2020 Montgomery County Championship Reflections By Robert Yi 2020 Montgomery County Championship reflections By Robert Yi

2020 Montgomery County Championship Reflections

By Robert Yi

Counties. Where we come back to the fold. Before Springbrook, Blair, Sherwood, Paint Branch, and Northwood leave to the 4A/3A North. And before Poolesville heads off to the unenviable 2A/1A West. So for a weekend, the county gets to celebrate our own. This year it features some of the state’s best. Where do I start? Team score? Day 1? Or the finals? Well let me start with some team facts. The magical year continues for the Springbrook Blue Devils. They ended Damascus’s 8 year run (someone fact check that for me) as Whittles’s gang finish ahead of the reigning champs: Springbrook 196 Damascus 181 B-CC 139.5 Poolesville 119 Blair 111 5) Magruder 111
They did it through championships from Wendel (132) and Sieh (145), along with top 6 finishes from Jean (2nd, @126), Kilby (2nd, @120), Nettey (3rd, @138), Gomez (3rd, @182), Bauer (4th, @220), Nguyen (5th, @170), Smith (6th, @106), Bdajie (6th, @ Hwt.)
The runner up Hornets crowned 3 champions (Furgeson, Beall, and Emerick), while placing 6 others (O’Brian-2nd, Devalle-3rd, McKneely-3rd, Bell-4th, Holt-5th, Bosnic- 5th). Tim Furgeson also won the Monisera Award for the senior who has accumulated the most county tournament points in their MCPS career (4 time champion). I thought I heard that he is the 4th in county history to be a 4-time winner (Gamble, Bienstock, Obendorfer). The Battlin' Barons also sported multiple champions which included I. Guttentag (113), D. Guttentag (152), and Simpson (106). Jeo Martinez- 2nd (145), Aidan Moffitt- 4th (126), and Fabio Martinez- 4th (138) all made it to the podium to land the Barons 3rd overall. The early talk on Day 1 is typically scratches and upsets. The big name scratches came from Wootton’s Eric Liau and Blair’s Brian McCaw (technically McCaw couldn’t compete due to misconduct from the region duals). So obviously that changed the complexion of 106 (delaying the potential 1 vs. 2 matchup between Liau and Simpson). In terms of upsets; my place of employment and former coaching stop #2 WJ, had two 12 vs. 5 upsets in 182lber Matt Flynn beating Einstein’s Wesley Condon and 120lber Damon Termini beating Ben Bloch of Wootton. In terms of Cinderella stories, Blair’s 10 seeded Jason Kaplan knocked off 7 seeded Edwin Peralta of Springbrook in the first round, then used a head and arm in the closing seconds of his match with 2nd seeded John Walmark of Northwest in the quarters to get the pin after being down 6-2. Other surprising semi finalists included: 106lber Chase Corpuz of Northwest (getting the forfeit from Liau), (19-17, record) Seth Holt of Damascus, pinned 3 seed George Dove of Magruder in the quarters, QO’s 170lber Konstant Kahadze knocked off 3 seed Elias Chen of Blair. THE match of night 1 came from Springbrook’s Anthony Gomez’s rematch with Damascus’s Aiden Beall in the quarterfinals. But more on that a bit later. But also, I can’t ever remember the collective amount of crazy last second finishes in the county finals. There were 6 late scores to determine victories as well 5 pins altogether. That is an active finals. Now let me get into the rest of the tourney by weight classes: 106- With Liau and McCaw out, Simspon and Nesvaderani roads to the finals came with semifinal pins over Pisano and Corpuz respectively. In the conso bracket, Watkins Mill’s Romeo Tsai became the story reeling off 4 straight wins en route to an impressive 3rd place finish (which included 3 pins and a tough grind it out win from the top position vs. Pisano of Clarksburg in the conso semis). Northwest’s Chase Corpuz showed he belonged on that podium with his 7-6 win over Springbrook’s Ayden Smith in the conso semis. In the finals, B-CC’s Christian Simpson dominated the match on his feet with 8 takedowns. 113- Shout out to WJ’s Ari Kefer on his 5th place finish (just learned you are a relative neophyte to the sport), tough to make it in the lower weights without some junior league experience. Besides the two state ranked studs in the finals, Kennedy’s Griffin Gonzalez and Poolesville’s Mason Hillegas had very impressive tournaments resulting in a sudden victory win by last year’s state qualifier Gonzalez winning 4-2 in sudden victory for 3rd place. But Mason’s 3 straight wins in the conso rounds was coming as the 9 seed (it was good seeing you and your dad again from the Clarksburg Mat Club days from way back). In the finals, Ike scored a couple close call takedowns, one where Liau still had a far-side half in and the other from the momentary nearside cradle hold (I called that the Sean McCarty no-2 cradle, sorry Vuk). Coach Bramble also questioned the amount of time Guttentag spent on the leg, while riding on top. Couldn’t tell if that was part of the scramble or what. And not to seem like I’m nitpicking since I thought this particular ref did a great job this tourney as a whole, but didn’t Guttentag have 3 cautions but no penalty point? Wouldn’t mind seeing this one happen a couple more times (like the region and state finals maybe?). 