2019 MD-Virginia All Star Dual

While the MD senior all star wrestling match between the Privates, 1A/2A and 3A/4A top placing seniors has been discontinued, the Senior All-Star meet between Maryland and Virginia has been revived.
In this years tilt Virginia got the win.


120 Riley Parker (First Colonial) 1st 6A - 2× Champ pin 5:15
Axel Giron (Landon) 4th N Prep

126 Yousuf Hammad (Woodbridge) 6th 6A dec. 5-3
Ryan Wagner (Eastern Tech) 5th 2A/3A

132 Beau Curtis (Battlefield) 1st 6A pin 2:24
Jacob Gaskin (Liberty)

138 Shawn Nonaka (Hylton) 3rd 6A dec. 8-5
Jacob Bernstein (W. Johnson) 4th 3A/4A

Chris Sanchez (Sherwood) 1st 3A/4A dec. 14-8 Cole Stoddard (First Colonial) 1st 6A

152 Guiseppi Inserra (North Stafford) 1st 5A pin 4:35
Machiavelli Amaya (Owings Mills) 6th 1A/2A

160 Loranzo Rajaonarivelo (Wakefield) 1st 5A pin
Joel Turner-Rodgers (Woodlawn) 3rd 3A/4A

Deamonte Wright (Edmonson Westside) 3rd 3A/4A dec. 5-4 Trey Passmore (Herndon) 3rd 6A

Justin Henry (MSJ) 1st MDIS pin Tristan Hoskin (Robinson) SQ

195 Earl Brewer (Fairfax) 2nd 6A dec. 8-6
Austin Smith (Paint Branch) 2nd 3A/4A

Elijah Solomon (Franklin) 1st 3A/4A dec. 3-2 Thomas Mukai (Robinson) 1st 6A - 3x Champ

Christian Bryant (E. Roosevelt) 3rd 3A/4A dec. 5-0 Seth Elsmore (Woodbridge) 1st 6A

2019 State Championship Reflections by Robert YI

The 2019 state tournament was one that was well represented by Montgomery County in terms of our sheer presence (frequency/volume) and overall success.

On the 2A/1A side, although Owings Mill and Glenelg might have done the most damage (don’t know how the team score broke down), Damascus crowned 2 champs (Furgeson and Baisden) and placed 2 more on the podium (Emerick-3rd and Beall-3rd). Poolesville had quite the showing with a state champ in Carbonell, Kresslein-3rd, and Fultz-5th.

For 4A/3A, Leonardtown might have had the most success with 5 placers, but the dual champion Springbrook Blue Devils led the way for MoCo with multiple placers in Nya- 2nd, Jean-3rd, Antar-5th and Sieh-5th.

Other teams with multiple placers included: BCC (E. Guttentag-2nd, Jeo Martinez-4th, D. Guttentag-5th), Sherwood (Sanchez-1st, Pfeiffer-6th), QO (Echeona-2nd, Cooper-2nd), Paint Branch (Smith-2nd, Foundjing-6th).

We managed to miss the snow but it led to the muddy pit that was the parking lot. Also, what was up with the constant light adjustment and cool air in that place.

Before I get to the weight breakdown, special shout out goes to my former stomping grounds WJ (and place of employment) for letting me set up camp for the weekend. Congrats to my man Jacob Bernstein for becoming a 2 time state placer, and putting yourself in the pantheon of WJ’s All-Timers.

By the way, I found it interesting that some Montgomery Countians enjoyed the extra opportunities being spread out over 3 regions gave us, but then was somewhat disappointed that it pitted us against each other several times in the semis as well (Liau vs Pierre-106, Sieh vs E. Guttentag-132, Sanchez vs D. Guttentag-145). I kind enjoyed that it guaranteed us some spots in the finals.

Congratulations to our champs (Eric Liau- Wootton (106), Alex Carbonell-Poolesville (120), Chris Sanchez- Sherwood (145), Timothy Furgeson-Damascus (182), Elijah Baisden-Damascus (220).

Our finalists (Siavash Sarvastani-Northwest (126), Eli Guttentag- BCC (132), Jose Echeona-QO (138), Marquez Cooper-QO (182), Austin Smith- Paint Branch (195), and Aimrick Nya-Hwt (Springbrook).

The rest of the place winners I will put in a separate post.

Although we crowned a champ in Eric Liau and placed another in Pierre Jean (3rd), it would have been nice to see how Ike Guttentag (BCC) and Silas Patton (Damascus) would have done respectively. In the finals, Liau’s swing singles did it again and controlled the match from all facets from the outset vs Bozeman.

P. S. Jean beat Bozeman in the 4A/3A North Finals last week, by pin.

BCC’s Simpson and Wootton’s Jason Liau both fell in the quarterfinals, but Jason would get to the blood round by beating Springbrook’s Grayson Wendel 4-0. Simpson would have a 6-4 lead on C. Milton Wright’s Gourgoulianis when he got high riding a spiral claw on top and got neck whipped for a pin in conso 2nd round. Gourgoulianis would go on to take 3rd over Atholton’s David Panda when he locked up a cradle down 3 points and scored the back points to tie it at the end of regulation. Gourgoulianis would win in the ultimate tiebreaker for 3rd.

The story here was Poolesville’s Alex Carbonell, the now 3 time state placer, must have been surprised that his nemesis from Smithsburg (Hovermale) lost in the quarterfinals to his eventual finals opponent Marquis Kemp from Lock Raven (good call Pinsky knowing what the abbreviation LCR was). But Carbonell faced some drama of his own in the quarterfinals vs Dunbar’s Cameron Deville, when he scored the go ahead takedown with 14 seconds left, 5-3. But through a second hand account, I was informed that Deville took his 2nd injury time out resulting in Carbonell gaining choice of position on the re-start. From there, Carbonell was dangerously close to giving up back points in the final seconds.

In the finals:

Alex scored the match’s only point on an escape early in the second period. Alex would ride out Kemp for the 1-0 win. Great moment for Poolesville Nation to see Coach Dorsey standing up celebrating Carbonell’s win with a hug (Nice suits, Tao and Dorsey). Where was your suit Godsey?

On the 4A/3A side, the finals involved a couple previous state champs (Rivera vs Vosburgh). Magruder’s Wafeeq Iqbal would be the lone placer on the 4A/3A side, as Clarksburg’s Alex Gonzalez and Springbrook’s Matt Kilby both lost in the blood round.

Much like his teammate Yonas Harris, Northwest’s Siavash Sarvastani seems to get better as the match draws to a close. In last week’s region final, Sarvastani used sudden victory to defeat Tyler Cook. Friday night in the quarters vs Caleb Chaves of Arundel, Siavash broke a 2-2 tie with a tilt late in the 3rd period for the 4-2 win. Saturday morning in the semis, Sarvastani scored a takedown with :17 seconds left to advance to the finals.

