The annual Bear Cave Brawl took place at Oakdale High School in Frederick County, Saturday, and the host Bears out-scored second-place Archbishop Spalding, 143.5-134, to claim the team title.
The tournament win caped off a great week for Oakdale as they beat Middletown, 36-28, in a dual meet on Wednesday (Middletown beat North Hagerstown in a dual meet Saturday).
“Early season tournaments like this are a bit of a physical and mental endurance test,” Oakdale Head Coach TJ Salb said. “We know teams are still jockeying their weights and working on finalizing line-ups, so we just wanted to show up and put on a good performance. We added Spalding this year to increase the competition to help test our kids against one of the state’s top private programs. Our team showed a ton of grit and heart over a long weekend of wrestling.”
The Bears’ title run was powered by a tournament high seven finalists. Bringing home championships for Oakdale were Logan (138) and Wyatt (120) McKoy. No. 2 Logan beat Spalding’s Nick Goray (No. 5 by the MSWA), 16-6.
Falling short in their quest for gold were No. 6 Carson Cunha (113), Kyle McDonald (132, No. 4 at 126), 152lber Chase DeMaille (No. 15), Jake Nielson (160, No. 17), and No. 7 Ryan Shubert (170). Xavier Ali (126) took third and John Yacoubian (220) was fourth for Oakdale.
Spalding put five grapplers in the finals and came away with two champions, No. 2 PJ Truntich (106) and No. 10 Ryan Garretson (126). Grabbing silver were Goray, No. 11 Jack Eberhard (145), and Evan Fochtman (182).
Third place South Carroll’s three champions were the most of any team. Joey Thomas, the top ranked 113lber in the state, notched an 18-7 major-decision over Cunha. No. 5 Shane Conners (152) defeated DeMaille, 4-3 (using two reversals to score his points). Defending 1A/2A State Champion Jamar Williams (160, No. 2) won by major decision over Nielson.
Poolesville crowned two champions, Justin Budd (170) and No. 3 Kyle Wilkins (285). Budd pinned Shubert two times, once in the pool round, then in the championship finals.
Reservoir also had two champions, No. 12 Todd Del Tufo (145) and AJ Strott (195, No. 14). Del Tufo downed Eberhard in the finals and Strott pinned No. 13 Tommy Bartholomew.
Gilman’s Braeden Alevizatos (132, No. 3) defeated Oakdale’s McDonald in the finals to win his title. No. 4 Pat Bernardo (Wootton) beat Catonsville’s Naseef Kareem (No. 19 at 285) in the 220lb finals. Tucscarora’s No.17 Austin Wenzlaff captured the 182lb title.