Oakdale High School won the Frederick County championship in wrestling this year, but Catoctin — with some help from its neighbors — had the better day Saturday at the Class 2A/1A West Region tournament, held inside the Bears' gymnasium in Ijamsville.
The Cougars sent three wrestlers to the final round where they all won, including two victories against defending state champions. Catoctin finished a distant second in the team race at the tournament to Winters Mill, 162.5 to 103. Oakdale was third and South Carroll fourth.
“We were expecting a good showing tonight,” Catoctin coach Ryan Green said. “I didn't know if we would go three-for-three, but all of us got together and we were feeling it. We feed off the emotions of each other.”
Green said he invited wrestling teams from neighboring schools over to work out with the Cougars to help prepare for regionals.
“We had so many come in to work out with us in our building, and I know it helped us, and I think it helped them,” Green said. “Off the top of my head, Urbana, Frederick, Walkersville, Tuscarora, Williamsport, North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown, Fairfield out of Pennsylvania.”
Catoctin senior Collin Schildt was the top seed in the 160-pound weight class. He wrestled first for the Cougars and won 1-0 when he escaped with 1 minute, 18 seconds remaining in the third period against Winters Mill's Arizona Oxendine. He's 39-1 this season.
Catoctin sophomore 132-pounder Charles Perella was the next Cougar to wrestler. He faced Mountain Ridge's Adam Martz, who won the state 126-pound title as a freshman last year and had a 36-1 record this season entering the match. Perella led after all three periods, claiming a surprising 10-4 victory to improve to 35-5.
Senior 113-pounder Tim Nordan was the final Catoctin wrestler in the finals and he faced Southern's (Garrett County) Austin Shaffer, who entered the match as the defending 106-pound state champion and owning a 39-0 record this season.
Didn't matter. Nordan took the lead in the second period and held on for a 6-2 win to improve to 38-1 this year.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class at regionals advance to Saturday's state championship at Cole Fieldhouse on the University of Maryland, College Park campus. Catoctin and Oakdale both qualified five wrestlers; South Carroll and Middletown will send four and Brunswick one.
One of South Carroll's wrestlers is poised to contend for a state title. Cavaliers' senior Steven Schmitz was the state runner-up a year ago and is 39-0 this season after defeating Adam Fitzwater of Brunswick in the 182-pound title match.
“It's a statement win,” South Carroll coach Bryan Hamper said. “He went out and beat the No. 2-ranked wrestler 12-2. “He put himself in a great position to keep it rolling next week.”
Schmitz said he's been working hard for next weekend.
“To win a state title, I've had that goal for as long as I can remember and I want to finish it off the right way,” Schmitz said.
Hamper won two state titles during his All-American high school career. His advice to Schmitz:
“You have to go out and treat it as another day at the office; it's you and him and six minutes of wrestling,” Hamper said.
Other Frederick County wrestlers winning regional titles: Middletown's Matt Capobianco at 138 pounds and Oakdale's Anthoney Savage at 120 pounds.
2A/1A West Region Wrestling Championships
285: Jake Utz (Winters Mill) d. Saul Herrera (Smithsburg) 5-3.
220: Ryder Cavey (Century) d. Ryan Simonica (Oakdale) 5-2.
195: Austin Keadle (Williamsport) d. Travis Leopold (Smithsburg) 10-7.
182: Steven Schmitz (South Carroll) m.d. Adam Fitzwater (Brunswick) 12-2.
170: Chase Cullison (Winters Mill) d. Eddie Merrill (North Carroll) 5-4.
160: Collin Schildt (Catoctin) d. Arizona Oxendine (Winters Mill) 1-0.
152: Cody Sharkey (Winters Mill) d. Billy Fritz (North Carroll) 3-1.
145: Wes Cook (Winters Mill) d. Josh Loveless (Oakdale) 11-5.
138: Matt Capobianco (Middletown) t.f. Sean Donoghue (Century) 16-1.
132: Charles Perella (Catoctin) d. Adam Martz (Mountain Ridge) 10-4.
126: Colby Janowitz (Manchester Valley) d. Joe Kuegler (Liberty) 2-1.
120: Anthoney Savage (Oakdale) d. Logan Garland (Manchester Valley) 3-0.
113: Tim Nordan (Catoctin) d. Austin Shaffer (Southern, Gar.) 6-2.
106: Nick Miller (Williamsport) d. Owen Rill (North Carroll) 6-0.
1. Winters Mill 162.5; 2. Catoctin 103; 3. Oakdale 89.5.