The Northwest High School wrestling team had a strong showing on Saturday at the 15th annual Grapple at the 'Brook tournament.
The Jaguars sent six wrestlers into the championship round, and grabbed two individual crowns, totaling 196 points. Reservoir (Howard County) took the team title with 205 points, while host Springbrook (145 points), Fallston (142 points, Harford) and Manassas Park (140.5) rounded out the top five.
Northwest was Montgomery county's best squad, led by champions Byron Johnson (182) and Luis Beteta (220). Beteta cruised to a 10-3 decision over John Holland from Springbrook, while Johnson got the better end of a physical showdown with Taylor Magaha from Poolesville. The senior earned a 9-6 decision in a match that had to be stopped twice for injury timeouts, each after a vicious Johnson takedown.
“If you want to be in the top place, you have to be able to dish it out,” Johnson said. “I don't know, it's just the way it happened. I was trying to be aggressive as much as I could — it's just the type of wrestler that I am.”
The Jaguars also had four second place finishers: Del Ngonga (106), Nick Davis (113), Tommy Beard (138) and Jeff Moreno (152). Northwest coach Joe Vukovich was pleased with his team's effort, despite coming up short in the team standings.
“When you lose four in the finals, it's disappointing, there's no question,” he said. “Our guys had some hard-fought matches in the finals. You know, any given kid, when they are put in a bracket they have the goal to win it. Our kids had that goal, and unfortunately they came up short in those four weight classes.”
The Jaguars also had other top six finishers including Ainsley Garvey (3rd place, 132), Mauro Bateta (5th, 145) and T.J. Patterson (6th, 195).
“We have won two tournaments up to this point, and this would have been a third tournament win,” Vukovich said. “Even with two tournament wins, you know you belong in a certain class of team, and you also see how you can compete in a bracketed-style tournament. I always tell our guys that there is a big difference between first and second place, and we need to close that gap.”
Manassas Park 120-pounder Gilbert Rodriguez was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament, earning his medal with a second period fall, a second period tech fall and a decision.
Springbrook's Quy Tran earned the loudest roar of the tournament when he pinned Northwest's Del Ngonga late in the third period to win the 106-pound championship. The home crowd cheered when Tran swooped in for the takedown, then quickly maneuvered to lock-in the pin with just 38 seconds remaining in the match.
“I was just like, 'I can't disappoint my family. I can't disappoint my team,'” Tran said. “I just had to get the pin, I had to win. It felt great. I'm a junior, It's my first win at Grapple, it's a good achievement for me.”
Tran was the only individual champion for the third-place Blue Devils. Springbrook finished with a six other wrestlers in the top six: John Holland (2nd, 220), Ryan Hudson (3rd, 160), Rayem Ali (3rd, 285), Kevin Cristobal (3rd, 113), Adib Afnan (4th, 120) and Julio Garcia (6th, 132).
Poolesville placed five wrestlers in the top three for their respective weight classes, earning enough points for a sixth place team finish. Will Korzeniewski (138 pounds) was the lone champion for the Falcons, while Cody Dorsey (145), Che Cabellero (170) and Tyler Magaha (182) each took second place. Joshua Womack won the consolation bracket to claim third place at 220 pounds.
Sherwood boasted a pair of third-place finishers in Michael Macheras (126) and Andrew Frumkin (106). Jack Calder was the lone Walt Whitman participant to secure a top three position by winning the consolation bracket at 152 pounds.
1. Reservoir (205)
2. Northwest (196)
3. Springbrook (145)
4. Fallston (142)
5. Manassas Park (140.5)
6. Poolesville (136.5)
7. Sherwood (119)
8. Chantilly (107.5)
9. Howard (104.5)
10. Walt Whitman (95)
11. Eleanor Roosevelt (76)
12. Duval (72.5)
13. Clarksburg (50)
14. Long Reach (47)
15. Gaithersburg (40)
16. Gwynn Park (31)
Championship Round Bouts
106: Que Tran (SPR) f. Dell Ngonga (NW), 5:22
113: Troy Kilcarr (RES) dec. Nick Davis (NW), 8-6 (OT)
120: Gilbert Rodriguez (MP) d. Joe Medicus (FAL), 7-0
126: Thierno Diallo (DUV) t.f. Zach Trueting (MP), 20-5
132: Mason Kilcarr (RES) d. Chris Minor (SHE), 8-4
138: Will Korzeniewski (POL) d. Tommy Beard (NW), 7-2
145: Walter Carlson (CHA) d Cody Dorsey (POL), 13-6
152: C.J. Austin (FAL) f. Jeff Moreno (NW), 0:39
160: Jonathon Jones (ER) f. Isaiah Baker (MP), 3:20
170: Wes Beattie (RES) t.f. Che Cabellero (POL), 17-1
182: Byron Johnson (NW) d. Tyler Magaha (POL), 9-6
195: Ridge Myers (FAL) f. Michael Sullivan (RES), 3:20
220: Luis Beteta (NW) d. John Holland (SPR), 10-3
285: Orabola Adeboyeku (DUV) d. Stephen Reyes (GWP), 2-1
Most Outstanding Wrestler
Gilbert Rodriguez (MP)