When the finals seconds ticked down at the end of his 10-3, 152-pound 10-3, Class 2A-1A state championship victory over Glenelg senior Mike O’Leary, Southern Garrett senior, Brutus Scheffel (152), calmly allowed the referee to raise his right hand into the air and turn him slowly about so that his full accomplishment could be appreciated by the fans standing in ovation at The University of Maryland’s Cole Field House.
For not only had the West Virginia-bound Scheffel used three pins to reach the title bout, where he put the final touches on a 40-1 record, but he also became only Maryland’s fourth state title, joining Aberdeen’s Matt Slutzky, Owings Mills’ Steve Kessler and Hereford’s Josh Asper.
But to some, the gesture of celebration had not lasted long enough, given thes magnitude of Scheffel’s acheivement. So Scheffel was directed to go back out and absorb the fans’ delight, which he did, with a more appropriate, high amplitude, somersault to a back flip that sent his fans into a frenzy.
Scheffel was joined by junior repeat champion teammates, Lex Ozias (140, 39-1) and his brother, Bubba Scheffel (160, 39-0), as well as senior first-time titlist, Davey Stewart (103, 30-2), with junior Ryan Bennett (189, 17-1) being a runner-up for the second straight year.
Their Maryland-record five finalists paced the Rams to their second consecutive Class 2A-1A state crown, 135.5-104, over second-place Glenelg of Howard County.
Bubba Scheffel won his 86th consectuve match when he nailed down his fourth pin of the tournament, in 4 minutes, 39 seconds over Middletown’s Judd Ziegler, who entered the match with a record of 41-2.
Ozias used a 52-second fall and two technical falls to reach the finals, where he controlled Rising Sun’s Anthony Cimorosi (29-4) on the way to winning, 9-3.
Stewart had the most dramatic victory, overcoming an early 4-0 deficit against Patuxent’s Zach Pilkington (29-4), whom he out-scored the rest of the way, 14-2, the rest of the way for the 14-6 victory.
Stewart, who used to pins and a technical fall to reach the finals, broke a 2-2 second-period tie against Pilkington when he cradled the sophomore to his back. From there, he poured on the intensity and never looked back.
Southern Garrett emerged victorious from the Class 2A-1A West, which produced 11 of the tournament’s 14 state champions, including Winters Mill’s Myzar Mendoza (125, 31-4) and Justin Kozera (215, ), Catoctin’s Seth Chilson (119, 33-1), North Carroll’s Mason Goretsas (130, 37-1), Middletown’s repeat state titlist Chad Strube (135, 42-1), Northern-Garrett’s repeat champion Adam Moranduzzo (145, 31-3) and South Carroll’s Sam Wright (285, 34-1).
The other Class 2A-1A champs were repeat titlist, Tony Farace (112, 35-1) of Oakland Mills, St. Michael’s Jordan Gowe (171, 43-1), and, Parkside’s Zack Eure (189, 37-1).
Mendoza became his program’s first titlist, and Kozera, it’s second under coach John Lowe, whose nephew is Gowe.
Mendoza scored a first-round technical fall, but then had to ground out decisions of 4-1, 6-3, and, 6-3, yet again — the last over Brunswick’s Tyler Bartholomew. Kozera had three straight pins before taking down Bel Air’s Justin Cole, 7-3, in his championship bout.
Gowe also won some tough bouts to reach the championship match, this, after scoring a first-round technical fall. His subsequent victories were by, 5-2, and, 5-3, before grinding through a 3-2 title-bout win over favored Justin Wright (33-5) of Mountains Ridge.
Chilson pinned twice before blanking Rising Sun’s Adam Heffelfinger, 3-0, in the semifinals, setting up a rematch with Francis Scott Key’s Shawn Eyler (31-4), against whom he scored a late reversal for a 7-6 decision. The score was the same margin by which Chilson edged Eyler earlier.
A runner-up as a sophomore, Goretsas earned his second straight crown by controlling Easton’s sophomore Ben Culver (35-4) on the way to a 6-1 victory. Goretsas had pinned all three opponents to reach the championship bout, improving his remarkable mark to 37-1.
A runner-up as a freshman who was fourth as a sophmoore, Strube earned a rematch with Glenelg’s state runner-up, Brendan Conway (42-2). Strube had beaten Conway in last year’s semifinal by a point before winning his title bout.
After using a pin and a technical fall to earn a championship berth, Strube required an overtime dump to turn Conway to his back for the fall in 6:31.
Moranduzzo earned two technical falls, a 9-3, semifinal victory over Surrattsville’s previously unbeaten Joseph Rollins (16-1), who finished third, and then edged Liberty’s Logan Yox (39-3) by the score of 7-4 in order to celebrate his second straight crown.
Bennett was favored to take the 189-pound championship in a battle of juniors, but Parksides’s Zack Eure (37-1), after having placed third a year ago, was equally motivated.
Eure was unbeaten a year ago before being relegated to the consolation rounds, but returned to steamroll his first couple of opponents on two pins. A 4-1 semifinal victory over eventual fourth-place finisher, Alex Schuster of North Carroll set up Eure for a relative easy, 9-4, victory over Bennett.
Wright nailed down fall over his first three opponents, raising his pin total to 27 on the year. But the senior had to go the distance against Rising Sun’s tough, Andrew Baranski (33-5), earning a 3-1 decision.
Farace trailed 2-0 against Francis Scott Key’s Steve Smith (31-2) when he cradled Smith for three nearfall points and a 3-2 lead late in the third period.
But when Farace received his second warning for stalling, that tied the match for overtime, where the Scorpions’ sophomore suprised Smith with a quick shot for the 5-3 victory.