2015 MPSSAA 3/A 4/A West Regional Wrestling Tournament
Written by Robert Yi.
I love this time of the year. One week until states. Sadly, that also means one week left of the season and also numerous high school careers having ended just this past weekend. I begrudgingly joke with other coaches, that they might have to get their "you had a great career" speech ready to their seniors during the consolation-semi round. That is one of the main differences between regionals and counties. And despite what people constantly say about the regional tournament and the county tournament being the same, the two are completely different tournaments with different results.
You can start with the venue. Because it’s only an 8-man bracket, the tourney is run on 2 mats. I feel like I got a chance to see EVERYONE wrestle. I love that. With 4 mats running and 2 mats on a corner at Gaithersburg, I missed tons of matches. Good ones too. I had to get second hand accounts. The other main difference with regions is that it gave a number of wrestlers, chances to come back from whatever kept them out during counties. Case in point: A handful of Walter Johnson wrestlers--Mitch Fenton, Andrew Shiman, and Jack Banaszak. I was very happy to see the likes of Danny Parker, Alex Forest, and Lucas Absolon of Walter Johnson, be able to return from that skin outbreak that unfortunately hit that team and left those young men out of counties. And I believe they helped push Walter Johnson past Northwest for second place by 5.5 points in the team standings.
Individually, Whitman's Mitch Fenton returned to action and put all doubts to rest with a dominating performance. He pinned his way through to his well-noted, self-expressed, third regional title, which included a first period pin of Kyle Bollinger in the finals. Along with Fenton, Bethesda Chevy-Chase’s Jack Banaszak managed to reach the finals before eventually having to med forfeit to Damascus's Cory Obendorfer.
Before I get into the weight classes, let me shoot out some notes and observations:
-Match of the tourney (Rockville's Tomas Carlo beating Damascus’s David Creegan 5-4 in the OT Tiebreakers)
-Upset of the tourney (Einstein’s Spencer Fye’s win over Watkins Mill’s Billy Emerson)
-Minor upset of the tourney (I said to watch for this as a quarterfinal matchup last week, but it came a week later, as Whitman’s Hamoon Shokoohinia beat Springbrook’s Aaron Robertson in the consolation semifinal).
-Most hilarious sighting of the tourney (Magruder’s Djabril Burton showing up to weigh-ins wearing a pajama style onesie with footies --and for periodically running across the gym. The kid might be a future Dave Chapelle)
Now onto the weight classes: 106- No surprises here. Macklin survived a scare in the quarters vs. Jake Warner of Wootton and Crosby of Clarksburg ended Dosso of Kennedy’s run.
113- Ngonga pushed the action vs. Macklin late to force some stall calls that sent the match into OT, where he came up with a huge takedown. In the quarters, Danforth of Quince Orchard pulled off a minor upset over Warren of Blair. Both would go on to advance a 3rd/4th finish.
120- Logan Tritto changed the finals matchup, but Scotty Obendorfer still created the same result. Nick Kilby of Springbrook’s win over Nolan Smith of Paint Branch in the quarters, helped to eventually propel Kilby’s path to states. This in turn had the opposite result for last year’s state placer Smith, to a 5th place finish
126- Once again no real surprises. Probably the most even, well contested weight class of the tourney.
132- Van Meers changed the finals matchup, but Wilkerson would go on to his 3rd county title.
138- Banaszak craftily squeaked by FitzPatrick in the semis, but once again didn’t wrestle his last match of regions for the second year in a row, to save himself for states.
145- This time, Bollinger gets by Parent but it’s in the semis. Hopefully, along with Fenton, all 3 of these guys will see the podium next week at states.
152- No changes except Whitman’s Shokoohina (man that name is tough to spell)
160- The top 4 from last week repeat, but in a different order. Rudderman did give Fischer a tough match in the finals. No surprise to see any of these 4 on the podium at states.
170- Brooks dominates, and possibly asserts himself pound for pound as the county’s best. Congrats Fernando Reyes of Quince Orchard for cracking the top 4.
182- William May of Seneca Valley made some noise, with wins over McClanahan, a one-point loss to Groce, pin over Parker, and 3rd place pin over Cacapardo. Well-done young man.
195- One of the cases where regions look different from counties. Bridenhagen of Bethesda Chevy-Chase knocks off #2 state ranked James Kalavritinos of Churchill in the finals, and my guy Noah Pasquinelli makes an impressive run to third place with wins over Kim of Quince Orchard, Hoppman of Rockville (“get the F___ off me man!), and Moorman of Gaithersburg. Congrats Noah.
220- Levey of Sherwood makes his mark, by almost upsetting Bernardo of Wootton, and getting his revenge over Clarksburg’s Daniel Oh (Grapple at the Brook Rematch), to earn a spot to states.
285- Congrats to Charlie Siarkas for winning one for the host school. You’ve definitely come a long way. Good job young man.