Baltimore County Wrestling Tournament ends after 3 a.m. with Sparrows Point claiming a second consecutive crown; Pointers crown three champions, Owings Mills is second with three champs


After coming up short his first three seasons, Sparrows Point’s Skyler Minutelli (top) capped his high school career with a Baltimore County championship at 145, defeating Victor Allen of New Town, 11-3.

by Billy Loverocket

3:05 a.m.

It’s a time that will forever be etched in the lore of Sparrows Point Wrestling, linked to the memory of clinching their second straight county wrestling title in the early morning hours of a one-day marathon.

The threat of inclement weather on Saturday pushed the organizers to run the tournament in one day at Perry Hall on Friday. The decision, which was made on Thursday, proved to be the right one as Baltimore County issued a statement Friday afternoon stating all school sponsored activities had to be over by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The change in schedule didn’t inhibit the Pointers (No. 17 in the latest Maryland rankings) from taking care of business as all twelve wrestlers they brought to the tournament graced the podium. The showing pushed them ahead of runner-up Owings Mills (No. 12) by 39 points, 226-187.

The Eagles outpaced the Point in January at Franklin’s Warpath Invitational, but Sparrows Point won their dual meet a few weeks later.

“It’s exciting to go back-to-back years,” Sparrows Point coach Mike Whisner said. “We brought twelve kids, and all twelve kids placed. That’s just awesome. The kids wrestled their hearts out. After last Saturday (at state duals) losing like we did in the finals, the kids were really down all week. I thought we practiced poorly all week. But they came out today ready to wrestle.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them. All the kids wrestled up to their seeds or better. Three champs ties last year. I can’t say enough about the effort and what they did today under the circumstances of being here ‘til three o’clock in the morning and everything. They wrestled their hearts out. I’m very proud.”

The Pointers advanced four grapplers to the finals and witnessed three of them walk away with gold medals, Richard Davis (113), Skyler Minutelli (145), and Givoni Herring (182).

Davis, a freshman and junior league state champion last year, made the drop from 120lbs a rousing success with his 11-1 major-decision of Owings Mills’ Damen Tiller.

“It feels good,” said Davis. “It was all possible through God though. I couldn’t have done it without him. All the hard work I put in and cutting down, I wanted to make it worth it. I think I hit my moves right.”

No. 20 Minutelli used his immense bank of technique to outfox the athletic Victor Allen (New Town), 11-3, in his finals match.

“It was hard work,” Minutelli continued. “A long time coming. I came in second my freshman year and ever since, I haven’t made it to the finals. It feels good to win it in my last one. I feel like I wrestled pretty well considering its three o’clock at night. It’s a long night, but I gave it my all.”

Herring (No. 22) edged Owings Mills’ No. 24 Diondre Space, 5-3, to also capture his first county championship.

“I’m excited,” Herring said. “I’ve worked hard for this in the practice room every day. I’ve been waiting on this moment for a long time. I knew he had the strength on me, so I played it smart, watched my moves, did a little work. More technical than strength.”

Danny Davis (126) came up short in his title quest. Placing third for the Point was Bryce Schmidt (106), Matt Fouts (120), Luke Hoenig (138) and Lexx Carr (170). Drew Gorsuch landed in the fourth spot at 195. Mike Fouts (132) and Jake Rallo (160) were fifth, while Jake Lure was sixth at 152.

Owings Mills equaled Sparrows Point’s three champions, but the Eagles’ six finalists were the most of any team.

No. 6 Alex Dufour (106) pinned Hereford’s Ethan Bell with two seconds left in the match to secure his first county crown after finishing as a runner-up last year to teammate Phil Smith, who was with Franklin at the time.

“I thought the tournament was different, having to fit the whole tournament in one day,” Dufour added. “I thought my performance was not how it should have been, I feel like I could have wrestled better. The team’s performance was really good, I am proud of our young team. I loved seeing our 113 pounder, Damen Tiller, upsetting the seeds and making it to the finals as a two year wrestler.”

The state’s top-ranked 120lber, Phil Smith, methodically picked apart Pikesville’s Chris Barnes, registering a major-decision, 17-3.

“I don’t think I competed all that well and to my complete ability,” Smith said. “I feel as If I competed to the skill level of my opponents instead of keeping my high skill level through the whole tournament. As a team, in my opinion, we had a good run to the semi’s, but the semis didn’t really matter. We needed to have some of our guys in the (consultations) pull through with some wins. This year’s county tournament had better competition than last year’s. I didn’t have any byes, so I wrestled all four matches and that helped me get my gears running.”

Owings Mills’ Tyson McDuffy works from the top position during his 15-2 major decision over Woodlawn’s Joel Turner-Rodgers in the 132 final.

At 132lbs, Tyson McDuffy (No. 4) put on an impressive show tallying a major-decision of his own over Woodlawn’s Joel Turner-Rodgers for his third county crown.

