Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

WM wrestling splits at dual-meet tournament

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Facing a rugged lineup of teams at last weekend’s Blake High dual-meet tournament, the Watkins Mill wrestling team walked away with a respectable split of eight matches. Along the way, freshman Ryan Garey pushed his unbeaten streak to 20 matches.

The Wolverines (10-10 overall, 2-3 in the 4A-3A West Region) finished fifth with wins of 42-35 against St. Paul’s, 54-18 over Poolesville, 54-20 against Walter Johnson and 54-28 over Blake, while falling 40-32 to St. Michael’s, 53-24 to powerful Hammond, 55-24 to Blair and 41-33 to eventual champion Reservoir.

‘‘The lineup’s starting to fill out,” Watkins Mill coach John Furgeson said. ‘‘We’re not forfeiting three weight classes and the kids are improving. They’re wrestling hard. They’re starting to come together. Hopefully, we’ll make an end-of-year push. I’d like to have another winning season but we have a tough schedule coming up.”

Garey (121 pounds) continued his impressive varsity debut season with eight wins during the two-day tournament, including a hard-fought 7-3 victory against previously undefeated Tim Schwartz of Reservoir to improve to 20-0 on the season.

Raphael Velazquez (105) also captured all eight of his matches last weekend, including seven by way of pin to run his season record to 17-1. Tanner Brophy tied for the 132-pound title with Poolesville’s Kyle Flick with a 7-1 record. Heavyweight Zakeem Berry (9-1 record this season) also went 7-1 during tournament action.

George Murphy wrestled up at 162 pounds and finished a solid 5-3.

‘‘It was nice to see Raphael go 8-0,” Furgeson said. ‘‘He’s dong very well. Ryan, we’re trying to get him as much competition as we can. He was scored on [just] twice in the tournament. Tanner’s been a nice surprise. He’s full of muscle, strength and experience.”