The Gaels have 11 in the semis, second place Salesianum (DE) just two, Spalding is fifth with four in the semis

by Billy Loverocket

The Mount St. Joseph wrestling team badly needed the warmth of their home gym this holiday season. The Gales opened their season with a Monday tri-meet in early December and have been on the road, outside of Maryland, the last three weekends. The travel and the high-level competition found in West Virginia, Ohio, and Delaware left the boys beaten up and weary.

Despite that tough gamut, only one starter (Connor Strong, No. 1 at 160 in the latest Maryland rankings), was missing from the Mount Mat Madness (MMM) lineup. The wrestlers that stepped forth on Friday saw the dividends of their recent stretch pay-off with 11 of their 13 wrestlers reaching Saturday morning’s semifinals, giving St. Joe 147 points and the head position on the leader board.

At 120, No. 5 Jacob Wright came into the tournament ranked ahead of Owings Mills’ Alex Dufour (7th). Dufour’s two consecutive 2A/1A state titles earned him the higher seed over Wright though (4th to Wright’s 5th). Wright pitched a surprisingly dominate shutout to prove the rankings truer than the seeds. His award is a showdown with last year’s 106lb MMM champion, Mason Barrett (Liberty, VA), the top-seed.

Another highlight of the Gaels’ quarterfinal round was No. 4 Clement Woods (138) taking junior league phenom, freshman Amondre Wooden (Owings Mills) to school with an 18-8 major-decision lesson. Woods, a champ here last year was seeded No. 2. Wooden came in as the No. 7 seed based on his resume even though he does not appear in the state rankings. Wooden made it to the placement rounds to legitimize the preceding hype.

St. Joe’s other semifinalists are, No. 4 Coleman Nogle (106), No. 2 Joe Couch (113), No. 1 Chris Barnabae (126), No. 2 Nathan Porter (132), No. 2 Matthew Jun (145), Bradley David (160, No. 9 at 170), No. 19 Tony Zancan (182), No. 3 Parker Warner (195), and Gavin Bage (285). No. 2 Chris Roybal (152) was seeded fifth and dropped a 7-5 match to fourth seeded Bryan Contreras (Liberty, VA) in the quarters. The senior won his blood round match to reach the second day.

Southern Maryland’s St. Mary’s-Ryken sits in the three spot (109) just two points behind Salesianum. Two upperweights have emerged at MMM to suggest that Ryken’s recent exclusion from the Maryland team rankings needs to be readdressed. In addition to surprising advancements by Kaylen Perez (220) and Terrence McCauley (285), expected standouts No. 7 Chris Albo (113), No. 4 Evan Eldridge (126), and No. 4 Blake Jury (132) reached the semifinals.

Archbishop Spalding will make things interesting on Saturday with four in the semis and three more alive in the consolation rounds. The Cavaliers (93 points) are in a fifth-place tie with Pennsylvania’s Westmont Hilltop (three in the semifinals). Buford from Georgia is a mere half point ahead of them in fourth.

Spalding grapplers still in pursuit of gold are No. 1 Brady Pruett (113), No. 2 Joe Fisk (138), No. 3 Nick Paolucci (145), and No. 5 Dustin Radford. Pruett looks to be headed to a fourth meeting with St. Joe’s Couch. This one vs. two match favors Pruett as he has won all three meetings. We’ll see if Couch has an answer this time should they both reach the finals.

No. 18 Mitch Garretson (152), Bryce Purnell (220), and Chase Lusk (285) are in pursuit of bronze.

Other area semifinalists are VSN’s 2017-2018 Lightweight of the Year, No. 1 Phil Smith (Owings Mills, 152), No. 5 Brad LaBella (Severn, 145), and No. 20 Liam Kammar (Calvert Hall, 170). Georgetown Prep’s Beast of the East champion, No. 1 Kyonte Hamilton, is the title favorite at 220 and reached the semis with a pin and tech-fall.

The action gets underway Saturday morning at St. Joe’s Smith Center at 10am with the semifinals on two mats and consolation matches on two. The finals (and all placement matches) are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Team Scores (Top 10)
1-Mt. St. Joseph 147
2-Salesianum (DE) 111
3-St. Mary’s Ryken 109
4-Buford (GA) 93.5
5-Archbishop Spalding 93
Tie-Westmont Hilltop (PA) 93
7-Liberty (VA) 91.5
8-William Penn (DE) 84
9-St. John’s (DC) 80
10-Middletown 76

Quarterfinal Results:
106Coleman Nogle (Mt St Joseph) F Dylan Young (Archbish Curley), 1:34
106Drew Simpson (Delaware Milita) DEC William Bressner (Gilman), 7-3
106Dj Bartly (Fairfax) F Chris Gandolfo (Salesianum), 5:04
106Yasire Brooks (Belmont Charter) DEC Thomas Murray (William Penn HS), 7-1