“We didn’t get the outcomes we wanted with a lot of our teammates, so we came up short in the end,” said McDuffy. “I wrestled well but I’ll definitely have to wrestle harder these next two weeks. This title feels better than the other two because I feel like I ended strong.”

Tiller, Space, and Andrew Bikay (285) fell in their finals matches and had to settle for silver. Dre’yon Eure (126) and Roell Ngounou (152) finished third for the Eagles. Troy McDuffy was sixth at 138.

Third-place Hereford accumulated 113 points on the strength of three finalists, and seven total placers. No.10 Jimmy Kells (160) made quick work of Franklin’s Clark Vandergrift picking up the fall with 30 seconds left in the first period.

“I feel great about winning the title,” Kells continued. “I know that there is a lot of work still yet to be done but it feels great to know that my hard work is paying off. My thought right now is to take it one day at a time. I hope to get better each and every day so that by the end of the season I will be the best wrestler I can possibly be.”

Bell and No. 23 Cale McMurdy (152) were the Bulls’ runner-ups. McCurdy downed No.11 Ngounou, 7-4, in the semi-finals.

Blake Walter (220) grabbed a bronze for Hereford. Jack Amos (113), Garrett Naylor (182), and Will Blake (195) ended the night in sixth place.

Eastern Tech’s Ryan Wagener (No. 8 at 126) won his second county crown with a second period fall over Danny Davis, 3:37. The junior captured his first gold as a freshman and finished second last year.

“I’m grateful to have an injury free year,” Wagener said. “I want to thank all my coaches and teammates, and family for helping me get on top of the podium. (I’m) looking forward to the regional tournament.”

Patapsco’s Darius Sprye captured the 138lb championship with a dominating showing against Perry Hall’s Chase Andrews. No. 21 Chaz Shakelford (Milford Mill) won a tight, back and forth bout with McMurdy, 12-10, to bring home the 152lb title.

At 170, Rasim Aliyev brought home top honors with a 13-3 major-decision of Lansdowne’s outstanding freshman Kyree Briscoe. No. 8 Ike Kalu won a battle of state ranked guys at 195, picking up a 6-1 decision in his showdown with No. 22 Chuck Ogala (Pikesville).

A clash of returning state placers at 220 was won by No. 5 Elijah Solomon (Franklin), 5-2, over Western Tech’s Edmond Harrison. It was Solomon’s second championship run.

“I knew that I was going to have a tough tournament,” said Solomon. “I worked on my offense, so I could get the job done. I feel that this title was great, but it doesn’t compare to my first one because I’m going to use this as a stepping stone for states.”

Kenwood’s Dylan Budka (No. 24) has been a man on a mission all year, rising from obscurity to crack the state rankings. The Bluebird ensured he would rise even farther with a 1-0 victory in the championship bout with No. 15 Bikay.

“It feels great!” Budka exclaimed. “When I first came here I looked on the state forum and everybody was saying I was the underdog. Saying I had no chance against Bikay. I pulled out the win. He’s a strong boy though. I was tired because it was a long day. I think I could have done better. I didn’t work him enough. I wish I would have won by more points, but I still got it done.”

Team Scores:
1 226.00 Sparrows Point
2 187.00 Owings Mills
3 136.00 Hereford
4 125.50 Pikesville
5 110.00 Lansdowne
6 107.50 Eastern Tech
7 83.00 Western Tech
8 79.00 Milford Mill
9 74.50 Franklin
10 72.00 Dulaney
11 70.00 Catonsville
12 60.00 Loch Raven
13 48.00 Overlea
14 42.00 Randalstown
15 41.50 Perry Hall
16 38.00 Woodlawn
17 31.00 Kenwood
18 30.00 New Town
19 29.00 Patapsco
20 19.00 Towson
21 15.00 Parkville
22 12.50 Dundalk
23 4.00 Carver
24 0.00
0.0 Chesapeake

2018 BALTIMORE COUNTY INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING CHAMPIONS

Championship
106 Alex DuFour, Owings Mills Fall Ethan Bell, Hereford, 5:58
113 Richard Davis, Sparrows Point M-Dec Damen Tiller, Owings Mills, 11-1
120 Phil Smith, Owings Mills M-Dec Chris Barnes, Pikesville, 17-3
126 Ryan Wagener, Eastern Tech Fall Danny Davis, Sparrows Point, 3:37
132 Tyson McDuffy, Owings Mills M-Dec Joel Turner-Rodgers, Woodlawn, 15-2
138 Darius Sprye, Patapsco M-Dec Chase Andrews, Perry Hall, 15-4
145 Skyler Minutelli, Sparrows Point M-Dec Victor Allen, New Town, 11-3
152 Chaz Shakelford, Milford Mill Dec Cale McMurdy, Hereford, 12-10
160 Jimmy Kells, Hereford Fall Clark Vandergrift, Franklin, 1:30
170 Rasim Aliyev, Pikesville M-Dec Kyree Briscoe, Lansdowne, 13-3
182 Givoni Herring, Sparrows Point Dec Diondre Space, Owings Mills, 5-3
195 Ike Kalu, Western Tech Dec Chukwuemeka Ogala, Pikesville, 6-1
220 Elijah Solomon, Franklin Dec Edmond Harrison, Western Tech, 5-2
285 Dylan Budka, Kenwood Dec Andrew Bikay, Owings Mills, 1-0

