Gaels crown four champs, Centennial’s Kraisser named Outstanding Wrestler
by Billy Loverocket
The Mount St. Joseph wrestling team came into their Mount Mat Madness tournament on Friday missing some key starters, state champions Connor Strong and Justin Henry. At the conclusion of Saturday’s semifinal round it was clear those missing cogs would not derail the Gaels from repeating as Mount Mat Madness champions.
St. Joe rung up an impressive 319 points to out-distance Georgia State Champions, Buford, by 113 points, 319-206.
“You always have some concern when the team is not 100% healthy, however, I don’t view our second team starters as unproven,” St. Joe coach Harry Barnabae said. “They have wrestled in a number of high-profile wrestling matches and tournaments and do not shy away from the opportunity to get into lineup. I was confident coming into this weekend that they (Bradley David, 145lbs, and Tony Zancan 182lbs) would wrestle well.
“There was some stiff competition in every weight class, therefore, I was happy to see that all our wrestlers placed in the top five. Zach Phillips Ethan Stern, Joe Couch, Bradley David showed a great deal of heart in battling back for a third-place finish.”
The action kicked off at 160 in order to set the table for the 152lb bout to be the closer. This meant that heavyweight Isaac Righter captured the first title for St. Joe. The Beast of the East champ, who is now ranked No. 9 in the nation by FloWrestling, did not even spend a full period on the mat throughout his four matches. The junior’s 34 second fall of Loyola’s Bennett Traurig represented his longest bout of the tournament. The other falls were in 14, 18, and 10 seconds.
At 120 Chris Barnabae (No. 1 in the Maryland State Rankings by BillyB) followed up his strong Beast of the East showing with his second Mount Mat Madness crown. The junior is gaining a reputation of being “the guy no one wants to wrestle” due to his physical style of wrestling. Barnabae pummeled the competition enrout to the finals where he encountered a freshman, Evan Eldridge, from St. Mary’s-Ryken who was up for the challenge.
Eldridge, who was unranked in Maryland, picked off Loyola’s No.7 Deshawn Strand in the quarterfinals and then planted Leonardtown’s No. 4 Sean Vosburgh in the semis. Eldrige was hanging with Barnabae (No. 14 in the nation by FloWrestling) until mid-way through the match when Barnabae kicked into another gear and put some points on the board to walk away with a 10-3 victory.
“My mindset was to be aggressive,” Barnabae said. “I had to take it to the kids. I had to be mean. Never give them any points, anything unearned. Just like last year, I didn’t want to overlook each match. I just wrestled each match as hard as could. (I) never overlooked my kid.”
No. 3 Clement Woods added some stress to St. Joe’s prep when he was well over weight days before the tournament. Woods rallied and dropped the pounds, ending up as the 126lb champion. Woods squared off with No. 9 Blake Jury (St. Mary’s-Ryken), who was a state champion last year at Huntingtown. Woods took an early lead, but Jury battled back, only to fall 8-7. The win was Woods’ first tournament title as a high schooler.
“I’m excited,” said Woods. “All the hard work paid off. I was cutting 15 pounds in two days. It was all worth it. Long nights on the elliptical. I got number one. That’s all that matters. And my team got number one too. I go out there thinking, I back my team up. We’re number one for a reason. Everything that we do is because we work hard at practice. I was worried I was gonna let my team down because I was so much overweight two days before the tournament started. I had to show them I was worth being here.”
No. 2 Nathan Porter (132) came up short last year in his title quest, but there would be no such disappointment this year as the junior blanked Fauquier’s Gino Camarca, 8-0, in his finals match.
“I feel really good about it because last year I came in second,” Porter added. “I didn’t quite get what I wanted. This year I came in and got first. It’s exactly what I wanted. I felt good on my feet. I’ve been working on bottom in the room a lot. Worked on that in the tournament.”
Placing second for the Gaels were Jonathan Short (170) and Parker Warner (220). Landing in the third spot were Joe Couch (106), Bradley David (145), Zach Phillips (160), and Ethan Stern (195). Jacob Wright (113) and Chris Roybal (145) were fourth, while Matthew Jun (138) and Tony Zancan (182) were fifth.
“Bradley David and Tony Zancan embraced the opportunity to wrestle in MMM,” coach Barnabae said. “They are truly a gamers and there was no doubt from our coaching staff that they would be ready to step it up and go deep into the tournament.”