Wheaton’s Yoseph Yilma tried to even his quarterfinal loss to Urbana’s Austin Rohn in their 3rd/4th place match, and had the match tied 4-4 in the 3rd period, but gave up an escape and takedown for a 7-4 decision. Strong showing young man, and I can’t believe you still have another year to carry that banner for the Knights.

On the 2A/1A side, Damascus's Michael Emerick bounced back from a tough 13-1 quarterfinal loss to eventual champ Mximus Bentley of Easton, to wrestleback and take 3rd place, with a pin over Sparrows Point's Richard Davis. Starting off your high school career with a 2nd, then a 3rd, is extremely noteworthy, even for a Damascus wrestler.

In the finals:
Stephen Decatur’s Noah Reho controlled the match from the getgo and did a good job not letting Siavash get his patented double leg off and won 7-1.

BCC’s Eli Guttentag capped off his career with a trip to the finals, his 3rd trip to the podium (Nick, is that a record?), and the career wins leader. Congrats Eli, amazing career, happy to say I was part of the ride for a year (Arnone won’t give me credit for your switch to riding 2 on 1 wrist control from top).

Churchill Freshman Jaden Selby saw his magic ride end when he met Sherwood’s Paul Christenson in Conso round 2. But unfortunately for Paul, the 4A/3A North Champ would meet the same fate the following round (blood round) to Leonardtown’s Brian Bieshelt (who took 3rd). Springbrook’s Safore Sieh knocked off #3 (BillyB’s) ranked regional champ Nick Schardt (Broadneck) in the quarters 10-7, to set up his 4th matchup vs Eli Guttentag in the semis. Sieh would end the tourney on a positive note with a convincing 11-4 win for 5th place over Annapolis’s Nate Ditmars.

On the 2A/1A side, Poolesville’s Kevin Fultz also capped an impressive Freshman campaign, knocking off regional champ Danny Davis of Sparrows Point in the first round and wrestling back to get 5th, over Winters Mill’s Colby Unkart 4-0.

In the finals:
Guttentag would square off one last time vs eventual 3 time champ Earl Blake of Linganore. Once again, Blake controlled the match from his feet leading 4-2 at the end of the 2nd period from a couple hi-c takedowns.
But in the 3rd period, Blake would need to take injury time twice for what appeared to be asthma attacks. He would use nearly all of his time and some blood time (nose bleed) to gather himself and close out the match with 3 more takedowns for a 10-7 win.

In my opinion, the most anticipated match of the tourney was going to be from 2 undefeated returning champs in Glenelg’s Jared Thomas and Owings Mill’s Phil Smith. And before the action could get started, a young lady from the Huntingtown section passed out and needed medical attention (hope she was ok). As far as the epic finals, they didn’t disappoint, as it became a scramble fest that illicited the biggest oohs and aahs of the night. Both wrestlers ended in near fall positions several times until Smith came out on top for the pin. Epic.

On the 4A/3A side, the mystery continued to play out as WJ’s Jacob Bernstein entered last week’s regional tourney as the 2nd seeded favorite, but lost in the semis to QO’s Jose Echeona, who in turn lost in the finals to South Hagerstown’s Caleb Everhart. Coming into states, BillyB had the weight class ranked; 1-Everhart, 2- Echeona, 3- Bernstein, 4- Garlington (4A/3A East Champ).

These 4 would all meet in the semis, with QO’s Echeona beating Bernstein 7-2 and Garlington getting by Everhart 2-0 off an escape and locked hands in the 3rd period.

Everhart would meet Bernstein for 3rd/4th and score the deciding back points in the second period for an eventual 5-0 win.

In the finals:
Echeona would try some sort of 5 point move that pulled Garlington right on top of him for a 4-0 Garlington lead. In the 2nd period,
Echeona would get back in it with a quick reversal and 3 nearfall points from a bar that looked like a pin several times. Jose basically sat on on Garlington for a good chunk of the 2nd period, but couldn’t register the pin. In the third, after numerous scrambles, Garlington would catch Echeona in a standing merkle for the go ahead 2 points and although the two would scramble some more, Garlington would hold onto the 6-5 win.

If I was doing a fantasy draft of this tournament, I think Sherwood’s Chris Sanchez would have been a pretty safe pick. Fall :45, Tech 17-2, Fall 1:19, Major 16-5. Dominant. BCC’s Drew Guttentag was on the end of the 1:19 pin during their semifinal matchup. Drew would go onto nab 5th with a win over Mount Hebron’s 4A/3A East champ Bryce Kampert.

A coach asked me who I thought was an “OTW” for next year and one could say Clarksburg’s Kyle fits the bill. Smith beat Linganore’s Hayden Parkhurst to get some payback for last week’s regional 3rd/4th place loss. That win put him one round from the podium but he would lose to Northern Calvert’s Kaleb Dolina in the blood round, who went on to knock out Drew Guttentag in the conso semis.

In the finals:
Outside of the first 15 seconds, where Kenwood’s Dayton Duncan caught Sanchez’s shot with a takedown that almost looked like he had him for backs, it was all Chris Sanchez. Chris would get it done in every facet with 4 takedowns, 2 reversals, and 2 sets of backs,

With the absence of Poolesville’s Colin Savage (injury) and 4A/3A West Region Champ Nicholas McCarthy of RM (scratch), BCC’s Jeovannie Martinez took up the mantle of a 1
seed and took advantage with a trip to the semis. Martinez would lose to Stokes of Huntingtown but would wrestleback to 3rd/4th vs Turner-Rodgers of Woodlawn. Jeo fell behind 7-1, but would get an escape and get a takedown straight to backs with :29 seconds left to tie it at 7-7. But Turner-Rodgers would get the escape 10 seconds later for the 8-7 win.

Springbrook’s Sahid Antar had another battle with South River’s Trenton Puccinelli but this time it was in the semis. After a scoreless first, Puccinelli got an escape and then hit a Syracuse and got behind Antar for the critical 2. After an escape for Antar in the 3rd, Sahid went for the whole shabang and tried a lat drop, but pulled Puccinelli right on top of him for the last takedown. Antar would manage to take 5th over Stephen Decatur’s James Parana (who upset 4A/3A West Champ Dalton Pearl of Linganore in the first round) 7-3.

On the 2A/1A side Damascus’s Andrew Creedon reached the blood round before losing to Jacob Jones of Glenelg 7-3.

Poolesville’s Xavier Kresslein eeked out a 12–11 decision to Jason Mohler of LaPlata in the quarterfinals, but fell behind 7-4 at one point until he rolled thru while underneath a crossbody ride to a reversal plus back points, 9-7. Xavier would get a key takedown with :20 seconds left in the 2nd period and held on for the 12-11 win. But Kresslein would lose for a second time this season to Hereford’s Jimmy Kells 5-2 in the semifinals. Xavier would win the next 2 including a takedown in the last :30 seconds vs Parkside’s Eli Sellinger to break a 2-2 tie late in the 3rd period to finish 3rd, making his first podium appearance.

