John Carroll is well on their way to another outstanding MIAA wrestling finish as soon as the first whistle blew, Wednesday, as the Patriots manhandled their way to a 65-7 victory over conference opponent Gilman in the eighth annual Wrestlepalooza.
While the Elvis impersonator and “Ape Man” performed in and out of the bleachers, the Patriots let their performance take place on the center of the mat, and won all but two of their matches against the Greyhounds, six big wins coming by fall.
“I think we did pretty well,” John Carroll coach Keith Watson said. “For the first time out of the shoot, we did alright. We need to tighten up and pick up the intensity.”
There were some gaps in the Gilman lineup in the lighter weights of the match, but the Pats finished strong, winning their final four matches with falls from senior captain and All-American Mathew Miller (171), Chris Grimm (189), Kyle Miele (215) and Rob Clingerman (285).
Grimm, or, as his teammates call him, “Grimmboslice”, experienced a night of firsts in the Wresltepalooza, wrestling his first ever varsity match and getting his first varsity pin.
“It was awesome,” said Grimm, who trains at the mixed martial arts facility Top Fight. “I wasn’t expecting it to come in that dramatic of a fashion.”
Other notable wins came at 135, with Dan Froehlich pinning his former Fallston Junior League teammate John Wancowicz, Patriots’ Joe Vitucci major decisioning at 140 and Sammy Owens working a fall at 152.
Owens’ fall came early in the third period, when he caught his opponent riding high with legs in and stuck him just 24 minutes into the period.
“It is a pretty electric environment,” Froehlich said. “It is good to have a bunch of the students to come out and support us, and it is nice to see all your friends out there cheering you on.”
Gilman pulled two wins in the dual meet, seeing 145-pound Carl Riorda work a 22-9 major decision and 160-pound Brandon Smith earn a 6-2 decision for the Greyhounds’ seven team points.
Riorda placed fourth in a tough Ray Oliver tournament just this past weekend.
Patriot sophomores Scott Strapelli, the school’s first ever freshman MIS state champion, and George Weber, the school’s first ever freshman All-American, both received forfeits at 119 and 125, respectively.
The win noted John Carroll’s seventh consecutive Wrestlepalooza win since the event’s creation by Watson in 2003, beating teams like Towson High, Calvert Hall, Gilman, Perryville and Urbana, among others.
“I was a good event, and I’d like to say thanks to the Gilman guys for playing ball,” Watson said. “It is all about fun and promoting the sport.”
“Watty has done a great job up here in terms of the way he has generated some excitement around the sport of wrestling,” Gilman coach Henry Franklin said. “I know if I were a competitor, it would get me fired up.”
John Carroll 65, Gilman 7
103 Artie Millner (JC) Forfeit [6-0]
112 Devin Davis (JC) dec 6-0 Jack King (G) [9-0]
119 Scott Strappelli (JC) Forfeit [15-0]
125 George Weber (JC) Forfeit [21-0]
130 Lance Waters (JC) maj dec 16-6 Zane Macfarlane (G) [25-0]
135 Dan Froehlich (JC) fall 1:00 John Wancowicz (G) [31-0]
140 Joe Vitucci (JC) maj dec 11-0 Owen Foster (G) [35-0]
145 Carl Riorda (G) maj dec 22-9 Zack Donato (JC) [35-4]
152 Sammy Owens (JC) fall 4:24 Ben Hearn (G) [41-4]
160 Brandon Smith (G) dec 6-2 Ryan Etkins (JC) [41-7]
171 Mathew Miller (JC) fall 3:05 Nick Young (G) [47-7]
189 Chris Grimm (JC) fall 1:23 Andrew Rinna (G) [53-7]
215 Kyle Miele (JC) fall 4:20 Connor Webb (G) [59-7]
285 Rob Clingerman (JC) fall 1:16 Devon Porchia (G) [65-7]