Going deep into tournaments has become a tradition amongst the Kraisser family. Jason Kraisser (No. 1 at 152) joined his brothers, Nathan and Austin, as Outstanding Wrestlers of the event. Kraisser captured his second straight crown with a hard-fought decision, 9-5, over Buford’s Charlie Darracott. Darracott, who is a two-time state champion and NHSCA All-American, came out with guns blazing, taking Kraisser down for an early lead.
Kraisser elevated his game a level and methodically started putting his own points on the board. Kraisser was unranked by FloWrestling coming into this match with the No. 19 wrestler in the country, but never let that impact his performance. He did what the Kraissers do…win.
“It feels really great going out and really compete and show that you can really get things done out here, Kraisser continued. “I had heard about him (Darracott) and I saw him wrestle throughout the tournament. I could tell he was a good competitor. Being from Georgia that shocked me a little bit. But then I found out the kids was a good wrestler. When I started out the match, I could tell he was a good level competitor. I was just blessed to be able to wrestle someone as good who’s willing to push me. Really, kudos to him. It was a good match.”
Buford did manage to take four championships back to the Peach State. Logan Ashton (113), Nick Stonecheck (145), Blaine Bergey (160), and Evan Dimaggio (220).
Pennsylvania’s Westmont Hilltop’s third place finish was paced by one champ, Ethan Kelly (138).
Loyola finished fourth in the standings with a roster loaded with promising young talent. That talent is not at the next level yet, but the future is very bright for the Dons. The squad equaled Westmont Hilltop’s nine placers for the second most in the field.
In addition to Traurig’s runner-up showing, Deshawn Strand (120) finished third with a big win over No. 4 Vosburgh in the third-place match. Ian Takas was fourth at 182, James Conway placed fifth at 160. Standing in the seventh spot on the podium were, Jimmy Douglas (106), Cole Myers (126), Jeremiah Aybar (145) and Josh Aybar (152). 220ber Adrian Russell was eighth.
Another high-powered finals bout occurred at 195. Lake Norman’s Nathan Dugan is ranked No. 12 in the country by FloWrestling. Urbana’s Kevin Makosy (No. 1 in Maryland) was not ranked by the publication despite placing fourth to Dugan’s seventh at the Super 32 preseason tournament.
Dugan proved the national rankings to be correct rolling to a surprising major-decision win, 13-5.
Leonardtown’s John Podsednik (170, No. 1) was Maryland’s only other champion. The senior, and defending state champion, downed St. Joe’s Short (No. 5), 13-9, in the title bout.
The other champions were both from Virginia, Liberty’s Mason Barrett (106) and Fauquier’s Sam Fischer (182).
“Neil Adleberg, (MMM Tournament Director) always does such a great job in showcasing this event and bringing in teams from all over the country,” Barnabae said. “This year was no different as we prepared during the week for powerhouses Buford of Georgia, Lake Norman, North Carolina, and Westmont Hilltop, PA just to name a few.
“It meant a great deal to the team to repeat as MMM Champions. The Team realizes that this is the time for them to shine in their own back yard, as the tournament was well attended by family, friends, and wrestling fans from around the state.”
Pictured above: St. Joe’s Isaac Righter finishes off a 34-second pin of Loyola’s Bennett Traurig in the 285 final. Richter was absolutely dominant in claiming his MMM crown.
Team Scores (top 15)
1-Mt. St. Joe 319
2-Buford (GA) 206
3-Westmont Hilltop (PA) 173
5-Liberty (VA) 141
6-St. John’s (DC) 135
7-St. Mary’s Ryken 99
11-Lake Norman (NC) 81
12-St. George’s (DE) 68