Consolation
106 Bryce Schmidt, Sparrows Point Frft Riley Bozeman, Lansdowne
113 Ewan Hemmis, Catonsville Fall Henry Friskey, Overlea, 4:04
120 Matt Fouts, Sparrows Point Dec Jacob Lipscomb, Lansdowne, 6-4
126 Dre’yon Eure, Owings Mills Dec Jabias Barr, Milford Mill, 5-3
132 Zach Dell, Eastern Tech Dec Antonio Chance, Loch Raven, 5-1
138 Luke Hoenig, Sparrows Point Fall Deontae Frederick, Catonsville, 4:10
145 Tomas Heath, Eastern Tech Dec Caleb Boyer, Towson, 4-2
152 Roell Ngounou, Owings Mills M-Dec Jarius Cannon, Overlea, 13-5
160 Carlos Lovo, Dulaney Dec Wise Allah, Randalstown, 3-1
170 Lexx Carr, Sparrows Point Dec Peter Ngaba, Parkville, 4-2
182 Antonio DeShields, Pikesville Fall Najuane Phillpotts, Milford Mill, 2:42
195 Tyler Hoff, Eastern Tech Dec Drew Gorsuch, Sparrows Point, 6-0
220 Tyler Woodward, Dulaney Fall Vince Maranto, Loch Raven, :13
285 Jordan Johnson, Milford Mill Fall Nick Schiefelbein, Dulaney, 2:27

5th Place
106 Parker Ritter, Catonsville Fall Abdel Rahman Abdallah, Pikesville, 4:59
113 Jamal Everette, Franklin T-Fall Jack Amos, Hereford, 16-0
120 Marquis Kemp, Loch Raven Dec Cameron Gill, Randalstown, 6-0
126 Damontez Rawlings, Lansdowne Fall Joe Newland, Dulaney, 3:51
132 Mike Fouts, Sparrows Point Dec Josh Lipsey, Pikesville, 5-0
138 Antwon Chance, Loch Raven Dec Troy McDuffy, Owings Mills, 5-0
145 Machiavelli Amaya, Randalstown Dec Raymond Anderson, Woodlawn, 6-5
152 Deshawn Newbill, Eastern Tech Fall Jake Lure, Sparrows Point, 3:07
160 Jake Rallo, Sparrows Point Fall James Wright, Eastern Tech, 2:46
170 Jonathan Jacobs, Western Tech Fall Kamil Patterson, Franklin, 4:56
182 Aaron Dow, Dulaney Dec Garrett Naylor, Hereford, 11-5
195 Herberth Franco, Lansdowne Fall Will Blake, Hereford, 4:42
220 Blake Walter, Hereford Fall Brandon Nguyen, Lansdowne, 1:12
285 Keivon Bowman, Overlea Dec James Alston, Lansdowne, 4-2

Video of Championship Finals
106 Alex DuFour, Owings Mills Fall Ethan Bell, Hereford, 5:58

113 Richard Davis, Sparrows Point M-Dec Damen Tiller, Owings Mills, 11-1

120 Phil Smith, Owings Mills M-Dec Chris Barnes, Pikesville, 17-3

126 Ryan Wagener, Eastern Tech Fall Danny Davis, Sparrows Point, 3:37

132 Tyson McDuffy, Owings Mills M-Dec Joel Turner-Rodgers, Woodlawn, 15-2

138 Darius Sprye, Patapsco M-Dec Chase Andrews, Perry Hall, 15-4

145 Skyler Minutelli, Sparrows Point M-Dec Victor Allen, New Town, 11-3

152 Chaz Shakelford, Milford Mill Dec Cale McMurdy, Hereford, 12-10

160 Jimmy Kells, Hereford Fall Clark Vandergrift, Franklin, 1:30

170 Rasim Aliyev, Pikesville M-Dec Kyree Briscoe, Lansdowne, 13-3

182 Givoni Herring, Sparrows Point Dec Diondre Space, Owings Mills, 5-3

220 Elijah Solomon, Franklin Dec Edmond Harrison, Western Tech, 5-2/end of 285 Dylan Budka, Kenwood Dec Andrew Bikay, Owings Mills, 1-0