After the conclusion of the first round and quarterfinals of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's state wrestling tournament, 31 wrestlers from The Gazette's coverage area remain in the mix for state titles entering Saturday's semifinal and championship rounds. Here's a look at some of the highs and lows from Friday's opening rounds at the University of Maryland, College Park's Cole Field House.
At the end of the first day of wrestling, Frederick County's Urbana High School leads all Class 4A/3A competitors with a team score of 54.50. The Hawks sent nine wrestlers to the tournament and five of them won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinals on Saturday at 11 a.m. The next-closest team in the 4A/3A standings is Northern, which finished the first day with 36 points. Bethesda-Chevy Chase, which sent three wrestlers to the semis, recorded 27 points while Damascus tallied 22.
“Five in the semis is great. It's what we've worked for and tried to get to. It's great to see the kids come down here and not get caught up in the limelight,” said Urbana coach Ben Arenson.
In the 2A/1A ranks, Catoctin (four wrestlers in the semifinals) is third with 39 points, trailing Winters Mill (44) and Glenelg (43). Oakdale is tied for sixth with 29.
With so much wrestling in such a short period of time, it's hard to pinpoint a single match as the best, but the heavyweight bout between Urbana's Nick Keller and Sherwood's Adrian Arevalo was very evenly-wrestled. Keller held a 5-2 lead in the third period before Arevalo executed a five-point move (two for a takedown and three back points) with roughly 50 seconds remaining. Keller injured his ankle and couldn't recover as Arevalo hung on for a dramatic 9-6 victory.
In another exciting bout, Urbana sophomore Tyler Makosy scored three points in the third period to come from behind and beat River Hill senior Taariq Mohammed in a 113-pound quarterfinal.
In the 170-pound weight class, Oxon Hill's Darrian Hollings wrestled a pair of extremely exciting matches. In the first round, he beat Col. Zadok Magruder's Norris Kpamegan on a contested call. With the match tied 2-2 and three seconds left in the third, Hollings received back points after flipping Kpamegan following a restart. The referee consulted with the scorer's table and awarded two points to Hollings to give him a 4-2 win. In the next round, Hollings scored a 3-1 sudden victory against Linganore's Luke Britton, netting a reversal in overtime after the pair traded escapes in the second and third periods.
In a matchup that very well could have been the 195-pound final, Parkdale's Terry Nance lost to Thomas S. Wootton's Ralph Bernardo, 3-1. But with five seconds remaining in the first period, the buzzer that signals the end of the period went off prematurely. Both wrestlers stopped what they were doing and looked up, but then were urged to keep wrestling by their coaches. The referee didn't stop the match and at that point, Bernardo simply stepped around Nance to record a takedown that ended up being the difference in an otherwise riveting bout.
Despite dominating Prince George's County competition during the wrestling season, Parkdale High School had an uncharacteristic evening as none of its wrestlers advanced to the semifinals. Michael Perdomo was pinned by Sherwood's Chris Minor in the quarterfinals, while Kevin Thomas lost a back-and-forth match to Towson's Liam St. John and Nance lost to Bernardo.
For the first time in school history, Oakdale's will have a wrestler — three, actually — place in the state tournament. Anthoney Savage (120), Josh Loveless (145) and Ryan Simonica (220) all advanced to the semifinals. Meanwhile, Surrattsville's Mareico Green beat Middletown's Tucker Ziegler in the 152-pound quarterfinals to earn a spot in the semifinals, the first time a Hornets wrestler has done so for as long as coach Earl Newman could remember.
Also in Prince George's County, a pair of upperweights, who only have been wrestling for a short period of time, advanced to their first semifinal round. Eleanor Roosevelt's Casey Wokocha will face Thomas S. Wootton's Ralph Bernardo in a 195-pound semifinal, while DuVal heavyweight Bola Adeboyku outlasted both of his opponents, 5-2.
Catoctin senior Colin Schildt cruised through his first two matches, pinning his first-round opponent, Stanley Ezem, in 3 minutes, 10 seconds before pinning Troy Bohrer in 1:51. Schildt will enter the semifinals with a 41-1 record. Also extremely impressive were Urbana's Nick Frank — who tech falled his first opponent, 19-2, and then pinned North Hagerstown's Gene Balcita in 1:35 — and Morgan Way, who cruised to a pair of victories.
“I don't want to make any mistakes,” Way, a 120-pounder, said looking ahead to Saturday. “I'm not going to underestimate any of my opponents because I know they all want it as much as me.”
A pair of Northwest wrestlers capture this spot as 113-pounder Nick Davis didn't allow a point in a pair of wins (7-0 and 9-0) while 220-pounder Luis Beteta pinned both of his opponents in a combined time of 4:45.
DuVal's Thierno Diallo appeared to be a man on a mission after falling short of his goal of a state title in his first three seasons. The Tigers' senior won both his matches via 16-0 tech falls.
“I felt a lot better than I did the last couple of weeks and I feel more confident than I did in past years,” Diallo said. “I just can't wait to get back on the mat in the morning.”
Frederick: Garrett Buckley (Catoctin, 106); Jake Makosy (Urbana, 106); Tyler Makosy (Urbana, 113); Tim Nordan (Catoctin, 113); Anthoney Savage (Oakdale, 120); Morgan Way (Urbana, 120); Charles Perella (Catoctin, 132); Nick Frank (Urbana, 138); Matt Capobianco (Middletown, 138); Josh Loveless (Oakdale, 145); Collin Schildt (Catoctin, 160); Billy Mills (Tuscarora, 170); Steven Schmitz (South Carroll, 182); Mike Virnelson (Urbana, 182); Ryan Simonica (Oakdale, 220)
Montgomery: Mikey Macklin (Damascus, 106); Nick Davis (Northwest, 113); Chris Minor (Sherwood, 132); Will Witkop (Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 132); Charlie Banaszak (Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 138); Jesse McNeill (Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 182); Ralph Bernardo (Thomas S. Wootton, 195); Luis Beteta (Northwest, 220); Connor Tilton (Quince Orchard, 220); Adrian Arevalo (Sherwood, 285)
Prince George's: Thierno Diallo (DuVal, 126); Mareico Green (Surrattsville, 152); Clyde McBride (Charles H. Flowers, 160); Darrian Hollings (Oxon Hill, 170); Casey Wokocha (Eleanor Roosevelt, 195); Bola Adeboyku (DuVal, 285)