On the 4A/3A side, Gaithersburg’s Jaedyn Harris had maybe the match of the first round with a 4-4 Ultimate Tiebreaker win over regional champ Yusuf Higazi of Sherwood. Harris fell behind 4-0, but scored a reversal with a minute left in the second period and another one to tie it at 4-4, with :26 seconds left in the 3rd. Harris would hang on for dear life in the UTB for the win. Jaedyn would take this momentum and win 3 straight in the consos to a 4th place finish.

While Harris beat 4A/3A West Finalist Andrew Chavarria to reach the 3rd/4th match, Northwest’s Yoan Olympio faced 4A/3A West Champ Joey Bromley in the conso semis with different results. But Olympio would get a crack at Chavarria as well, but fell short 5-4, for 6th place.

After Marquez Cooper nailed that lat drop in the semis versus Theodore Stinson of C. Milton Wright at the end of the first period, it became apparent that it would be a rematch of last week’s 4A/3A West final vs Michael Bromley of Linganore in the state finals. Back on that in a moment.

I said at one point that this weight class was Timothy Furgeson and everyone else. But as the season progressed, our MoCo guys proved that they were a force on a state level. Unfortunately, Sherwood’s Pfeiffer and Paint Branch Isolato had to face each other in the blood round, and Northwest’s Jack Thomas fell to region champ Lucas Layton 4-3 in the blood round. Pfeiffer would make the podium but would injury default at the 1:26 mark.

In the finals:
Damascus’s Timothy Furgeson and Owings Mill’s Diondre Space went scoreless in the first period. Space deferred, putting Furgeson on bottom, a place Furgeson would stay the whole second period. A stall call against Furgeson was waived off, but in the end, the stallings would prove not to be the difference. Space would take bottom needing only an escape to potentially pull off the upset and the two would trade stallings but with :15 seconds left in the match, Furgeson would get the tilt to go for 2 and then win.

Back to the Cooper/Bromley finals. This match played very similar to their match last week in that Cooper came out aggressive, this time trying to pummel for a lat drop attempt and Bromley backing out of it constantly. This led to a stall call against Bromley. In the second, the story last week was that Cooper couldn’t get out from bottom and this time wasn’t much different. Except...Bromley would get hit with another stalling from top with :20 seconds left in the 2nd period, to make 1-0 Cooper. Bromley would choose down and get the let up for a 1-1 tie. But with Cooper tiring on his feet, Bromley took a timely swing single with :32 seconds left, to go ahead 3-1, and eventually win it 4-1.

Paint Branch’s Austin Smith was impressive throughout and it wasn’t more evident than in his quarterfinal match with MoCo rival, 4A/3A West Champ Ryan Jones of QO. His 2:49 pin of Jones and 13-4 major decision of returning state placer Mervyn Crawford of Poly, gave Smith a rematch versus Makosy of Urbana from last week’s 4A/3A North final. Unfortunately for Jones, he sustained a head injury that knocked him out of the tourney completely.

On the 2A/1A side, Damascus’s Aiden Beall pinned his first 2 opponents, but ran into a buzzsaw in Colonel Richardson’s Jordan Gabriel in the semis. Richardson scored first on a double and proceeded to ride Beall out for the rest until the end of the 2nd period. Beall chose neutral in the 3rd to no avail, as Gabriel scored a takedown with :40 seconds remaining to seal the win. Beall would errand take 3rd.

In the finals:

Unfortunately for Austin Smith, he ran into one of the best pound for pound wrestlers in the state in Urbana’s Kevin Makosy. Makosy was up 6-3 heading into the 3rd period, but an escape and 3 more takedowns was too much for Smith, 13-5.

In the 2A/1A finals:
Tough turn of events for Gabriel in the final vs returning finalist Sam Alsheimer of Glenelg. Gabriel had a 4-1 lead in the 2nd period when he got himself into a bad position near the edge and ended being pinned from one bad exchange. Credit to Alsheimer for capitalizing on Gabriel’s mistake, but what a heart wrencher for Gabriel.

Quite possibly the second best finals of the night came from Damascus’s Elijah Baisden vs Western Tech’s Ike Kalu. These two finalists from last season seemed to be on a collision course all year. After a scoreless first period, Baisden got an escape :17 seconds into the 2nd period but very nearly gave up a takedown on the edge, that many thought was 2. But the iffy calls seemed to even out as Baisden went down for a single leg, bumped heads with Kalu but still proceeded to lift Kalu’s leg. As Kalu’s leg was going up, he called injury time just as Baisden finished the takedown. The injury time was awarded and the takedown was waived off. In the 3rd period, Kalu really pushed the action by pummeling into Baisden forcing Elijah into stall calls at 1:00 and :13 seconds and a 1-1 tie. But on the restart, as Kalu stepped into Baisden, Elijah was waiting with a overhook/underhook wham of his own, sending Kalu right to his back for 2 and 2. Congratulations Elijah.

On the 4A/3A side, Clarksburg’s Jevon Coche continued his success from last week with 2 wins to the semis until he ran into Huntingtown’s Joseph Bannister-Pearce.

Churchill’s Ryan Kaplow took his first trip to states right to the blood round by holding off Blair’s Mervin Mancia 8-7, in conso round 2. Kaplow would face the same fate as Mancia in the next round to Paint Branch’s Waefu Foundjing 3-2, sending Waefu to the conso semis vs Clarksburg’s Jevon Coche.

From what I was told, Foundjing scored what appeared to be the match winning takedown at :41 seconds left to go up 4-3. But as they headed near the edge, Jevon went out, but Waefu was still in. Both thought they were out, so as they walked back to the middle, the ref gave Coche 1 for an escape. That tied it at 4-4, and sent it to OT where Coche would win it in sudden victory, 6-4. Coche would take 4th, Foundjing would place 6th.

Springbrook’s Aimrick Nya was the county’s lone representative in the podium, but he did so by making the finals vs South River’s Ka’Ron Lewis. To his credit, Nya did not leave it up to a coin toss and took a shot for the win in overtime, but got spun behind for the 3-1 loss.

2019 Montgomery County Tournament Reflection

The 2019 Montgomery County Wrestling Tournament
Robert YI

I realize as I go through the season I only get to see a handful teams, wrestlers, and coaches from select duals or tourneys that I attend, so nothing beats seeing the county as a whole coming back together to put on our great local spectacle. Seeing ex-coaches, ex-wrestlers, and parents is why counties is so fun for me.
Shout out to Coach Britton, QO AD Jeff Raberman, county director Joe Vukovich and Gaithersburg High School for being great hosts.

Before I get to the wrestling, let me give a congratulatory salute to Magruder Assistant Coach Larry Hill for being named to the MD Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Well deserved for a class act and some one who has dedicated his life to the sport.

