Many expected Sparrows Point, who just won the Baltimore County tournament, to roll to the regional title on Saturday at Pikesville, but the old cliché in wrestling proved true, that’s why we wrestle the matches. At the conclusion of action, the standings showed Hereford pulling off an upset win, edging Sparrows Point by 2.5 points, 176.5-174.
“It was certainly a team win,” Hereford coach Ron Causey said. “All 14 placed top six, so if any one individual doesn’t score us points we don’t win. We had numerous come from behind victories so that was good to see. Other teams had various issues to contend with which allowed us to be in a position to win. We’ve had our share of issues as well including having some of our best wrestler’s out with injury. No one remembers the adversity you face, they only remember the end result. Jimmy Cavin, Cade Hudson, Ryan Godfrey, Jimmy Kells and Cale McMurdy wrestled especially well. I’m proud of the boys and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish at the state tournament.”
Heading to the state tournament at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro next weekend will be champion, Jimmy Cavin (120, No.4 in the Maryland State Wrestling Association’s 1A/2A Rankings). Cavin won by default over No.5 Ryan Wagener (Eastern Tech), who he had previously defeated two-times this year.
Joining Cavin at the state tournament will be runner-ups, Cade Hudson (132), Ryan Godfrey (138), and Jimmy Kells (145). Placing third were, Cale McMurdy (152) and Troy Gladney (220). Taking fourth were, Austin Kilgore (126) and CJ Wartman (160).
Scoring points for the Bulls, but not making the trip to the states were fifth place finishers, Jack Amos (106), Jack Wickiser (113), and Alex Zaruba (182). Landing in the sixth spot were, Garrett Naylor (170), Blake Walter (195), and Nate Reichert (285).
Sparrows Point had three wrestlers bring home championships, No.1 Max Hammond (132), No.3 Ethan Hoenig (138), and No.1 Ethan Smith (182). Hammond downed Hudson, 10-6. Hoenig defeated a Hereford opponent of his own, No.8 Godfrey, 11-5. Smith, a 3A/4A state champion with Aberdeen last year, won by tech-fall, 22-7, over Dunbar’s No.4 Dwayne Johnson.
Owings Mills had a tournament high four champions, Alex Dufour (106), No.5 Tyson McDuffy (126), No.1 David Hollingsworth (145), and No.7 Roell Ngounou (152). Dufour pinned Sparrows Point’s Matt Fouts in the first period. McDuffy registered a pin of his own over Eastern Tech’s Zach Dell. Hollingsworth, a defending state champion, won by a 22-10 major-decision over No.6 Kells. Ngounou upset Dunbar’s No.5 Avery Thurman, 7-6.
Western Tech crowned three champions, No.5 Ike Kalu (170), No.6 Noah Johnson (195), and No.2 Chukwudi Kalu (285). Ike Kalu defeated No.7 DeMontae Wright (Edmondson-Westside) 4-2 in the semi-finals. In the finals, he edged Randallstown’s Jamaal Abdullah-Aleem, 4-3 in two overtimes. Johnson pinned Pikesville’s Chuck Ogala. Chukwudi Kalu pinned No.5 William Smith of Dunbar in the finals. In the semi-finals, Smith pinned No.4 Keon Hunter (Edmondson-Westside). Hunter pinned Smith in last weekend’s Baltimore City finals.
Dunbar’s Jorden Pryor, the No.1 220lber in the 1A/2A rankings, pinned No.4 Gerard Nutter (New Town). Rounding out the champions are No.7 Jerry Vo (Chesapeake, 113) and No.6 Rasim Aliyev (Pikesville, 160).
West (at Middletown High School)
Host Middletown kept the West region title in their house, tallying 199.5 points to second place South Carroll’s 162.5. The Knights crowned six champions, and three others will be making the trek to the state tournament.
“The team wrestled well throughout the tournament,” said Middletown coach James Schartner. “We are going to work hard this week to get better in preparation for the state tournament.”
The six champions doubled South Carroll’s total and put an exclamation mark on the win. No.1 Danny Bertoni (138) won his fourth region championship with a 3-0 win over No.2 Tyler Harbison (South Carroll). Bertoni is in search of his fourth state title.
No.2 Josh Paige (145) picked up a major-decision over No.8 Camren Ritchey (Mountain Ridge). Adam Bain (152) won a battle of one versus two over South Carroll’s Jake Makenzie, 4-2.
No.6 Mert Gulen (182) pinned Boonsboro’s Tristen Cook. No.2 Tyler Clemmer (195) won by decision against No.7 Karson Robinette (Allegany). At heavyweight, defending state champion, Sean Mullican (No.1) beat No.3 Sam Rothstein (Century), 7-2.
Cam Farrow (170) was third for Middletown. Jeremy Farran (106) and Jason Guglielmini (113) were fourth. Noah Grossnickle (126) and Sean Farran (132) placed sixth.
South Carroll’s three champions were, No.1 Joey Thomas (126), Cam Werner (132), and No.1 Jamar Williams (170). Thomas’ tech-fall over No.3 Cody Crawford (Williamsport) gave him his third region title. The senior is favored to win his third state championship next weekend. For Williams, the pin of No.5 Marcus Folk (Mountain Ridge) secured his second region crown. He too, is favored to capture his third state crown.
Century crowned two champions, No.2 Cody Davis (160) and No.2 Jack Akers (220). At 106lbs, No.1 Shane Hovermale (Smithsburg) pinned No.6 Brison Dixon (Southern Garrett). In the semi-finals, Dixon downed No.4 Jagger Clapsadle (South Carroll), 6-3.
