Pointers place 4th on the bracketed day; Jake Rallo picks off No.1 Antonio Bradford from South Carrollby Billy Loverocket
Sparrows Point’s depth led the way on Friday at the Damascus Holiday Tournament. The tournament is considered a “hybrid” type in that one day is comprised of dual meets and that leads to seeding for a bracketed tournament on the second day. Wrestlers may not move around in weight. They are locked into the weight they were entered into (hence no moving around of lineups).
The Point, who are No. 11 in the latest Maryland State Team Rankings, were the story of the day on Friday as they downed No. 8 Damascus and No. 14 South Carroll. Damascus, which has won six straight dual meet state titles, just saw its 182-match win streak snapped at the Warrior Duals hosted by La Plata. The Southeast Baltimore County boys handed them another loss with a 36-33 win.
The highlight of that dual meet was unranked heavyweight Shawn Wolford pinning No. 23 Michael Harris to lock down the win. No. 6 Lexx Carr went toe-to-toe with defending state champ, No. 2 Timothy Furgeson, eventually dropping a 3-2 decision.
The biggest splash made on that first day, though, was made by No. 10 Jake Rallo in the dual meet match with South Carroll, which the Point won, 39-33. Rallo was facing off with No. 1 Antonio Bradford (a state runner-up last year) and came back from an 8-2 deficit in the third period with a takedown to turn the tide and a pin at the 5:01 mark of the third period.
“Beating Damascus and South Carroll shows that we are moving in the right direction,” Sparrows Point coach Mike Whisner said. “Last year seeing Owings Mills celebrating in our gym on senior night stung a lot. Losing in the state finals by six for the third year in a row, was frustrating. These wrestlers have worked hard to try to change that this year. I think it is a step in the right direction, but we have a lot of more work to do.”
No. 10 Richard Davis (132) and Rallo were the Point’s only wrestlers to go undefeated in the dual meets. No. 15 Dom Ambrosino (106), Tyler Manor (113), No.23 Wayne Brooks (126), Luke Hoenig (138, No. 20 at 145), and Carr were 6-1. Nathan Jacoby (120) and Wolford were 5-2.
In addition to the showdowns with Damascus and South Carroll, the Point blew by DeMatha, 66-15, West Springfield (VA), 57-21, Oakdale 69-3, Berkley Springs (WV) 56-23, and JJ Pearce (TX) 75-6.
As referred to above, the results from the duals led to seeds and a bracketed tournament on Saturday. That portion was won by Georgia’s Cambridge High School by four points over South Carroll, 134-130. Cambridge posted two champions, Kyle Romano (145) and Gavin Kane (182). Kane, who is ranked fourth in the nation by FloWrestling at 170, easily handled Glenelg’s defending state champ, No. 2 Drew Sotka, 24-9.
South Carroll swept the first four weight classes to produce the most champs. No. 5 Michael Pizzuto (106) posted a major-decision over Bullis’ Enzo Bell, 12-4. In the semis, Pizzuto upset No. 2 Zaden Meyer (Williamsport), 6-1.
No. 10 Ryan Athey (113) had a recent hiccup at the Battle in the Boro where he fell to Jhondry Fuller (Tuscarora). The sophomore state runner-up showed here that loss was likely a fluke as he defeated No. 5 Zach Starr (Williamsport) in the finals.
Two freshmen were the next to reach the top spot for the Cavaliers, No. 23 Gage Owen (120) and No. 16 AJ Rodrigues (126). Owen beat Ryan Lambird (Lake Braddock, VA), 6-1, in the finals. To do that, he got past No. 18 Brandan Myers (Williamsport) in the semifinals, 5-0. Rodrigues surprised state runner-up No. 6 Landen Harbaugh (Williamsport), 8-3, in their finals match.
No. 25 Rylan Moose (145) and Bradford picked up bronze for the Cavaliers. Justin Brister was fourth at 182.
Williamsport was third with 118 points and one champion, No. 7 Brandon Oyster (220). Sparrows Point was just six points behind the Wildcats in fourth place.
Davis pinned Urbana’s Colin Acton for the 132lb crown. Rallo followed up his stellar day one showing with the title on the second day. In the finals he decked Evan Kurtz (Cambridge). His semi-final opponent, No. 16 Peter Slear (Good Counsel), also met an end by fall.
