kids do well, but maybe I do a little more with him."

MVP is back in action at the Big East Conference Tournament on Saturday in Arlington.