Considering the number of forfeits Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding (five each) were surrendering on Friday evening at Spalding High,l it was a foregone conclusion that Mount St. Joseph (No. 1 in latest rankings by the Maryland State Wrestling Association) was going to sweep the tri-meet, and thus capture their second straight MIAA A Conference Dual Meet Championship. The Gaels did just that with a 78-6 win over Calvert Hall, followed by a 57-17 victory against No.13 Spalding.

“Repeating as MIAA Dual Meet Champions was one of the team’s goals at the beginning of the season,” St. Joe coach Harry Barnabae said. “We are happy to achieve that goal; however, our main focus is on the MIAA wrestling tournament next week, and then on to the states. Our wrestlers are aware that it will take an entire team effort in order to finish on top in both of those tournaments.”

There was little drama throughout the night, as most of the matches played out as expected. But in Spalding’s meeting with St. Joe, No. 16 Rick Couch (126) had another plan. He stepped on the mat to face No. 6 Nathan Porter in one of the night’s most anticipated bouts.

The wrestlers didn’t disappoint as the action flowed throughout the match with the two grapplers trading the lead multiple times. With time running down near the edge of the mat, Porter executed a reversal to take a two-point lead. But Couch had one more move left, and he hit a “BL” with seconds on the clock to score a reversal of his own and get two back points as well, to earn the win, 10-8.

“I knew that he was ranked ahead of me, and I knew I had to go out there and push the pace,” Couch continued. “That’s what I did. My game-plan was to be aggressive and get into his head. There was a sense of urgency and I knew that could beat him. I felt great. I left a few things out on the mat. But overall, I was pretty good.”

Prior to Couch’s match, Spalding’s No.6 Paul Truntich (120) picked up a major-decision over No.18 Matthew Jun, 17-5. The Cavaliers were holding a 7-0 lead when St. Joe’s Shawn Orem (No. 1) squared off with No. 5 Ryan Garretson. Orem emerged with a hard-fought 5-2 decision to put St. Joe’s first points on the board, 7-3.

The Gaels forfeited to Garrett Fisk (No. 12) at 138lbs. A potential marquee matchup was missed as St. Joe’s No. 8 Seth Fillers missed the match battling the flu. Senior Nick Goray (No. 4 at 145) worked to a major-decision over Chris Roybal for the last of Spalding’s scoring. With the Cavaliers in the lead, 17-3, they could only ponder what could have been with a full squad.

As things stood, though, Spalding would forfeit five of the next six bouts, with a pin by No. 2 Neil Schuster (160) mixed in, to see St. Joe take a 39-17 lead they would not relinquish.

Heavyweight Paul Warner (No. 23), No. 2 Chris Barnabae (106) and No. 8 Connor Strong (113) added falls in the last three matches to push the final score to 57-17.

In St. Joe’s meeting with Calvert Hall, the Cardinals’ only points were earned on a forfeit at 138. The Gaels picked up pins by Jun (120), Porter (in just 8 seconds at 126), Roybal (145), No.12 Zach Phillips (152), Schuster, No.5 Justin Henry (170), No.4 David Schultz (182), and No.3 Austin Stith (195). Those falls, coupled with five forfeits powered the Gaels to a 78-6 victory.

As with the St. Joe match, forfeits again played a role in Spalding’s meeting with Calvert Hall. The forfeits didn’t undo the Cavaliers in this one though, as they won all the contested bouts of the matchup.

Picking up falls for Spalding were, Truntich (120), Couch (126), Garretson (132), and Nick Van Besien (152). Fisk (138) defeated Calvert Hall’s former state-placer Vince Thuman, 3-0. Goray tallied an 11-1 major-decision against Mike Neal.

(match started at 106)
106-Mitch Garretson (S) won by forfeit
113-Dean Laumann (S) won by forfeit
120-Paul Truntich (S) pinned Erik Elbers, 1:10
126-Rick Couch (S) pinned Noah Daly, 1:40
132-Ryan Garretson (S) pinned Jimmy Portillo, 1:46
138-Garrett Fisk (S) dec Vince Thuman, 3-0
145-Nick Goray (S) maj-dec Mike Neal, 13-3
152-Nick Van Besien (S) pinned Henry Scott, 1:20
160-Evan Crum (CH) won by forfeit
170-Declan McCarthy (CH) won by forfeit
182-Michael Edwards (CH) won by forfeit
195-Jarrell Mayo (CH) won by forfeit
220-[double forfeit]
285-Mike Brandao (S) won by forfeit

(match started at 113)
113-Connor Strong (MSJ) won by forfeit
120-Matthew Jun (MSJ) pinned Erik Elbers, :43
126-Nathan Porter (MSJ) pinned Noah Daly, :08
132-Shawn Orem (MSJ) won by forfeit
138-Jimmy Portillo (CH) won by forfeit
145-Chris Roybal (MSJ) pinned Mike Neal, 4:18
152-Zach Phillips (MSJ) pinned Henry Scott, :54
160-Neil Schuster (MSJ) pinned Evan Crum, 1:33
170-Justin Henry (MSJ) pinned Declan McCarthy, 3:57
182-David Schultz (MSJ) pinned Michael Edwards, 4:30
195-Austin Stith (MSJ) pinned Jarrell Mayo, 3:46
220-Keagan Rill (MSJ) won by forfeit
285-Paul Warner (MSJ) won by forfeit
106-Chris Barnabae (MSJ) won by forfeit

(match started at 120)
120-Paul Truntich (S) maj-dec Matthew Jun, 17-5
126-Rick Couch (S) dec Nathan Porter, 10-8
132-Shawn Orem (MSJ) dec Ryan Garretson, 5-2
138-Garrett Fisk (S) won by forfeit
145-Nick Goray (S) maj-dec Chris Roybal, 11-1
152-Zach Phillips (MSJ) won by forfeit
160-Neil Schuster (MSJ) pinned Nick Van Besien, 3:04
170-Justin Henry (MSJ) won by forfeit
182-David Schultz (MSJ) won by forfeit
195-Austin Stith (MSJ) won by forfeit
220-Keagan Rill (MSJ) won by forfeit
285-Paul Warner (MSJ) pinned Mike Brandao, :49
106-Chris Barnabae (MSJ) pinned Mitch Garretson, 3:08
113-Connor Strong (MSJ) pinned Dean Laumann, 2:36

Chris Barnabee

Matthew Jun

Chris Roybal

Nick Goray

Zach Phillips

Neil Schuster