120- There was sizable drop-off from the top 4 seeds and the rest of the weight class (as they are all state ranked). In the semis, both winners did what they do best and that was be hammers on top. Alex Gonzaelz stuck Holda of Sherwood with a cradle, while Kilby used a guillotine to pin Casamento of Whitman. Casamento would score his 4th pin (2nd most of the tourney) of the tourney to capture 3rd over Holda. In the finals: Although Kilby scored first with a first period takedown, Gonzalez took top in the second period and did what he did in the Grapple final, by locking up a cradle for the pin. 126- I was a bit surprised that B-CC’s Aidan Moffitt wasn’t seeded higher, but I guess maybe he thought so too, as he won 3 straight matches in convincing fashion in the conso rounds as a 8 seed before losing 5-2 to the surging Colton Devalle for 4th place. Rockville’s Nate Eig was tied 1-1 with QO’s Rodrigo Cornejo in their semifinal match with a 1:39 left in the 3rd period, when Cornejo hit a double for the go ahead takedown. In the finals- Rodrigo picking his spots seemed to be a trend, as Cornejo was down 5-2, shot, picked up the leg and caught Jean’s head to lock it up for a cradle and score 3 backs to a 7-5 win all in the closing seconds of the match for an amazing finish. 132- Colton Houldsworth’s semifinal Saturday morning scratch sent Springbrook’s Grayson Wendel to the finals. 7th seeded Joe McKneely of Damascus had quite the Saturday, winning 4 straight including a 15-4 win over Rockville’s Will Holland for 3rd place. This included a tough 3-2 win over Churchill’s Isiah Zack in the consi semis. But the story here was the finals match between Wendel and Sarvastani. I thought Siavash was a decent favorite coming in, but Grayson’s 2 escapes evened up Siavash’s takedown to a 2-2 tie at the end of 2. But with Siavash taking bottom in the third period, one escape would give him the go ahead lead. But that never materialized, as Wendel proved to be a hammer on top and got his patented re-bar to score the winning 2 near fall points. 138- I thought this was one of the deeper weight classes, but Damascus’s Michael Emerick still proved to be class of the weight. Although Gaithersburg’s Navid Ighani would get as close as 7-6 vs. Kevin Fultz of Poolesville in their semifinal, Fultz would hip over his whizzer for a takedown and backs for a 12-6 win in the closing seconds of the match. Springbrook’s Armon Nettey beat B-CC’s Fabio Martinez 3 times in a week and twice in 2 days to capture 3rd place for the Blue Devils. In the finals- Emerick gave up his first and only point of the tournament to Fultz. Fortunately, he scored 9 of his own, to capture his first county crown. 145- This weight class stayed mostly chalk, throughout. In the semis, B-CC’s Jeo Martinez was down 3-1 to Magruder’s Kalaeb Taylor, until he threw a lat drop that put him up for good and put him back in the finals for the second year in a row. Jones would comeback for 3rd, with a pin over Blake’s Evan Cawthorne. In the finals- Sieh proved to be too much and dominated with 4 takedowns to none versus Martinez. 152- According to Trackwrestling, Selby had the largest seed/place difference, by reaching the finals as a 10 seed. Jaden had missed a chunk of the early season that attributed to the low seed. But he would knock out 2 seed Jackson Barney of Poolesville in the quarters, after being down 6-2 in the second period but catching him for backs and the pin, Barney would come back for 3rd with two impressive major decisions over Douglas of Gaithersburg and Manzoeto of 160- It was all about the finals. Savage came in as the favorite. Last year’s 4A/3A West Region Champ Nicholas McCarthy of RM had a game plan to keep himself in it. He essentially backed to the edge throughout the match to get Savage to come to him. As he baited Savage to come closer each time, McCarthy perfectly timed several shots that took Savage off his feet twice and once to his back for a 6-2 lead heading into the third period. 3 stalling later, McCarthy would catch Savage on another double lift but got called for an illegal slam. Savage didn’t get up and won by injury default by virtue of illegal slam. The RM faithful was none too pleased and someone even attempted to make their way out of the stands. Despite the drama, and the boiling over of emotions, I’m happy to see that McCarthy didn’t do anything after the match to jeopardize his opportunities for next week. And hopefully Savage will be healthy enough to get back at it at 2A/1A West (I heard it’s in Northern Garrett, what a hike). 