Despite all the team success and individually state ranked guys, the county has enjoyed, I just couldn’t get a sense that there were a ton of story lines. There were pleasantly not too many high seeded scratches (except BCC’s Ike Guttentag and my homeboy Enrique Garcia of WJ) and not a specific showdown that I was amped to see. I was basically hoping for barn burner OT finishes, or epic early round upsets, or an unseen dark horse, but very few of those really materialized.

On the first day, the biggest upset (12 seeded Guerrero beat 5 seeded Benitez as well, but I don't consider it an upset at all) by the numbers was 12 seeded Jesse Liebovich of Northwest beating (30-5) 5 seeded Sidiki Keita of Paint Branch. But Paint Branch got an upset of their own when 11 seeded Carlos Guardado Eagle beat Damascus’s 6 seeded Nick Biava. But while thinking of this I realized that the storyline of this tournament might have been the performances of the lower seeds in the consolation rounds.

I saw that Trackwrestling was keeping team scores so that made it more fun. But despite the fact that Damascus was supposed to be more a “dual team”, they still crowned 2 Champs (Baisden and Furgeson) and sent 4 others (Patton, Emerick, Creedon, and Beall) to the finals. Wootton had 2 champs (E. Liau & J. Liau) as did Springbrook (Antar & Nya) along with 5 others placers (Jean, Wendel, Kilby, Sieh, Jean, Mehul, Peralta).

Sherwood had 1 champ (Sanchez), 2 finalists (Higazi and Christenson) and 4 other placers (Holda, Nettey, Pfeiffer, and Ewing) to take 3rd.

Poolesville actually finished 4th as a team but crowned the most champs with titles from (Savage, Carbonell, and Kresslein) . They were bolstered by two 4ths (Fultz and Barney ) and a 5th (Hull).

4A West Champs BCC had some bittersweet results with 4 wrestlers reaching the finals (Eli Guttentag, Simpson, J. Martinez, Drew Guttentag), Eli’s second county title and Aidan Moffitt’s 4th place finish. But Ike Guttentag injures his hand late in the week, Drew Guttentag withdrew from his finals match versus Chris Sanchez and Fabio Martinez was unable to finish his counties after his first round win.