The biggest upset of the final round occurred at 120lbs when No.8 Steven Yutzy (Northern Garrett) beat No.1 Travis Crawford (South Carroll), 7-4. Yutzy missed last season, but as a sophomore he was second in the region, and beat Oakdale’s Kyle McDonald, 6-3, in the semis. He did not place at the state tournament that year, but the talent is undoubtedly there.
Catoctin’s Zach Bryant (No.1 at 113) won by major-decision against No.2 Dakota Bowers (South Carroll). After consecutive fourth place finishes at the state tournament, this could be the junior’s year to win a title, as he heads into the state tournament favored to win it all.
South (at Thomas Stone)
Oakland Mills laid claim to their fourth consecutive South region title in grand fashion, crowning six champions and outpointing runner-up La Plata by 43.5 points, 203.5-160. The Scorpions had eight finalists total, and will be taking nine wrestlers to the state tournament.
“For Oakland Mills to win the team title was a perk, but we were really focused on our individual performances,” Oakland Mills coach Brad Howell added. “At this time of the year (phase 4) we are devoted to our wrestlers’ performance over our team performance. We competed against some quality opponents and fared well.
“The coaching staff was right on point and the support for our boys was excellent. The boys responded with a strong performance which sets the stage for next week. We will get better this week and we will be ready for the increased composition for next week. Our character was outstanding and we will look to build off of it. We talked to our boys individually about things we can improve upon for next week and our team is excited to get better today.”
Bringing home titles for the Scorpions were, No.3 Daiquan Anderson (106), No.2 Kyle Farace (132), No.3 John Rynn (145), No.3 Paul Johnson (182), Aaron Smith (195), and Khalyl Abdul-Malik (220).
Anderson came out ahead of Howard County rival Ethan Bohan (No.2, Marriotts Ridge), 12-7. In last week’s county consolation final, Bohan pinned Anderson in the third period. Farace pinned No.3 Alex Rounceville (Southern-AA) at the 2:29 mark of the second period. Johnson won by decision, 8-5, versus No.5 Brayon Farmer (Lackey).
Coming up short in their title quests for Oakland Mills were, Ben Goldfein (138) and Kyle Boothe (285). Anthony Morales (160) was fourth. James Pender (152) took fifth, and placing sixth was Mulbah Kamara (170).
La Plata was second despite having only one champion, No.6 Jack Chipps (138). Chipps beat Goldfein, 10-7.
Marriotts Ridge pushed four grapplers to the top of the podium, No.7 Will Vaxmonsky (113), No.3 Chris Spano (120), No.8 Justin Hooper (152), and Austin Cestone (160). Vaxmonsky pinned Thomas Stone’s Adam Roberts in 56 seconds. Spano, a defending state champion, also won by fall over Devin Jones (Calvert). Cestone picked off Southern’s No.3 Josh Merkle, 11-10. Merkle was fourth in the state last year.
Southern was able to crown one champ, No.8 Hunter Sharpe (126). Sharpe pinned La Plata’s Marco Frederico 57 seconds into their finals match.
No.4 Brady Loveless (Kent Island) won the 170lb title with a tech-fall, 19-4, versus Marriotts Ridge’s Troy Grandstaff. Largo’s No.8 Joseph Monroe pinned Boothe in the first period to capture the heavyweight crown.
East (at Harford Tech)
North Caroline used a solid all-around team effort to secure its fourth straight East title. The Bulldogs (158 points) had three finalists, and will be taking nine wrestlers total to the Show Place Arena next weekend.
Grabbing region crowns were the Bauer brothers, No.3 Ryan (113) and No.1 Tyler (160). Ryan edged No.4 Jon Price (Rising Sun), 10-9, while Tyler had an easier time in his finals match, downing Patterson Mill’s Sean Reddish, 8-3.
Alex Eaton (No.1 at 195) was second. Brandon McIntyre (126), Rhian Silsey (132), and Tyler Riley (152) were third for the Bulldogs. Placing fourth were, Reilly McIntyre (106), Alex Grable (170), and Noah Schall (182). Seth Layton (138) was fifth.
Patterson Mill was second with 124 points and two champions. Luke Rosen (152) won his bout with Colby Palmer (Easton), by decision, 5-1. No.2 Hunter Crowley (182) beat No.7 Jordan Bishop (Snow Hill), 6-3.
Snow Hill did crown two champs though, No.2 Decklan Fischer (126) and Evan Mansfield (145). In an odd twist, both won their matches on forfeits.
Both of Easton’s champions won their titles by pulling off upsets. No.8 Maximus Bentley (106) surprised No.5 Matt Childs (Rising Sun), shutting him out, 6-0. No.4 Zach Strand (195) pinned Eaton, a state runner-up last year, in the third period, 4:22.
Parkside was another squad with two champs, Julius Snead (138) and Jose Vazquez (285). Snead snuck by Easton’s Josh Valdez, 3-2. Valdez had won their previous two meetings, including last week in the Bayside Conference finals.
Perryville’s defending state champion, No.2 Eugene Zacerous (170), took care of business by blanking Northeast’s Tanner Moretz, 11-0.
No.2 Nasir Tucker (120, Mardela), a state runner-up a season ago, won a close bout against No.6 Colin Day (Northeast), 4-3. At 132, No.4 Silas Filliaux (Rising Sun) defeated Havre de Grace’s state placer Alex Lloyd, 4-1. Isaac Lawson (Wicomico, No.3) seized the 220lb bracket with a 6-4 decision of Northeast’s Sebastian Nagovich.