170- Interesting to see Damascus’s Isiah Bell in this weight class instead of state ranked Andrew Creedon. Must have been one hell of a wrestle off. Bell was placed as the 6th seed despite only having 10 wins. But Isiah would take advantage of his opportunities and win 4 straight in the conso rounds before Whitman’s Sebastian Turkewitz broke a 1-1 tie in the 3rd period in the consolation final (3rd/4th match) catching a Bell shot attempt and whamming him for the pin. In the final- Xavier Kresslein and Jaedyn Harris traded escapes for a 1-1 tie that remained until about :15 seconds in the match when Kresslein spun behind Harris on what looked to be the go ahead takedown, when Harris immediately hit a Peterson, scored the takedown and leaned back for 3 more near fall for a 6-1 win. 182- All the noise at this weight class came during Damascus’s Aiden Beall’s matches. On Friday night, he had another epic battle with Springbrook’s Anthony Gomez. The guy with a non- stop motor who probably took more shots than anyone in this tourney had to do it against one of the quickest spin/go behind wrestlers in the state. This resulted in a lot of action on the edge and going out of bounds. Gomez scores his 3 points in regulation on a lat-drop and an escape while Beall got his on 2 escapes and a penalty point. In OT, Beall would get a reversal and backs in TB 2 for the win. But these naibiters would not end for Beall. In the semis, Rockville’s Connor Pace would take Beall’s aggressiveness on shots and land 3 different throws while being down 3–1 in the second period. On the first throw, Pace lat-dropped Beall at the edge for 2 and what appeared to be backs. The ref swiped his hand several times right before the buzzer sounded. With the crowd going nuts from the throw, no one heard the buzzer causing Furgeson to run half way on the mat. After conferring with the table, Pace was given 2 and 2.. Pace would hit 2 more lat-drops on Beall in the 3rd period. Both were on the edge. The first one was thought by everyone in the gym (at least the non-Damascus contingency) to be 2!!!!!!!!!!! But his toe was said to have tapped out of bounds. But amazingly, Pace would hit one last one that would have been for the win, but Beall hipped up immediately and actually stepped over Pace for the 2. That sealed it for Beall. Beall’s opponents Pace and Gomez would meet for 3rd/4th, as Gomez would score his tournament leading 5th pin. In the finals- In this much anticipated state ranked matchup (1 Olympio vs 3 Beall) down 5- 4, Beall used a takedown straight to backs and locked up a cradle for a 3rd period pin. 195- A concerning trend starts to occur at this time of year when our big boys start to disappear from postseason brackets. The heaviest 3 weight classes had only 11 participants each. Don’t know why this trend continues to happen (mandatory football weight training?). Anyways, this weight class was a 2 man show from the beginning of the season. Especially when are the state’s 2 best. 2018 state placer Ryan Jones tried to put his bid to the finals, but when he was down 4-0 to Pfeiffer in the semis, he tried to machine gun kickover a double leg from Pfeiffer but pinned underneath. Jones would forfeit to Einstein’s Jeremiah Battle in the 3rd/4th place match. Einstein’s Battle won an epic 24- 18 match versus Blair’s Aaron Vernon in the quarters and pinned Magrduder’s Elver Ortez in the conso semis along the way. Shout out to Ortez for taking 5th and proving to Tron that he needed to be recognized. In the finals- Another 1 vs. 2 in the state was inevitable for these state favorites. We could most likely see a rematch of this matchup in the state finals (no jinx). Damascus’s Timothy Ferguson used three sets of near falls to pull away from Adam and to a 13-4 major decision. Congratulations to Timothy on winning his 4th straight counties by being one of the most dominant wrestlers in this tournament’s history. 220- Blair’s Mervin Mancia used a couple cradles in the semis to get by Magruder’s Kalai in the semis, while Damascus’s Sam O”Brian broke a 1-1 tie in OT with a low ankle shot vs. Springbrook’s Matte Bauer to set up this state ranked final (3 O’Brian vs. 5 Mancia). Magruder’s Daniel Kalai used the county platform to showcase his prowess, by knocking off state ranked (6 in 4A/3A) Bauer 5-3, for 3rd place. In the finals- Sam O’Brian had a 1-0 lead at the start of the 3rd period, when Mancia hit a roll from bottom that landed him right on top of Sam in a head and arm position. Mervin would get the pin and subsequently be mobbed by his teammates. Mervin is Blair’s first county champ since…help me out, I don’t remember. Someone check the county program. Hwt.- Well, all eyes were on Isaac Righter. We got to see….according to Trackwrestling, 1:03 seconds worth of the National Prep Champ. This included an: 18 pin of Northwood’s Mathias Adjingbaruk in the finals. Missed Gaithersburg’s 7-2 UTB win over Northwest’s Reilly Vich for 3rd/4th. How are 5 points scored on the rideout (Obviously reversal to backs) and then bridged out by a heavyweight? Shout out to Wootton’s Sari’s 5th place finish (hadn’t had you on my radar). And Springbrook’s Bdajie, are you related to THE Najitadje (I know I spelled that wrong) Bdajie?