WJ Security Guard inducted into Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame


Security guard Tony Howard was one of the best high school wrestlers of his time. He won states three times and was inducted into the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame. Courtesy of Jack Linde

Jake Brown, Sports Editor

Sherwood vs. Magruder is a huge rivalry matchup. Three-time state champ from Sherwood, Kevin Edwards, steps in on the mat for in a big tournament against Tony Howard. Edwards came out swinging but Howard held on to take Edwards into overtime. All Howard had to do after taking the lead was to ride the best wrestler in the county all the way through the rest of the match. The referee blew the whistle at the end of the match, and the young Tony Howard went back to the middle of the mat, shook Edward’s hand, and the referee raised Howard’s hand. Howard, who went on to win three state championships, beat a three time state champ when he was just a sophomore. It was the beginning of a great career.

Former Magruder wrestler and WJ security team member Tony Howard was inducted on March 3 into the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame next to Olympian champion Helen Maroulis, also a Magruder alumnus. Unfortunately, Maroulis was in Japan training, but her family was invited to accept the award.

“Even though she wasn’t there, her presence was definitely felt,” Howard said, “You were able to see her accolades, and you could see the picture with her holding the flag. It was amazing.”

After a brutal injury to Howard during the football season, he was sidelined for an entire season in his freshman year. As a result, he did not step into a wrestling match until the beginning of his sophomore season.

“That might have been the best thing for me,” Howard said. “It made me hungry, and I needed that hunger to achieve.”

When Howard stepped on the mat for his first match, he says that there was no chance that his opponent was going to achieve what he wanted to achieve.

“It meant so much to me,” Howard said.

One of Howard’s best influences through his wrestling career was his coach Ed Heintzelman.

“He was kind of like a second father to me,” Howard said. “He was very stoic. He put 150 percent into you, and I put 150 percent into him. He believed in me, and because of that I never had to question him.”

Howard started coaching eight years ago, and is still a coach today. When he started coaching, the transition was easy.

“If you’re an empathetic person, it becomes a focal point on what you pursue, then it’s an easy transition,” Howard said. “[If you do that] then people will appreciate that you care about them as well as you care about their well being and their success.”

Howard started coaching at Wheaton High School in 2009. After a few years in Wheaton, Howard started doing club wrestling in the offseason. After a couple years doing offseason coaching, he followed coach Tim Lowe to Churchill High School and has been there ever since.

That weekend was a special weekend for Howard. On Friday, March 2, Howard saw one of his seniors win the state championship in a nail biting comeback win, and then the next day, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“That weekend meant so much to me,” Howard said, “Seeing [senior] Jack [Connolly] win and going to the Hall was just exciting.”