Pictured above: Earl Blake (left) and Nathaniel White, a pair of state champs, battled in a 132-pound match. White prevailed, 12-6.
Urbana’s Kevin Makosy and Owings Mills’ Phil Smith pick off No.1 wrestlers
The inaugural Franklin Fall Wrestling Showcase, named after longtime Maryland State Wrestling Association member Haswell Franklin, kicked off the wrestling season in style on Saturday night at the Finney Gymnasium at the Gilman School. There was a tremendous turnout and the spectators were treated to some top-notch wrestling.
Newly minted MSWA Chairman Keith Watson organized the event with help from Kramer Whitelaw, Cornell Bass, and the Gilman School.
“It’s all about trying to get more people involved,” Watson said. “In years past it’s been a season wrap up event and I think it’s just lost its luster and as a former coach in that event it was like pulling teeth to get kids to participate. This time we’re doing it the way the NCAA does it. Do it preseason. Nobody has anything on the line. It’s all exhibition.”
“Kramer Whitelaw and Cornell Bass (were organizers), and it was also an idea I had in the back of my head. I look at things like if you want to be successful at something find somebody that was successful at it and just do what they did. The NWCA started doing this a few years ago, and I went a couple times, and it was a homerun, so why can’t we just have an inside the park homerun and do something for the state, do something small. We gotta do it the right way because we gotta make sure we work within the MPSSAA guidelines, and I did consult with them. I actually got a phone call, sort of a stamp of approval phone call, one-day last week from Andy Warner (MPSSAA Executive Director) who told me we were good to go.”
The biggest surprise of the night had to be how easily No.7 Phil Smith (Owings Mills, 120lbs) handled Bel Air’s two-time undefeated state champion, No.1 Brent Lorin. Smith, who was third in the state last year as a freshman, was in control of the match from the beginning. Smith’s go to move on top was a tilt which he used numerous times to pile up the points and walk away with a 22-7 technical fall.
“I wanted to take him in the first period, but unfortunately, I couldn’t take him in the first period,” Smith said. “He’s good in neutral, but when it came to top and bottom I was definitely better. I watched him during states (last year) and I saw things that helped me. In the first period I wrestled really sloppy, second period and third period I picked it up.”
Owings Mills had another wrestler step-up and shine. Tyson McDuffy (No.5 at 132), a two-time state placer and runner-up last year, registered a first period fall with four seconds left over Leonardtown’s defending state champion, Sean Vosburgh (No.4 at 126).
No.7 Kevin Makosy (195, Urbana) notched a big upset of his own authoring a 6-4 win in overtime over St. Paul’s top-ranked Jack Parr. Makosy, a junior, was fourth in the state last year while Parr, also a junior, won a private school state title a year after finishing second.
“I just knew I had to take it to the end,” Makosy added. “I knew I had to take him to the third period. We were both kinda short on breath at the end and I didn’t want to give it up. I just wanted to keep pushing to the end. Once we got to overtime I knew I had to take it. I had to suck it up and not focus on how tired I was, just focus on winning. As soon as we started scrambling I knew I couldn’t come out on bottom. I knew I had to come out on top no matter how much out of breath I was.”
Another marquee bout pitted defending state champions and top two guys at 132lbs, No.1 Earl Blake (Linganore) and No.2 Nathaniel White (Bowie), against each other. Blake won his title in the public-school state tournament, while White won his title on the private school side with DeMatha. White started his career at Bowie, but transferred to DeMatha for his sophomore and junior seasons where he was a two-time National Prep placer.
White’s height advantage gave him the edge in this bout as he dominated in the neutral position registering five takedowns en route to a 12-6 decision.
Curley’s Josh Laubach (No.1 at 160), a two-time National Prep placer, used a methodical approach and tallied an 8-3 victory over Northern Garrett’s state runner-up Jordan Day (No.4 at 152).
No.1 Will Guida (St. Paul’s, 106) fresh off a Junior National title at Fargo this summer pinned C. Milton Wright’s freshman sensation James Riveira (No.4) at the 1:59 mark of the first period.
No.8 TJ Quelet (St. James, 170), a two-time private school state placer, worked for a 16-4 major-decision over Sparrows Point’s Lexx Carr.
The event also featured junior league and girls matches.
Kramer Whitelaw was one of the key organizers of the event.
“One of the biggest desires in the state of Maryland is having public and private school wrestlers compete against one another,” Whitelaw continued. “The Senior All-Star classic was able to fulfill this for many years, but the event has been declining in recent years. As the MSWA, we wanted to find an event where we could get every group of wrestlers in Maryland involved in one night of competition-youth, girls, high school (public and private).”
“High School fans who had never witnessed a girls or youth wrestling match, were able to see both. Kids from Southern, Western, Central and Northern Maryland were all able to put on a great show for the fans.
My goal is to make this an annual event for many years to come. As a first come-first serve event, I’m hopeful the matchups for next year’s event will fill up fast. Thank you to all the fans who made it out to the event. Thank you to Keith Watson and the rest of the MSWA for the support in making this event a reality. Thank you to our sponsors for their generous donations. Thank you to Gilman School for hosting this great event.”
High School Match Results:
Tyson McDuffy pinned Sean Vosburgh, 1:56
Phil Smith tech-fall Brent Lorin, 22-7
Josh Laubach dec Jordan Day, 8-3
TJ Quelet maj-dec Lexx Carr, 16-4
Kevin Maksoy dec Jack Parr, 6-4 OT
Will Guida pinned James Riveira, 1:59
Nathaniel White dec Earl Blake, 12-6