Last year’s quarterfinals were epic and this year had some heart stoppers as well.
Although most of the favorites advanced, there were some scares.
106- Kennedy’s Griffin Gonzalez almost pulled off the upset versus Blair’s McCaw until McCaw hit a Peterson with back points for a 9-8 win.
113/120- Sherwood’s Holda twins were simultaneously involved in matches where nail biting finishes were the story. But each on opposite sides of the drama Brandon fell behind 7-0 to Damascus’s Joe McKneely and very nearly got pinned 3 different times in cradles but kept his body almost perpendicular to the mat to avoid the pins. Amazingly Brandon would come back to win 22-14. Unfortunately for his bro, Brady held a 7-0 lead versus Clarksburg’s Alex Gonzalez before Alex would come back and win 9-7.
160- In a high pace, high point scoring match between Wootton’s Woolly and Clarksburg’s Ramm, the match would end abruptly when Woolley would attempt a throw and pull Ramm in top of him for a pin.
At one point, Whitman’s Zaki was driven onto the floor by Magruder’s Amah, Isolato was unable to finish his match with Jack Thomas of Northwest, and Springbrook’s Gomez injury defaulted our of his match with QO’s Marquez Cooper. Zaki would be able to continue in that match.
The Semifinals
106 Liau vs. Jean
Eric Liau took control from neutral with a couple takedowns and eventually scoring backs from a tilt for a 6-0 win.
Patton vs. McCaw The two trade a takedown and a reversal 2-2, but Patton reverses McCaw’s crossbody for backs and wins 7-3. 113 Simpson vs. Holda
Simpson gets the first takedown and then proceeds to score 2 tilts and another set of backs from legs to an 11-1 lead. Holda tries to get back in it with a cradle but fell short 11-4. Liau vs. Wendel
After a swing single and an escape 3-0 for Liau would step over on a Wendel dump attempt and put in the double grapes for 5, 8-0. Wendel would try double legs but got reversed to 10-0. 120 Kilby vs. Carbonell
Carbonell got on the board first with a Fireman’s Dump for a 2-0 first period. Kilby goes right to crossbody and rides out Carbonell in the second. In neutral, Alex goes swing to low ankle scramble 4-0, immediately to a butcher 6-0. Gonzalez vs. Iqbal
Iqbal scrambled out of a back door shot finish from Gonzalez to go behind 2-0. Wafeeq went 1 then 2 for a 5-0 lead. Gonzalez would close it to 6-3 but got no closer. 126 Yilma vs. Siavash
Siavash absolutely dominated from his feet throughout with takedown after takedown and a 15-4 win.
Emerick vs. Nettey
Nettey kept it within two points throughout but would get reversed at the end for a 6-2 deficit and eventual 6-3 win.
132 Eli vs. Sieh
Eli would hit an awesome swing from underhook single to double on edge 2-0. In the 2nd period, movement on bottom to an escape made it 3-0, Eli. After a tilt Eli would go up 6-0 and eventually winning it 6-3. Fultz vs. Christiansen
Fultz came out firing but Christenson would butt drag and leg over for a 2-0 lead. An escape 3-0 and immediate shot put Paul up 5-0. Fultz would get a takedown late, but Christenson wins it 6-3. 138 Echeona vs. Ewing
The two scrambled for a while, but Echeona would score 2-0, right to backs and almost into a spladle 4-0. Ewing would score on a reverse 4-2, but eventually end up in another scramble that lead to being caught in double grapes for the pin. Bernstein vs. Jean
Bernstein scored 2-0 on a single, but spent most of the 2nd period mat returning. But in the 3rd, Jacob locked up front side cradle and score a couple sets of backs before winning by tech fall. 145 Hull vs. Sanchez
Sanchez wrestles like he is down 10 points even when he is winning by 10. He would win 15-3. Lopez vs. Drew
Some dump attempts by Lopez lead to a go behind from Guttentag that transitioned right to a butcher and 2 more backs points 4-0. The match would stay at 4-0. 152 McCarthy vs. Savage
My first look at McCarthy came from his impressive win over Churchill’s DeSalvo. McCarthy tried to get in Savage’s head literally and figuratively with a lot head taps but Savage kept his cool, hit a Peterson at the beginning of the 2nd period and eventually cranked a far side half for the pin. Jeo Martinez vs. Pryzgocki
Jeo hit a swing 2-0 and built a 4-1 lead. Martinez spent much of the rest of the match on top trying to score tilts. An escape and a go behind would end in a 7-2 win for Martinez. 160 Antar vs. Bollinger
Not too much going on both ways except that Bollinger was in it at 1-1 until Antar hit a double to backs and an eventual 6-2 win.
On a side note, seeing the Bollingers (Dad, Kyle) sitting a row up from Tony Barnes, Bernard Woolley, and the Savages near by (Dad, Mom, Cory) and Sanchez having just wrestled reminds me of the Bad Boy Wrestling Club days. I hear Coach Barnes is trying to get a new iteration this spring. Ramm vs. Creedon
A nice back and forth mat that got interesting late. At 8-8, Ramm got in on a leg, only to have Creedon grab Ramm’s leg and force him head first into the mat for 2 and an injury timeout. With only moments left, Creedon would hold onto the win. 170 Olympic vs. Xavier
Kresslein won 3-1 in large part due to a single Xavier worked both ways until he finished on a Hi- C. Higazi vs. Harris
This match stayed in a tie-up and the wrist. Higazi gets a reverse halfway thru the second 2-0. Harris gets an escape late 2-1, but Higazi would turn it on and add to his lead 7-1. 182 Thomas vs. Furgeson
Furgeson got off to a 3-0 lead, and would just add to it from top with a series of tilts and a 10-2 win.
Pfeiffer vs. Cooper What this tourney has lacked are some classics controversy OT Barn burner and this was it
Pfeiffer turns a shot attempt into 2 takedown and backs 4-0. Cooper escapes 4-1 but goes feet to backs 5-4. After an escape it is 5-5. 6-5 AP. The match had constant action from both that lead to takedown attempts out of bounds throughout. Cooper and Pfeiffer stayed hip to hip on a whizzer for the last :30 of the match. In OT it went scoreless. In OT 2- Cooper goes down and Pfeiffer rides him out. In OT 3, Cooper lets Pfeiffer up and just when it seems like Pfeiffer will win it, Cooper throws a lateral drop at the buzzer and hits it. Initially, the ref rules that it doesn’t count. Cooper goes nuts and tries to walk off the mat. Fortunately, Mr. Echeona keeps Marquez on the mat, as the ref re-confers with the timer and then awards the match to Cooper. Much respect to Pfeiffer for keeping it together.
195 Barney vs. Smith
Smith scored on a low shot and a stack on top 4-0. After a snapback that almost led to a pin. Smith would gain the tech.
Jones vs. Beall This match was scoreless in the first period. The two traded escapes in the next periods. Beall was the shooter and eventually he landed one on the edge of the mat and that would be the difference at 3-1. Jones would get a late escape to make it 3-2. 220 Baisden vs. Coche Baisden would get the pin here.
Amah vs. Foundjing
Foundjing picked a crucial penalty point from Amah late in the firs and after an escape in the second 2-0, Amah found himself having to play catch up and forced some shots that led to Foundjing spun behinds and an eventual win.
HWT Nya vs. Taylor Nya pushed across a hammerlock for the pin.
Galo vs. Smith Smith would become the second Clarksburg HWT to make the county final in 3 years with a second period of Galo.
Because as I was following it on Track, it appeared I was missing all the good action. I found this on track and it seems to sum it up quite nicely (largest finish to seed difference):
Carlos Guerrero (Quince Orchard) (Seed 12) (Place 4) Jaden Selby (Churchill) (Seed 12) (Place 5) Marquez Cooper (Quince Orchard) (Seed 7) (Place 2) Colby Fong (Whitman) (Seed 11) (Place 6) John Wallmark (Northwest) Seed 8 (Place 3) Joe Raab (Churchill) (Seed 10) (Place 5) Joe McKneely (Damascus) (Seed 10) (Place 6) Isiah Bell (Damascus) Seed 8 (Place 4) Nate Eig (Rockville) Seed 8 (Place 3) Mervin Mencia (Blair) Seed 8 (Place 5) Yussef Zaki (Whitman) (Seed 6) (Place 3) Aidan Moffitt (BCC) Seed 8 (Place 4) Kyle Smith (Clarksburg) Seed 8 (Place 6) Matthew Lindstrom (Whitman) Seed 8 (Place 6)
Upsets were happening a plenty and names were being established on the county landscape.
106- The story here was RM’s Laura Chang. With her 9-0 win over Kennedy’s Griffin Gonzalez (and near pin) for 5th place, Chang could have possibly become the first girl to place at counties since Helen Maroulis (Whitman folk please fact check that, since I remember Harriett Symington placing 5th at regionals but couldn’t remember her best county finish)
113- The man at the top of my chart there was QO’s Carlos Guerrero who 12 seed wasn’t anything but a number as he made a run through the consolation brackets placing 4th. Tenth seeded Joe McKneely of Damascus also outdid his seed with a 6th place showing before losing to Sherwood’s Brandon Holda for the second time.
120- After losing to 10 seed Colton DeValle (Damascus) on the first day, 7th seeded Nate Eig (Rockville) came out of my honorable mention shadows, and made one hell of a run on the tourney’s 2nd day beating Cortez (Einstein), Casamento (Whitman), Liebovitch (NW), and Gonzalez (Clarksburg), to reach the 3rd/4th match and then beat Kilby (Springbrook) in the last 2 seconds of the match on a throw. Huge win young man, and way to put some spotlight back the Rams.
126- 6 seeded Aiden Moffitt of BCC made a run himself by winning 3 straight with a 15-12 win over Yilma (Wheaton) to get 4th in the consolation final
132- Lower seeds continued to get it done when Nick Biava took out Einstein Allan Vasquez but would turn around and lose to 8 seed Matthew Lindstrom of Whitman. But Coach Lowe told me to keep a look out for 12 seeded freshman Jaden Shelby who ran 3 wins off in the consolations to get to the 5th/6th place match to pin Whitman’s Lindstrom.
138- 11 seeded Coby Fong of Whitman continued Whitman’s surge in the consolation rounds by finished above his seed and notched himself at least a pigtail at regionals with a 6th place finish.
145- 8th seeded Kyle Smith (Clarksburg) assured himself of a regionals match in his home building by finished 2 spots higher than his seed with a 6th place finish.
152 4th seeded Nicholas McCarthy was on his biggest stage with a decisive 7-1 win for 3rd over 8-seeded Isiah Bell. Bell finishing in the top shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering how much I’ve pumped him up. 160- 8 seeded sophomore John Walmark (Northwest) made a name for himself this tournament by reeling off 4 wins over Grossman, Morones, Ramm, and a 10-3 3rd place win over Watkins Mill’s Victor Kum. Heck of a run.
Chalk pretty much held on at 170 & 182
195- 10th seeded Joe Raab (Churchill) kept his season alive with a successful showing and 5th place finish over 4 seeded Elias Chen.
220- 8 seeded Mervin Mancia of Blair knocked off 5 seed Ryan Kaplow (Churchill) in an ultimate tiebreaker and then 4 seeded Jevon Coche (Clarksburg) to place 5th.
Hwt- Although Northwood’s Mathias Adjingbaruk was the 5 seed, he wasn’t on my radar, so he let me and everyone else know, using this weekend’s performance, who he is (congrats young man). After losing in the ultimate tiebreaker to Taylor of Magruder in the quarters, Mathias came back to win 3 straight before losing to a redemptive Wilmarth of Whitman for 4th.
So the question going forward will be, have these wrestlers arrived, or what is it the tourney of their lives?

