Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

DeMatha sets sights on another WCAC crown

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While DeMatha High School’s wrestling team did not successfully defend its Arundel Duals championship on Saturday, it did pick up six wins and will take a 23-2 record into Saturday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championships at Gonzaga (D.C.) High. The Stags have won the WCAC 22 consecutive seasons.

Senior Mike Munno (152 pounds) won all seven of his matches at Arundel. Sophomores Pat Prada (103) and Toby Onyekweli (112) both went 6-0, plus another win by forfeit. Seniors Matt Dugan (140) and Mike Aguggia (189) each finished with six wins. Junior Dan Peacock (171) and heavyweight Arie-Manuel Kouandj each earned five wins for DeMatha.

Munno was one of seven Stags to win WCAC titles last season and one of 10 who reached the finals. Dugan and Aguggia will attempt to become three-time WCAC champions. Onyekweli won his first conference crown last season competing at 103.

DeMatha defeated Arundel (61-13), Annapolis Area Christian (66-12), Potomac Falls (60-13), Wooton (62-12), Liberty (43-30) and Loyola (32-21) at the Arundel Duals. Stephen Decatur, fourth at the Class 2A⁄1A state tournament last season, handed the Stags their first dual loss this season on Saturday, 32-24. The Stags then forfeited the third-place match against Loyola to take fourth in the team standings. Hereford defeated Stephen Decatur to win the event.

Bishop McNamara junior Andrew Bannister, ranked No. 1 in the state at 125 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, will be seeking his third WCAC title in as many seasons. He won previous events at 103 and 112.

Clippers edge Raiders, Wildcats

The Oxon Hill High School wrestling team pulled off an important double victory Jan. 23 at Eleanor Roosevelt High with close wins against Northwestern and the host Raiders.

In sweeping the tri-meet, the Clippers, coupled with Saturday’s 60-18 win at St. Albans (D.C.) and Wednesday night’s victories against Suitland and Central, improved to 11-0. They will clinch the County South Division title next Wednesday with a win against Surrattsville.

The Raiders (9-3 overall, 8-0 in the division heading into Wednesday night’s match at Southern) successfully defended their North Division crown on Saturday by beating Bladensburg, 67-9.

Last Wednesday’s confrontations between Oxon Hill, Northwestern and Roosevelt went down to the wire. Oxon Hill beat Northwestern, 49-30, and Roosevelt, 36-33. The Raiders defeated the Wildcats, 45-33.

‘‘It was a great night of wrestling for Prince George’s County,” said Oxon Hill coach John Carpenter. ‘‘What we had were three teams with nearly full squads, good conditioning, lots of talent, a good crowd and a champion’s fight from each participant. It was really a great night.”

Roosevelt led Northwestern, 39-33, with only the heavyweight match remaining. Dylan Kristy sealed the Raiders’ win by pinning Aaron Edmonds.

With three matches to go in Oxon Hill’s match with Northwestern, the Clippers held a 33-30 lead. But Oxon Hill 215-pounder Ralph Parson won a 9-0 major decision against Northwestern’s Lloyd Wynter, then Nigel Cross sealed it for the Clippers at heavyweight with a fall in 25 seconds.

Northwestern was forced to give up 24 forfeit points at 103, 112, 119 and 125 in each dual on Wednesday.

The night’s final dual had Oxon Hill and Roosevelt deadlocked at 33-33 with the match at 112 to decide the outcome. Junior Abby Solomon of Oxon Hill defeated Roosevelt’s Tayo Fagbuyi on an 8-3 decision to break the tie.

‘‘I’m very happy for our team and especially for Abby,” said Carpenter. ‘‘He wrestled a good match against a good opponent. There was a lot of pressure in that match. Whoever wins that bout wins the match for their school. Abby was up to the challenge and worked hard for the win.”

Despite the losses for Roosevelt and Northwestern, there still were positives for both teams.

‘‘It was a big night,” said Roosevelt coach Mike McRae. ‘‘Last year, all three matches [at a tri-meet with Oxon Hill and Northwestern] also came down to the last match in each with us winning both. But this year, we got a split.”

‘‘It was an awesome match,” said Northwestern coach Ed Ladd. ‘‘The whole night had competitive matches up and down. That is really unusual in the county, so it was really good.”

Northwestern’s top four wrestlers this season, seniors Tevin Dixon (160), Charles Thomas (171) and Robert Wynter (189) and junior Damion Butler (145), all won both of their matches last Wednesday.

E-mail Adam Rubenstein at arubenstein@gazette.net.