Whether it is planned or not, the Owings Mills wrestling team has their foes staring at the wall of state and regional championship banners as the two teams battle on the mat; a most intimidating sight of countless brown and gold banners with the titles of past victories.
There is a reason the Eagles have all those 11 state wins to their name, and they proved the tradition continues, Thursday, with a dominating 61-15 win over Milford Mill.
“That’s been our secret, but I don’t want anyone to find out about it,” Owings Mills’ coach Guy Pritzker said of his “family” philosophy. “I’ve always said, ‘our 103-pounder wrestles for our 112, and our 112 wrestles for our 119. They better like each other, and when you come in this wrestling room, you better care about each other.’”
The Eagles clung together as a family on the side of the mat, and picked up after one-another on the mat to win 11 of the 14 matches on the night, pinning eight times on the evening.
Three times the Eagles had earned enough points for a technical fall, and all three times their wrestlers kept the foes in criteria and earned the fall for the extra team-points.
Adrienne Hazel (130), Demetrius Johnson (135) and Larry Johnson (160) all led by at least 15 points for tech falls when they pinned, and were joined by five other teammates who also stuck their opponents.
“My kid was a tough kid,” Hazel said. “I had to work hard to get the stamina that I have now, and I just worked hard through the third period. I knew I was tired, but I had to keep fighting through it.”
While Jason Escobar (103), Warren Mack (112), Zaza Taursivilli (145), Taran Carr (152) and Russell Barnes (285) added six-point pins to the Owings Mills score, teammates Brandon Hoffman and Kenny Nunez won by points at 140 and 215, respectively.
“Milford is a really good team, and they are very physical and very tough,” Pritzker said. “Our kids knew that if they just stayed in the match, by the third period they could win, and that’s what happened.”
Mack found himself down 7-6 after the opening period before coming back for the pin, as did Taursivilli, who was trailing 7-1 in the third before sticking his opponent.
Nunez, on the wrong end of a 0-1 deficit in the third, escaped and fought off a head lock with 10 seconds remaining in the match, swinging behind his opponent for the 3-1 win with just a few ticks remaining on the clock.
“It is really good to get the momentum going for the rest of the season,” Demetrius said of the Eagle win. “We have a big tournament tomorrow and everyone is going to be pumped, especially from winning today.”
Milford Mill saw three wins in the dual meet with the Eagles, watching Jay Henderson stick his man at 125, and Jarne Ferguson and Coleman Eldridge earn back-to-back wins at 171 and 189, Ferguson’s win coming by fall.
“The team really has to come together as a family, and that’s what a match like this does,” Pritzker said. It brings us together, because the team starts realizing they can’t win by themselves; they need everybody on the team. We have a match and everybody starts carrying about everyone a little more.”
Owings Mills has its wrestlers’ eyes set on a high finish at this weekend’s Parkville Knightmare Classic, while Milford Mills will adjust and prepare for Pikesville on Dec. 14.
Owings Mills 61, Milford Mill 15
103- Jason Escobar (OM) fall 3:21 Sheldon Williams (MM) [6-0]
112-Andrew Dardick (OM) forfeit [12-0]
119-Warren Mack (OM) fall 3:55 Marteen Majiriasion (MM) [18-0]
125-Jay Henderson (MM) fall 2:37 Daniel Grossman (OM) [18-6]
130- Adrienne Hazel (OM) fall 5:19 (Robinson (MM) [24-6]
135-Demetrius Johnson (OM) fall 5:30 Michael Ibronke (MM) [30-6]
140- Brandon Hoffman (OM) maj dec 11-0 Eddie Munoz (MM) [34-6]
145- Zaza Taursivilli (OM) fall 4:40 Kenny Smith (MM) [40-6]
152- Taran Carr (OM) fall 1:45 Tevin Cox (MM) [46-6]
160- Larry Johnson (OM) fall 3:13 Malachi Ashley (MM) [52-6]
171- Jarne Ferguson (MM) fall 3:17 Chris Seip (OM)[52-12]
189- Coleman Eldridge (MM) dec 3-1 Chris Gonzalez (OM) [52-15].
215- Kenny Nunez (OM) dec 3-1 Darian Pittman (MM) [55-15]
285- Russell Barnes (OM) fall :41 Mayan Alexander (MM) [61-15]