The Finals

Talk about one of the most chalkiest finals I can remember as the top seeds/favorites held it down with mostly convincing wins.

106 Liau vs. Patton

Liau scored first on a go behind off the front headlock 2-0, Patton would escape before the end of the first. Patton would try to put the leg in and Liau caught the foot and threw it off for 3-1 lead. After a Liau shot, Silas countered and ended with an inside leg in and proceeded to lock a cradle of sorts and initially received a takedown. But this was waived off. In the third period, Patton would escape to cut it to 3-2, but would get no closer and Liau would score one more takedown for a 5-3 win.
113 Liau vs. Simpson

Simpson shot a single and cut across for a 2-0 lead, Liau would escape to make it 2-1 before the 2nd period. Starting from bottom, Liau hit a quick head and arm, which Simpson tried to roll thru on, which then lead to a scramble that Liau won. But the climax in this match came when Liau hit a spladle for backs. Simpson would mange to get out but never recovered the point differential and fell short 15-9.

120 Iqbal vs. Carbonell Alex hit a throw by to an ankle for a 2-0 lead. Carbonell spent most of this match on top and would build his lead to 5-0 and win (2nd county title).

126 Sarvastani vs. Emerick
Siavash’s double has been unstoppable this tournament. He got it early, and got some backs off a scramble that led to a 4-1 lead. Sarvastani would make it 5-1, before Emerick would score on a single leg late to make it 5-3.

132 Guttentag vs. Christenson
Vintage Eli match with a fireman’s early 2-0, 2 backs off a tilt 4-0, and a reverse in the 3rd, for a 6-0 win (2nd county title). 138 Bernstein vs. Echeona

The two got hip to hip in a whizzer but Jacob high hipped for the first 2-0. In the second, Jacob would use a dump to get 3 backs from top 5-0. In the 3rd, Jose tried an inside trip but Bernstein scrambled and got a leg in to make it 7-0. Another set of backs 9-0, and a tilt made it 11-0. Echeona would break the shutout with a Gramby 11-2. 146 Sanchez vs. Guttentag

Sanchez won by forfeit (2nd county title)

152 Savage vs. Martinez
After a single 2-0, a spiral half roll 4-0, Savage locked a cradle for the pin. 160 Creedon vs. Antar
Creedon scored the first point in the second period, 1-0. But a couple doubles and escapes later, Antar would be in control and win it 7-4. 170 Kresslein vs. Higazi

Xavier’s sweet ankle pick in the first period proved to be the difference in a 5-2 win. 182 Furgeson vs. Cooper

Furgeson got up by a lot early 11-0, but to Cooper’s credit, Marquez continued to take the action to Furgeson. Unfortunately, Furgeson didn’t want to engage much, backing up and not even standing up when Copper was letting him up. Furgeson would get the win at 13-4, to a chorus of boos (3rd straight county title).

195 Smith vs. Beall A pretty tight match throughout, at 1-1, Smith scored a close takedown on the edge to make it 3-1, and held on to win 3-2.
220 Baiden vs. Foundjing

Elijah caught Waefu in a chin and wing for backs, which proved to be the difference in his 8-0 win. Tourney Director Joe Vukovich would tell me during the match that Baisden’s major decision was the difference in him winning the Monisera Award (most points accumulated by a senior at the county tournament).
Hwt Nya vs. Smith

Sorry Amrick, spent this match chatting it up. Congrats on your 8-3 win.
Man, that was too long and too much info. But those who like all the nuances, I tried to include it all. Good luck to Damascus and Poolesville at the 2A/1A West Regional, and to Springbrook, Sherwood, Paint Branch and the rest of the Montgomery County wrestlers.

2019 State impressions

So far the 2019 high School wrestling season is a reprise of the 2018 wrestling season. In the Private States Mount St. Joe had an absolutely awesome season as they crushed all comers from the state. They managed the unprecedented feat to place all 14 wrestlers from their team in the top 3 of both the MIAA tournament and the MIS state tournament.

Damascus the reigning public champ was supposed to be vulnerable this season, but were able to hold off an upstart from Glenelg who were eager to knock them from their perch.

The counties too, saw mostly a continuation at the top of the podium of past champions.

Reflections on the 2018 State Finals, by Robert Yi

Reflections on the 2018 Maryland State Wrestling Championship
By Robert Yi

So nobody would have guessed that the wrestling season would end on a Monday night in March, but once again I’d say Montgomery County represented big time and finally came through with 2 non- Damascus state titles with Churchill’s Jack Connolly and Northwest’s Yonas Harris breaking through. I believe the last wrestler to win a state title not from Damascus was Churchill’s Hunter Sutton (2014). Connolly versus Sanchez was also the first all MoCo final since Zeke Gammil vs. Reed Neubaum (2010).

Although there were couple of things that didn’t work out for Damascus, 5 finalists (Emerick, McLaughlin, Lawrence, T. Furgeson, Baisden), with 2 champs (McLaughlin, Lawrence), and 2 more placers (J. Furgeson-4th, Lokos-3rd) capped off a dream season and possibly an era/dynasty.

I guess in year 3, Show Place is finally growing on me. Thanks to Baron Nation for letting me set up camp in your area for Day 1 and of course a special thank you goes out to Hall of Fame Inductee Tony Howard, for allowing me to celebrate your induction with your family and Bulldog Nation.

When you combine the success on the 3A/4A side along with Damascus’s dominance (Carbonell and Savage’s top 3 placements), MoCo had a placer at every weight and a finalist in 9 of 14 weights. There were 33 state placers overall and 13 (I believe) of them are underclassmen.

I want to give some personal acknowledgements to Gabe McAndrew (you’ve come a long way since your 10 under MSWA title) Kemper Stearns (2 time state placer, 2nd on Walter Johnson’s Career Wins list, 6th state finalist in school history), Jacob Bernstein (becoming WJ’s 7th finalist in school history), Nick Gonzalez (Second 2 time place winner in school history) and Eli Guttentag (going 5th at counties, 5th at regionals, to 3rd @states is an amazing story of redemption).

106- The stories here were Yonas and Emerick. Northwest ‘s Yonas Harris dominated all year and continued that performance all through the state tourney. Although Harris was down 3-0 in his finals match with Clapsadle of Stephen Decatur, Harris would tie it at 3-3, and trade reversals to send it into OT, where he would win 7-5 with the winning takedown. Congratulations Mr. Harris.

