PARIS — There are advantages in a young life to being a football fullback and linebacker, or having an early growth spurt.

Malik Geiger would tell you that immediate success in high school wrestling isn’t one of them.

“I came in at 152 (pounds), and it was a lot of seniors who were very physically developed,” the Oxford Hills Comprehensive School senior said. “That was definitely a learning experience. I went I think 26-15, which I was happy with.”

He likely can count the number of losses since that winter on one, calloused, battle-tested hand. Two, at most.

Geiger is undefeated as a 182-pound senior and is expected to break Oxford Hills’ record for match wins in a career Saturday at Nokomis. Seth McAllister set that standard of 156 wins in 2004.

“That was definitely something I wanted to do, and barring injury I knew that I probably would,” Geiger said “I’m excited to get there for sure.”

Once that goal is out of the way, Geiger and the Vikings are anxious to see if he can bring the school the rare honor of an individual state title. McAllister, who started at 103 pounds and grew to 140, was a multi-time Maine champion.

Geiger has inched closer and closer to that achievement each year, even while adding size and strength to his frame. He finished third in the Class A meet at 160 pounds as a sophomore, then was runner-up at 170 as a junior, also winning a match at the New England championship.

“He came in a naturally gifted wrestler, so he started at a pretty good level freshman year, but each year he’s gotten better and better as far as technique, controlling somebody, getting tough with his takedowns,” Oxford Hills coach Tony Stevens said. “Each year he’s gotten stronger and stronger and stronger. Each year he’s gone up a weight class. He’s been successful every single year.”

It didn’t always come that easily.

One of Geiger’s best friends wrestled for Stevens in the youth program when they were in fourth grade. Geiger went along as a spectator for a match or two and caught the fever.

“I liked what it looked like,” Geiger said. “My elementary school years were pretty rough. I wasn’t very good. Seventh grade, eighth grade is when I started doing alright. Physical development. I hit puberty pretty hard.”

Stevens suggested that his student might be showing his humility, there.

“You knew he was going to do well,” the coach said. “He wrestled some kids that were a little bit older than he was. They kind of showed him a little bit what was going on. Being a freshman at 152, you’re wrestling juniors and seniors.”

Given the popularity of high school football in the area, many Oxford Hills enthusiasts associate Geiger more closely with his achievements on the gridiron.

He carried 39 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns in a memorable win over Lewiston at the start of his junior year. This past fall, Geiger was part of a one-two punch with Davis Turner on both sides of the ball, leading the Vikings to their first playoff berth in nine years.

“I’ve actually battled knee issues from football, just general wear and tear,” Geiger said. “It’s two different sports, two very different body attributes involved. This year we went to playoffs, so it was a longer season.”

That didn’t stop Geiger from winning two major tournaments at Mountain Valley and Nokomis early in the season.

He needed only 33 seconds Wednesday night to pin his opponent from Portland for win No. 154.

“It’s completely different, I think a lot tougher than the other sports that I do,” said Geiger, who also has pole vaulted more than 11 feet in track and field. “Giving your 110 percent for six minutes straight is going to be pretty rough, versus football where you’ve got play, break, play, break, a couple seconds in between. And mentally, before a match, nerves can really get to you, so emotionally it’s exhausting as well as physically.”

Geiger captained Oxford Hills’ team both his junior and senior years.

“He’s done well with that,” Stevens said. “All the kids look up to him. Gifted athlete, does great in school. You would take a whole team full of those.”

Perhaps that maturity explains why Geiger speaks so matter-of-factly about the possibility of his competitive sports career ending this year.

He plans to pursue a four-year degree in nursing. Geiger’s first choice is the University of Maine, which has no varsity wrestling team.

“They have a club. Last I heard they were doing pretty well against some Division 3 schools, so they’re not accepting just anyone anymore. I think next year either way I won’t be wrestling, because I want to get a feel for college first and make sure I’m doing what I need to do there,” Geiger said. “Sophomore and up, I’m keeping my options open. I’m not choosing a college based on sports. I’m there for the college experience.”

From its modest beginnings, Geiger’s high school experience has been nothing shy of a record-breaker.

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