Gladiators crown five champs to claim Damascus Holiday Tournament title
by Billy Loverocket
At every turn last season when Glenelg encountered the Damascus wrestling team they fell to the perennial state power. At last year’s Damascus tournament, at The War on the Shore, at the state dual championships, the same story played out, as it did in prior years, Damascus beating Glenelg.
This past Friday at Damascus High School that narrative was finally flipped as Glenelg brought home the tournament crown, while Damascus finished third. Williamsport was second.
“As for defeating Damascus, I am really happy we were able to beat top tier programs in Damascus and Williamsport,” said Glenelg coach and 2017-2018 VSN Wrestling Coach of the Year Matt Bichner. “Damascus has been the top dog for a long time so anytime you can take one from them it is a tremendous accomplishment. We want to use this as a building block to help us reach an even higher level as we progress through the season.
“This season is still just getting underway so we can’t rest on this accomplishment as we have two tough duals next week versus Dunbar and Oakland Mills. Overall, it was a great two days of wrestling and we look forward to building off of it.”
The Gladiators only saw seven wrestlers reach the podium, but five of those did so as champions. Kevin Hansberger (126), Jared Thomas (138), Jacob Jones (160), Drew Sotka (170), and Sam Alsheimer (195) all captured gold. 220lber Massimo Conti was third and heavyweight Griffin Doyle finished in the fourh spot.
Hansberger (No. 8 at 132 in BillyB’s Maryland State Rankings) pulled off an upset of Damascus’ Michael Emerick (No.5), a 2A/1A state champion last year, 12-6 to seal his title run. No. 12 Sotka tallied an upset of his own in his title bout with Good Counsel’s Avery Miller (no.6), edging the Falcon, 8-7. Miller beat Sotka in the pool rounds.
No. 3 Alsheimer, a 2A/1A state runner-up a year ago, also downed a Good Counsel opponent, No.9 Drew Brenowitz, 11-5, in his finals match.
South Carroll was the only other Metro Area squad in the field. Their seventh-place finish was fueled by one champion, Ryan Athey (106), and three other placers, Steven Dahl (152, 2nd), Pat Quinn (285, 3rd), and Jake Rippeon (132, 4th).
No.11 Athey edged Bullis’ unranked Tallion Elliot, 4-3, to capture his crown. Elliot upset No.9 Jack Starr from Williamsport, in the semi-finals.
Montgomery County’s Pooleseville’s three champions were the second most of any team. Taking home gold were, Alex Carbonell (120), Kevin Futz (132), and Colin Savage (152). Savage (No. 4) beat South Carroll’s Dahl (No.21 at 160), 10-1, in the finals.
Ths host school was only able to keep two titles at home, Timothy Furgeson (182) and Elijah Baisden (220).
The other titlists were Good Counsel’s Conor Lozupone (113), Oakdale’s Ramy Freeman (145), and Williamsport’s Tayquon Johnson (285). Lozupone (No. 12) defeated No.7 Zaden Meyer (Williamsport) for his title.
Bichner reflected on his team’s performance.
“I thought our high-level guys really stepped up and competed well. A few guys came back and beat guys who had beaten them in the pools including (Drew) Sotka over (Avery) Miller and (Jacob) Jones over (Nate) Anderson. I thought Kevin Hansberger deserved the lightweight OW for the way he wrestled. He had a game plan vs (Michael) Emerick and stuck to it and scored the points when they were available.
“Jared Thomas and Sam Alsheimer were solid all weekend. Massimo Conti had a big win for third over (Brandon) Oyster which will hopefully show him that he is able to compete with the upper tier guys. I was also extremely proud of Griffin Doyle who placed in his first high school wrestling tournament. He only weighs 215 and was able to wrestle up and put some team points on the board for us. The other varsity guys competed but still need to improve so they can reach placement status and help us solidify a strong dual meet lineup.”
4-Good Counsel 91
6-Locust Grove (GA) 84
7-South Carroll 66.5
8-West Springfield (VA) 55
9-Mountain View (VA) 49
10-Lake Braddock (VA) 44
1st: Ryan Athey, South Carroll 3- 0
2nd: Tallion Elliot, Bullis 2- 1
3rd: Zach Starr, Williamsport 2- 1
4th: Troy Laplaca, Locust Grove 1- 2
1st: Connor Lozupone, Good Counsel 3- 0
2nd: Zaden Meyer, Williamsport 2- 1
3rd: Cage Leddon, Locust Grove 2- 1
4th: Dalton Arce, Mountain View 1- 2
1st: Alex Carbonell, Poolesville 3- 0
2nd: Sean Coughlin, West Springfield 2- 1
3rd: Konner Alejandro, Locust Grove 2- 1
4th: Brandan Myers, Williamsport 1- 2
1st: Kevin Hansberger, Glenelg 3- 0
2nd: Michael Emerick, Damascus 2- 1
3rd: Ryan Lambird, Lake Braddock 2- 1
4th: Will Custer, Williamsport 1- 2
1st: Kevin Fultz, Poolesville 3- 0
2nd: Nick Biava, Damascus 2- 1
3rd: Damion Hart, Locust Grove 2- 1
4th: Jake Rippeon, South Carroll 1- 2
1st: Jared Thomas, Glenelg 3- 0
2nd: Elijah White, Mountain View 2- 1
3rd: Isaac Ruderman, Bullis 2- 1
4th: Noah Martin, Locust Grove 1- 2
1st: Ramy Freeman, Oakdale 3- 0
2nd: Samuel Hull, Poolesville 2- 1
3rd: Hunter Moats, Locust Grove 2- 1
4th: Darby Bryant, Williamsport 1- 2
1st: Colin Savage, Poolesville 3- 0
2nd: Steven Dahl, South Carroll 2- 1
3rd: Zac Leskoski, Oakdale 2- 1
4th: Spencer Charlesworth, Lake Braddock 1- 2
1st: Jacob Jones, Glenelg 3- 0
2nd: Nate Anderson, Williamsport 2- 1
3rd: Cole Robilotto, Good Counsel 2- 1
4th: Andrew Creedon, Damascus 1- 2
1st: Drew Sotka, Glenelg 3- 0
2nd: Avery Miller, Good Counsel 2- 1
3rd: Clark Leddon, Locust Grove 2- 1
4th: Braxton Ulmer, West Springfield 1- 2
1st: Timothy Furgeson, Damascus 3- 0
2nd: Joe Murry, Lake Braddock 2- 1
3rd: Jackson Elder, West Springfield 2- 1
4th: Austin Brown, Bullis 1- 2
1st: Sam Alsheimer, Glenelg 3- 0
2nd: Drew Brenowitz, Good Counsel 2- 1
3rd: Gabrielle Mendelson, West Springfield 2- 1
4th: Aiden Beall, Damascus 1- 2
1st: Elijah Baisden, Damascus 3- 0
2nd: Stone Summers, Mountain View 2- 1
3rd: Massimo Conti, Glenelg 2- 1
4th: Brandon Oyster, Williamsport 1- 2
1st: Tayquon Johnson, Williamsport 3- 0
2nd: Brandon Roberts, Good Counsel 2- 1
3rd: Pat Quinn, South Carroll 2- 1
4th: Griffin Doyle, Glenelg 1- 1