Damascus’s Michael Emerick pinned his way all the way to the finals before running into Owings Mills’s Alex DuFour. Where he would give up the first takedown, get ball and chain stacked and eventually get pinned on a whizzer step over. Tough loss, but making the finals as a freshman is pretty impressive. Wootton’s Jason Liau and BCC’s Christian Simpson both fell in the blood round but are both underclassmen with huge future upsides.

113- Montgomery Counties best Alex Carbonell (Poolseville) kept it close in the semifinals before getting cradled up by Smithsburg’s Shane Hovermale. Alex would wrestle back to take 3rd, 4-2 over Dunbar’s Camerin Deville for his second trip to the podium. Northwest’s Siavash Sarvestani lost his opening round match, only to win 3 straight (eeking out a 2-0 decision over Magruder’s Wafeeq Iqbal in the blood round). Siavash would lead 5-4 heading into the 3rd period of his match for 5th place versus Barber of South River, but would give up the last 3 points of the match to finish 6th.

120- This was the classic case of where one wrestler has another wrestler’s number at counties and regions but gets put on opposite sides of the bracket, and the wrestler who couldn’t win in the previous weeks, gets through to the end. Case in point, Kemper Stearns of WJ, the county and regional runner up, defeated defending state champion Sean Vosburgh of Leonardtown to advance to the finals. Where as, Magruder’s CJ Cramma lost his semifinals to the eventual champion, C. Milton Wright’s James Riveira. Stearns’s match with Vosburgh was unfortunately stopped due to a head/neck injury that was suffered by Vosburgh, not long after Stearns forced Vosburgh to his back. Vosburgh bridged out of the pin attempt and shot into Stearns and then crumpled onto the mat where he was subsequently immobilized and taken off by EMT’s. The wrestling world wishes you and your family the best news possible. In the finals, Stearns took a reversal right to Riveira’s back to what appeared to be a pin, but Riveira was saved by the buzzer at the end of the second period, 4-2. Riveira would tie it up at 4 and lock up a cradle for the go ahead backs and a 6-4 win. Congratulations Kemper on an incredible career.

But before all of this could even take place, there was a literal clash of the champions between defending 106 state champ Sean Vosburgh and 113 state champ Brent Lorin, who met in the quarters. Vosburgh took control early with a takedown and farside re-bar tilt, 4-0. Lorin would close the gap to 5-4 after a throw, but Vosburgh would lock up a cradle and a spladle for the pin. The crazy thing was that neither one of these 2 were even the slight favorite coming into the tourney. Einstein’s Allan Vasquez reached the blood round before losing to Old Mills’s Ryheam Tull. Vasquez is a junior.

126- Talk about MCPS owning a weight class: McLaughlin-1st, Bernstein-2nd, Guttentag-3rd, Echeona-4th, Madden-5th Damascus’s Johnny McLaughlin was masterful by pinning all the way through to the finals and capping it off with Damascus’s first state championship of the night with a 7-2 victory over Eastern Tech’s Ryan Wagener. WJ’s Jacob Bernstein’s meteoric rise to the finals has been astonishing considering he went two and out at regionals last year. He defeated QO’s Jose Echeona in the semis for the second weekend in a row to become only the 7th (Rob Tannenbaum, Chris & Steve Gahl, Elad Covaliu, JD FitzPatrick, Kemper Stearns) WJ wrestler to reach the finals in school history. Jacob gave Linganore’s Earl Blake, a stiffer test this time around but still fell 13-6, to the now two time state champ. But one of the best redemption stories of the tournament was BCC’s Eli Guttentag coming back from not making states last year, placing 5th at counties and regionals, to making it back to the podium and becoming the school’s 7th and 8th multi time state placer (along with McAndrew) for the Barons since Charlie Banaszak (2013). Eli avenged two previous losses to QO’s Jose Echeona with a 6-2 decision in the 3rd place match. Springbrook’s Billy Madden missed older brother Eddie’s 5th place feat from 2011, by one place. Madden scored a reversal in the finals seconds versus Broadneck’s Nick Schardt to send it to OT. Billy would lose by one point in the tiebreaker for 6th.

132- The county’s rags to riches story of Bryan Huynh (Blair) ended with a happy ending, as last year’s Jv county champ turned this year’s varsity county champ, made it to the state podium and did so by beating Whitman’s Clark Boinis in the blood round 8-3. Sherwood's Sam Ewing also made it to the blood round before being pinned by Huntingtown's Gavin Stoddard. Ewing is a junior. Huynh ends up the county’s lone representative on the medal stand, with an exciting OT pin of South River’s Calvin Brumfield when he landed on top of Brumfield’s takedown attempt for the stick.

138- The epic saga that was the 138 weight class concluded in an unbelievable fashion as Churchill’s Jack Connolly defeated Sherwood’s Chris Sanchez in OT sudden victory 6-4. This was by far the match of the night, which had the crowd on their feet reacting to all of the ups and downs of the match. Connolly exploded out of the gate with an early takedown but Sanchez would escape 2-1, and almost launch Connolly head over feet with a double elbow lock throw. Sanchez would tie it at 2-2 in the second period with another escape and proceeded to very nearly score two more takedowns on opposite edges of the mat. But both the slideby and bear hug finish attempts were ruled just out of bounds. But in the 3rd period, Sanchez would score 2 on a tilt to make it 4-2. But then came what would be the defining point in the match. Sanchez would collect 3 cautions on several re-starts from top, that lead to a point for Connolly, 4-3. This was the first time I had ever seen a wrestler give up a point on cautions in any kind of significant match. Especially from top. This gave Jack new life, as he would score an escape at the buzzer to send it to OT. Jack would duck a head arm attempt by Sanchez to win an incredible finals championship. Definitely shoots up there in one of the most memorable matches in recent memory. Congratulations to Jack (3 time state winner) and the Churchill Nation.

Connolly got there by pinning Clarksburg’s Nick Gonzalez in the semis, while Sanchez rode out QO’s Lopez 1-0 throughout the third period to set up his finals appearance. Lopez would get his second straight 3rd place at the state tourney with a dominant 15-5 decision over Gonzalez. For Gonzalez, he follows only Chris Williamson, as Clarksburg’s only 2 time state place winner. Reaching the podium for the second time in 2 years was Poolesville’s Colin Savage, this time on the 2A/1A side. He finished 3rd with a pin over Rising Sun’s Silas Fillaux.

145- Damascus’s Ryan Lawrence established himself pound for pound, as the county’s best the last 2 years. With his 11-3 decision over Skyler Minutelli of Sparrow’s Point on Monday, he became the county’s first back to back champion winner (not counting Purkey’s private school title and last year’s title) since Mikey Macklin won 2 in a row during his sophomore and junior seasons. Who knows what would have happened if Jason Kraisser wouldn’t have had blood time at just the right time vs. Ryan 2 years ago? Blair’s Ryan Holland becomes the school’s first 2 time state place winner, since ......Camilo Rincon (2001)? with a 3-2 decision over Broadneck’s Owen Joyce (can anyone stop Holland’s fireman’s dump?).