Hoenig and Carr were silver medalists for the Point. Both lost to Damascus foes, Hoenig to Michael Emerick (No. 7 at 132), 12-1, and Carr to Furgeson again, this time 8-1.
Ambrosino won his third-place bout, 2-1, over Meyer from Williamsport. Brooks was fourth at 126.
The previous mentioned grapplers were fifth place Damascus’ only champs. Glenelg (9th place), a year removed from winning this tournament, posted zero champs. Only Sotka reached the finals, while David Ridenour (113), Kian Payne (152) and Lucas Suri (220) were fourth.
Good Counsel’s No. 2 Brandon Roberts claimed the heavyweight gold with a 5-3 win over No. 12 Terrell Jackson (Bullis). The last two champs hail from Lake Braddock, Pherson Timmons (152) and Spencer Charlesworth (160).
Whisner reflected on where the team sits now and what has helped them evolve into a state power.
“The elevation of the program is attributed to a very strong rec program, an excellent coaching staff, and the support of the community. I am very blessed to have all three. Our rec program provides us with quality kids every year. Gary Maynor, Rex Marshall, Justin Free and Jimmy Grasso makeup the best staff in the state. Our community supports us like no other. When we go on the road, there is a lot of blue in the stands. Our fans are the most passionate in the business.”
Whisner praised a few of his athletes and their performances over the weekend.
“Richard Davis wrestled like a monster over the weekend. He had nine pins and a tech fall on his way to a championship. He earned his 100th win at the tournament and also the award for most pins in the shortest amount of time.
“Jake Rallo improved his record to 25-0 on the year by pinning the No. 1 ranked kid in the state. He then turned around and pinned a kid from Georgia who also beat that kid. He is wrestling on another level right now.
“Lexx Carr gave Ferguson everything that he could handle, losing by one point on day one. He really impressed people over the weekend. Dom Ambrosino wrestled tough against the eventual champion losing 6-2 and then came back and beat the No.2 kid in the state from Williamsport.”
Team Scores from Saturday (top 10):
1-Cambridge (GA) 134
2-South Carroll 130
4-Sparrows Point 112
6-Lake Braddock (VA) 67.5
8-Berkley Springs (WV) 55
Sparrows Point’s Dual Meet Box Scores from Friday with Damascus and South Carroll:
Sparrows Point 36, Damascus 32
106-Dom Ambrosino (SP) won by forfeit
113-Tyler Maynor (SP) dec Joseph Gruner, 8-6
120-Shyler Clark (Dam) dec Nathan Jacoby, 15-8
126-Wayne Brooks (SP) pinned Colton DeValle, 1:54
132-Richard Davis (SP) dec Joe McKneely, 9-2
138-Michael Emerick (Dam) pinned Luke Hoenig, 3:01
145-Cole Bosnic (Dam) dec Zack Adams, 10-3
152-Chris Hyre (Dam) pinned Kendrick Emani, 3:09
160-Jake Lure (SP) pinned Cruz Jaramillo, 1:19
170-Jake Rallo (SP) pinned Seth Holt, 2:28
182-Aiden Beall (Dam) pinned Mike Brower, 1:05
195-Timothy Furgeson (Dam) dec Lexx Carr, 3-2
220-Sam O’Brian (Dam) pinned Zach Barnickel, :40
285-Shawn Wolford (SP) pinned Michael Harris, 4:57
Sparrows Point 39, South Carroll 33
106-Michael Pizzuto (SC) dec Dom Ambrosino, 6-2
113-Ryan Athey (SC) pinned Tyler Maynor, 3:26
120-Gage Owen (SC) pinned Nathan Jacoby, 1:51
126-AJ Rodrigues (SC) dec Wayne Brooks, 7-1
132-Richard Davis (SP) pinned Anthony Bond, 1:31
138-Luke Hoenig (SP) dec Jake Rippeon, 8-6
145-Rylan Moose (SC) pinned Zack Adams, 3:19
152-Brandon Athey (SC) dec Kendrick Emani, 11-5
160-Jake Lure (SP) pinned Austin Gidge, 1:30
170-Jake Rallo (SP) pinned Antonio Bradford, 5:01
182-Justin Brister (SC) pinned Mike Brower, 3:04
195-Lexx Carr (SP) pinned Shane Allison, 2:47
220-Zach Barnickel (SP) pinned Richie Summerlein, 1:36
285-Shawn Wolford (SP) won by forfeit