Neither Rob Whittles nor Kevin Dorsey were entirely sure how to address their wrestling teams following an exciting, peculiar and flat-out entertaining match Saturday afternoon at Poolesville High School.
That’s because not only did Springbrook and Poolesville tie, 34-34, at the conclusion of 14 matches — the Blue Devils won via tiebreaker C in the rules book — but the outcome came as a result of Springbrook winning the first seven matches and then losing the next seven.
For Whittles, the first-year coach of the Blue Devils, the win felt more like a loss given the way his team sputtered down the stretch. And for Dorsey, whose Falcons lost a dual meet for the first time this season, the defeat carried with it plenty of optimistic undertones.
“It makes it very complicated and very hard to talk to the boys after the match,” Dorsey said. “It’s hard to go in there and get angry at seven guys when your other seven guys did so well.”
The Blue Devils (4-2) appeared poised to run away with the contest at the outset as Kevin Soto (138 pounds) and Elmer Villeda (145) both pinned their opponents in the second period. That was followed by a major decision from Aaron Robertson, two wins and two more pins (both in the third period) to put the Blue Devils ahead 34-0 with seven matches remaining. The supportive crowd inside Poolesville’s gym was lifeless before 220-pounder Joe Mansfield sparked the comeback with a pin of Wambugu Kironji at 5 minutes 26 seconds.
“Sometimes guys get on runs and one win can spark them,” Whittles said. “You never know what can happen with each match being different.”
Chances are, nobody saw this coming.
Following Mansfield’s win, heavyweight Kyle Wilkins recorded a fall of his own, which 106-pounder Brian Truppo followed with another pin to make it 34-18. The difference-maker ultimately came in Wilkins’ match, however. In the first period, Wilkins shoved Springbrook’s Matthew Robinson while out of bounds and Robinson was awarded a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, which ended up being the determinant for the tiebreaker.
Following Truppo’s match is where things really picked up. Springbrook’s Khyree Jackson was dominating Falcons’ (7-1) freshman Chris Danna in the 113-pound bout. Jackson took Danna down and allowed him to escape nine times to amass an 18-9 lead in the third period. But with less than 10 seconds remaining, Danna executed a flawless dump and stuck a stunned Jackson with four seconds on the clock.
“I just pulled a quick dump move and got the pin,” Danna said. “I was just waiting for my opportunity and it came at the very end.”
Feeding off the energy in the building, Luke Maher scored an upset victory against the usually-steady Quy Tran at 120. Tran, who wrestled up to face Maher, took the lead in the second period before Maher scored two third-period takedowns — including one with two seconds remaining — to earn a shocking 6-5 victory and keep the momentum alive.
“We had an opportunity where we had some guys who were winning and then lost the match in the last five seconds,” Whittles said. “Obviously there’s a lot we can learn from that.”
To close things out, Poolesville’s Dmitri Agrew (126) and Michael Bent (132) both won their matches, Bent via major decision against Odir Guevara, to tie the team score.
“I definitely would have liked to see more fire and determination from the earlier guys, but when we got the ball rolling, it was pretty good,” Bent said.
The opposite held true for Springbrook in one of the wackier wrestling matches Montgomery County is likely to see this season.
“It’s not a horrible loss if they learn from it,” Dorsey said. “Because our season has just begun as far as going against tough competition is concerned.”
Springbrook 34, Poolesville 34
(Springbrook wins via tiebreaker)
138: Kevin Soto (SB) f. Josh Abramson (P), 2:30
145: Elmer Villeda (SB) f. David Frendlich (P), 2:28
152: Aaron Robertson (SB) md. Noah Blaker (P), 14-6
160: Josh Oreyibi (SB) d. Jonathan Hart (P), 11-5
170: Jordy Baltodano (SB) d. Chase Garrett (P), 11-4
182: Loussouba Toufdy (SB) f. Leon Tsai (P), 5:41
195: Kelechi Nwadike (SB) f. Nathan Olaiya (P), 5:02
220: Joe Mansfield (P) f. Wambugu Kironji (SB), 5:26
285: Kyle Wilkins (P) f. Matthew Robinson (SB), 2:26
106: Brian Truppo (P) f. Patrick O’Hearn (SB), 2:42
113: Chris Danna (P) f. Khyree Jackson (SB), 5:56
120: Luke Maher (P) d. Quy Tran (SB), 6-5
126: Dmitri Agrew (P) d. Adib Afnan (SB), 6-2
132: Michael Bent (P) md. Odir Guevara (SB), 10-2