152- Damascus’s John Allan Furgeson hopes of a state championship were abruptly dashed in the quarterfinals when Furgeson was scrambling with Owings Mills’s Roell Ngounou and got himself caught for the pin. Somewhat of a surprise here, considering Furgeson had beaten Ngounou 20-10 at state duals. John Allan came back to face Ngounou one last time for 3rd/4th, but unfortunately the final result would play out the same again. Ngounou managed to hit 2 duck unders which would serve to be the difference in the match. That along with no back points being rewarded for John Allan’s patented tilt attempt in the 2nd period, which could have made it interesting in the 7-4 loss. Paint Branch’s Dhedus Anumgba and Sherwood’s Ryth Gosh both came one round short of the medal ceremony, but it was even more heartbreaking for Anumgba, as he was tied 4-4 in the 3rd period of his quarterfinal with eventual finalist Robbie Fleming of Old Mill. He would give up a takedown late and fell short 6-5.

160- Damascus’s Tim Furgeson would have some better fortunes than his older brother, with a go behind takedown, 3-1 in OT versus Southern’s Josh Merkle in the quarters and a more convincing 11-2 win over Marriott Ridge’s Justin Hooper in the semis, when he caught him feet to backs in the third period that landed him in his first finals. But Timmy would fall just short of his first championship 4-2, to two time state champ Trevor Bauer of North Caroline. Another MoCo wrestler who fell just short of a win to Trevor Bauer, was Poolesville’s Xavier Kresslein, who lost 3-2 in the ultimate tiebreaker, as he gave up a reversal. Unfortunately, Xavier would lose 11-2 in the blood round to Catoctin’s Josh Small. Springbrook’s Sahid Antar beat Sherwood’s Adam Pfeiffer for the second time in this postseason, but this time it was in the pivotal blood round, joining him with teammate Billy Madden on the podium. He punctuated his 5th place finish with a 3rd period pin of Tuscarora’s Alex Westbrook.

170- Damascus’s Ben Lokos was winning 6-3 after he had Southern Garrett’s Joe Embleton on his back in the 3rd period of his semifinal match. But Lokos would give up an escape and a takedown in the closing seconds of the 3rd period to tie it at 6. Embleton would score another takedown early in OT, for a trip to the finals and an eventual state title. Lokos would wrestle back to secure his second 3rd place in three years, with a 3-2 win in the second tiebreaker over Liberty’s Jake Griffin. This was a little measure of revenge from last week’s regional loss. Another heartbreaking ending, occurred for Northwest’s Luke Patterson, as he had to injury default to eventual champ Tristan Breen of Huntingtown in the semifinals. But Patterson would end his career on a positive note with a 6-0 win over Northern Calvert’s Drew Fleming, for 5th place.

182- BCC’s Gabriel McAndrew hit an inside trip from a front headlock versus Clarksburg’s Drew Brenowitz in the semifinals to win 3-2 and close out their 4 match saga, which landed Gabe into the finals with a regional finals rematch versus North Hagerstown’s Aaron Brooks. But the story of all MoCo underdogs may have come from QO’s Ryan Jones, who knocked off region champ Jason Smith of Old Mill, 10-1, and Blair’s Leo West 11-5, to advance to the semifinals. After losing to Brooks in the semis, Jones would beat Cram of Huntingtown, before finally falling to Clarksburg’s Brenowitz for the third time in 3 weeks, in the 3rd/4th place match. Jones’s defensive style earned him the first takedown versus Brenowitz, but eventually worked against him when he got hit for a second stall call that led to Brenowitz’s 6-5 win.

195- An occurrence that actually stemmed from last week’s regionals was that Damascus’s Paul Purkey sustained a concussion in his match with Middletown’s Cam Farrow. Unbeknownst to many, Paul attempted to give it go this week but ended up defaulting in the first round to Hereford’s Will Blake. Sorry to hear that your amazing high school career did not end with your 3rd state title. Which leads me to ponder, who is considered Damascus’s greatest wrestler? Mikey Macklin? Scotty Obendorfer? Ryan Lawrence? Or Paul Purkey?

On the 4A/3A side, Churchill’s Andrew Welch was on the wrong side of a takedown on the edge call versus Poly’s Melvin Crawford that sent Welch into the consis that lead him on a collision course with fellow MoCo resident Austin Smith of Paint Branch. Smith, who lost his quarterfinal match as well, worked his way back through the consis for an all MoCo 3rd/4th match. Smith got by Whitman’s Yussef Zaki, 5-4 in the blood round. In the 3rd place match, Welch would score a reversal versus Smith late in the third period to go up a point, and Smith would try to roll out of it but got stuck for the pin. Both Smith and Zaki are juniors, as is Brenowitz of Clarksburg, making 195 potentially loaded again.

220- This weight class was loaded with athletes, specimens, and technical wrestlers, but Whitman’s John-Luke Iglesias was just too much of everything. He put it all together with a run to the finals, beating the #3 (Solomon of Franklin) and #2 (Bourne of Stephen Decatur) ranked wrestlers in the process. In the finals, Iglesias stopped a shot attempt from C. Milton Wright’s Wyatt Graham, with a whizzer counter move that brought Graham to the mat (for two), but stayed side to side. Graham would hip over and put Iglesias on his back for the pivotal near fall. Iglesias would manage to lock up a cradle later in the 2nd period, but did so on his hip, that led to him pulling Graham on top of him for the eventual pin. Along with Iglesias, Blair’s Rudy Ngougni joined him in on the podium with 3 pins. The first two came on his way to the semis, and the last came versus last year’s state placer Shawn King-Pombo of South Hagerstown, for 5th place.

Hwt- Damascus’s 5th and final finalist, Elijah Baisden had the unfortunate task of taking on Dunbar’s Jorden Pryor, who is possibly the best combination of size and athleticism our state has seen in sometime. Pryor scored takedowns with a head and back of the knee pick, several times. It was pretty much a takedown/escape contest for most of the 11-5 match. And the scary thing about Pryor is that he is a junior, so we could see a replay of this final next year (don’t remember when the state has had a back to back hwt champ, let alone a rematch between two heavyweights). Hopefully Elijah can figure something out by next year (or maybe Pryor will take his talents to private). On another note, who would have thought that in ultimate rideout, you could just drop to above the knee, turn your hips and face up Churchill’s Alec Velikanov and drive him out of bounds and put him on his back repeatedly so that he could not get the 1? Well, Edgewood’s Daviyon Johnson thought so. And unfortunately it took Velikanov out of a shot at the podium and into the conso rounds where he would lose a 3-1 match to Paint Branch’s Waefu Foundjing in the next round. Unfortunately for Foundjing, he had the misfortune of facing returning state placer, Roosevelt’s Christian Bryant in the blood round, who beat him 7-2. Look out for Alec and Waefu, as they are both juniors.