113Brady Pruett (Archbishop Spal) F Daniel Sinclair (William Penn HS), 3:21
113Christopher Albo (St Marys Ryken) DEC Jack Engelmann (Salesianum), 8-2
113Matthew Oh (Leonardtown) MD Ryan Money (Severn), 11-1
113Joe Couch (Mt St Joseph) DEF Tyler Henley (Buford), 11-2 4:43

120Mason Barrett (Liberty HS) DEC Colin Bower (Middletown), 7-0
120Jacob Wright (Mt St Joseph) MD Alex Dufour (Owings Mills), 9-0
120Sean Vosburgh (Leonardtown) TF Tanner Kushner (Westmont Hillto), 19-3 5:53
120Luke Kowalski (St Johns) F Tyriel Jefferson (St Marys Ryken), 1:45

126Chris Barnabae (Mt St Joseph) F Ray Smythe (Archbish Curley), 0:10
126Anthony Portillo (Fairfax) F Andy Weinstein (Gilman), 5:39
126Colin Dupill (Liberty HS) MD Owen Klinger (Salesianum), 14-3
126Evan Eldridge (St Marys Ryken) F Brandon Oh (Leonardtown), 1:13

132Nathan Porter (Mt St Joseph) F Tadhg Martinez (St Johns), 3:45
132Conner Polacek (Westmont Hillto) DEC William Winegardner (Liberty HS), 3-1
132Blake Jury (St Marys Ryken) DEC Scott Reagan (St Georges), 7-1
132Lorenzo Lopez (Landon) F Drew Baublitz (Archbishop Spal), 3:06

138Joe Fisk (Archbishop Spal) MD John Pantazes (St Georges), 9-0
138Damian Weaver (Lyndhurst) DEC Roy Dunn (Westmont Hillto), 6-3
138Gino Camarca (Fauquier) DEC Brian Bieshelt (Leonardtown), 11-8
138Clement Woods (Mt St Joseph) MD Amondre Wooden (Owings Mills), 18-8

145Jovon Mitchell (Liberty HS) TF Finn Eskeland (Leonardtown), 16-0 4:41
145Brad Labella (Severn) DEC Will Brock (Salesianum), 1-0
145Nick Paolucci (Archbishop Spal) TF Jarrod Bridnza (William Penn HS), 17-1 4:36
145Mathew Jun (Mt St Joseph) DEC Talen Thompson (Buford), 5-1

152Nick Stonecheck (Buford) TF Eric Dewald (Fauquier), 16-1 4:18
152Bryan Contreras (Liberty HS) DEC Christopher Roybal (Mt St Joseph), 7-5 SV
152Dylan Weaver (Lyndhurst) MD Noah Korenoski (Westmont Hillto), 12-4
152Phil Smith jr (Owings Mills) F Mitch Garretson (Archbishop Spal), 1:28

160Charlie Darracott (Buford) F Elliott Lee (Fairfax), 0:57
160Bradley David (Mt St Joseph) DEC Caleb Swinson (Liberty HS), 8-4
160Sean Foster (St Johns) DEC Dylan Lewis (Archbishop Spal), 6-5
160Hudson Holbay (Westmont Hillto) F Devaughn Corbett (William Penn HS), 2:14

170Blaine Bergey (Buford) TF David Dewald (Fauquier), 20-5 5:33
170Liam Kammar (Calvert Hall) F Alex Evans (Leonardtown), 4:57
170Mauro Pellot (Fairfax) DEC Tim Froelich (Salesianum), 8-6 SV
170Ethan Marcozzi (Bishop McCort) DEC Bobby Mcdonough (Bishop O Connel), 5-0

182Royce Hall (Liberty HS) MD Josh Brull (Middletown), 13-2
182Kole Lichtenfels (Bishop McCort) DEC Jacob Downing (Buford), 4-0
182Tony Zancan (Mt St Joseph) DEC Mason Muto (Westmont Hillto), 3-1 SV
182Brady Colbert (St Johns) F Quentin Day (Severn), 2:33

195Parker Warner (Mt St Joseph) F Ben Bell (Fauquier), 4:00
195Nasir Dreuitt (William Penn HS) FOR Garrett Butt (Archbish Curley), 0-0
195Danny Stradley (Salesianum) DEC Tanner Dluhos (Westmont Hillto), 5-2
195Dustin Radford (Archbishop Spal) F Luis Abonza (Buford), 3:49

220Kyonte Hamilton (Georgetown Prep) F Wes Beckett (Owings Mills), 1:31
220Zach Brady (Middletown) F Travis Scala (St Johns), 0:16
220Tommy Heisler (Fauquier) MD Ijai Twyman (William Penn HS), 13-0
220Kaylen Perez (St Marys Ryken) DEC Jeremiah Trotman (Archbish Curley), 4-2 SV

285Max Yonko (Westmont Hillto) DEF Zack Reid (Delaware Milita), 2-0 1:13
285Ryan Adams (Salesianum) F Chase Lusk (Archbishop Spal), 3:27
285Terrence Mccauley (St Marys Ryken) F Vince Sharp (Fairfax), 2:16
285Gavin Bage (Mt St Joseph) FMC Kyree Johnson (William Penn HS), 1-0 4:13