12-William Penn (DE) 68
15-Fairfax (VA) 62
1st Mason Barrett (Liberty HS) DEC Nick Corday (Buford), 2-0
3rd Joe Couch (Mt St Joseph) DEC Kaiden Fisher (Lake Norman), 4-2 UTB
5th Ryan Money (Severn) DEC Matthew Oh (Leonardtown), 4-0
7th Jimmy Douglas (Loyola) MD William Bressner (Gilman), 9-1
1st Logan Ashton (Buford) DEC Luke Kowalski (St Johns), 3-2 UTB
3rd Zach Spence (Salesianum) DEC Jacob Wright (Mt St Joseph), 5-0
5th Landen Harbaugh (Middletown) MD Tanner Kushner (Westmont Hillto), 13-0
7th Koda Deatley (St Marys -Ryken) DEC Pike Brandon (William Penn HS), 9-5
1st Chris Barnabae (Mt St Joseph) DEC Evan Eldridge (St Marys -Ryken), 10-3
3rd Deshawn Strand (Loyola) F Sean Vosburgh (Leonardtown), 1:15
5th William Winegardner (Liberty HS) DEC Scott Reagan (St Georges), 8-3
7th Andy Weinstein (Gilman) DEC Colin Acton (Urbana), 2-1
1st Clement Woods (Mt St Joseph) DEC Blake Jury (St Marys -Ryken), 8-7
3rd Axel Giron (Landon) DEC Conner Polacek (Westmont Hillto), 2-0
5th Sebastian Sye (St Georges) DEC Owen Klinger (Salesianum), 3-0
7th Cole Myers (Loyola) DEC Austin Rohn (Urbana), 3-0
1st Nathan Porter (Mt St Joseph) MD Gino Camarca (Fauquier), 8-0
3rd Bryan Contreras (Liberty HS) MD Roy Dunn (Westmont Hillto), 16-5
5th Anthony Portillo (Fairfax) DEC Jason Guglielmini (Middletown), 4-3
7th Tim Costello (St Johns) DEC Rodney Jefferson (St Marys -Ryken), 4-0
1st Ethan Kelly (Westmont Hillto) DEC Alex Smith (Kettle Run), 5-2
3rd Cooper Warshel (Bishop McCort) DEC Shawn Nonaka (CD Hylton), 5-1
5th Mathew Jun (Mt St Joseph) M FOR Harry Latch (Salesianum)
7th Jarrod Brindza (William Penn HS) F Talen Thompson (Buford), 4:00
1st Nick Stonecheck (Buford) F Aidan Rocha (St Johns), 4:00
3rd Bradley David (Mt St Joseph) DEC Noah Korenoski (Westmont Hillto), 5-3
5th Brad Labella (Severn) DEC Will Brock (Salesianum), 1-0
7th Jeremiah Aybar (Loyola) F Matthew Harris (Centennial), 0:43
1st Jason Kraisser (Centennial) DEC Charlie Darracott (Buford), 9-5
3rd Trevor Crowley (Leonardtown) DEC Chris Roybal (Mt St Joseph), 3-0
5th Hudson Holbay (Westmont Hillto) F Jaden Deristel (CD Hylton), 1:34
7th Josh Aybar (Loyola) DEC Kobe Borda (Georgetown Prep), 7-1
1st Blaine Bergey (Buford) DEC Tj Stewart (St Johns), 5-4
3rd Zach Phillips (Mt St Joseph) F Gunnar Brodfuehrer (St Marys -Ryken), 1:16
5th James Conway (Loyola) F Camden Moors (Westmont Hillto), 2:42
7th Tim Froelich (Salesianum) DEC Caleb Swinson (Liberty HS), 9-3
1st John Podsednik (Leonardtown) DEC Jonathan Short (Mt St Joseph), 13-9
3rd Seamus Selmi (St Johns) MD Gabe Chumley (Kettle Run), 8-0
5th Ethan Marcozzi (Bishop McCort) DEC Kevin Mceachin (Fauquier), 6-4 SV
7th Trent Greer (St Marys -Ryken) DEC Todd Hill (Buford), 6-4
1st Sam Fisher (Fauquier) F Jelani Machen (Landon), 4:31
3rd Royce Hall (Liberty HS) DEC Ian Takas (Loyola), 11-10 SV
5th Tony Zancan (Mt St Joseph) F Colin Fowler (Salesianum), 3:30
7th Jake Sita (St Johns) F Ryan Yousefi (Georgetown Prep), 4:07
1st Nathan Dugan (Lake Norman) MD Kevin Makosy (Urbana), 13-5
3rd Ethan Stern (Mt St Joseph) TF Justin Cannon (Liberty HS), 17-2 4:06
5th Tanner Dluhos (Westmont Hillto) FOR Earl Brewer (Fairfax)
7th Nasir Dreuitt (William Penn HS) F Garrett Butt (Archbish Curley), 2:36
1st Evan Dimaggio (Buford) F Parker Warner (Mt St Joseph), 5:57
3rd Mattheus Carroll (Gilman) F Andre Boone (St Georges), 2:28
5th Ryan Smith (Gonzaga) F Nyjel Goss (Lake Norman), 3:33
7th Vince Green (Middletown) DEC Adrian Russell (Loyola), 7-4
1st Isaac Righter (Mt St Joseph) F Bennett Traurig (Loyola), 0:34
3rd Max Yonko (Westmont Hillto) F William Phipps (Liberty HS), 3:47
5th Cormac Flanagan (Bishop O Connel) F Kyree Johnson (William Penn HS), 2:21
7th Vince Sharp (Fairfax) F Andrew Adair (Kettle Run), 0:39