Mount St. Joseph came into this weekend’s War on the Shore wrestling tournament at Stephen Decatur High School, in Berlin, ranked No. 1 in the state per the Maryland State Wrestling Association. The battle tested Gaels faced another challenge as the field that laid ahead of them was littered with quality teams, including Maryland powers No. 3 Damascus (the defending 3A/4A dual and individual tournament state champions), No. 9 Good Counsel (defending private school state champs), No. 10 Huntingtown (a perennial power from Southern Maryland), and No. 20 Stephen Decatur (a Bayside Conference power year in and year out).

When the water receded, the Gaels outpointed runner-up Damascus by 88 points, 256-168. The impressive performance included six champions out of seven finalists. Chris Barnabae (106), Shawn Orem (132), Neil Schuster (160), Justin Henry (170), David Schultz (182) and Austin Stith (195) reached the top of the podium for St. Joe.

Sophomore Justin Henry, ranked 4th in the state, squared off with No. 3 Gino Sita (Huntingtown) in the 170lb final. The matchup was deadlocked at the end of regulation after the two grapplers exchanged escapes. After the first minute of overtime on their feet, Henry chose down to begin the ultimate tie-breaker period. The National Prep placer was able to pick up one more escape, and with it the win over the three-time state placing Sita.

“It feels great to have my first major high school tournament win in my accolades,” Henry said. “I’m happy now, but I’m going to go right back to practice to win MIAA and States. My goal was to use heavy hands to wear him out so he was tired in the last period. I just went into the match with a good mindset to prove that I was in better condition. I wanted to show that I’m working hard to accomplish my goals. I’m happy about my wins but I feel like I could’ve done better with putting more points up on the board.”

At 182, No. 3 David Schultz was giving No. 1 Paul Purkey (Damascus) a battle worthy of their state rankings when he threw Purkey to his back with a chin whip midway through the second period. Schultz stepped over the legs and was about to put double-grapes in when he secured the fall at the 3:25 mark. Schultz was a state runner-up in the 3A/4A public school division at Linganore last year, while Purkey was a private school state champion for Good Counsel.

“(I wanted to) just to wrestle my match and go after him,” Schultz continued. “Seeding is just a number it’s anyone’s tournament. It’s who wants it more. His style was definitely a new adjustment and I had to learn to deal with it. There wasn’t much of a shift from him (during the match) as much as it was listening to my coaches about a game plan during the match. Every break I got I was looking in my corner for advice and I executed what they told me and came out on top.

“I felt that I needed to open up, not use the same shots over and over. Every match I had different footwork and different set-ups. My teammates and coaches gave me great advice in between matches and kept me going. We all gave each other our support at every match, and overall, I think I had a good tournament. I still have somethings to improve on but we are just getting started.”

Austin Stith (195) captured the first tournament title of his high school career when he pinned Eric Bennett (Milford, DE) with three seconds left in the first period. Stith, ranked No. 4 by the MSWA, used a double leg lift takedown at the edge of the mat and followed through to his opponent’s back. It seemed the referee and announcers assumed the momentum was going to take them out of bounds when the savvy Stith circled Bennett inbounds and registered the fall.

“It feels great (the first tournament win),” added Stith. “All the time and preparation I put into everything, all the effort I put in, and you know it’s not just me, it took a team to do this. I’d like to thank God, my amazing teammates, my family, and my great coaching staff. I am truly blessed and I look forward to future success. It holds a lot of significance. I proved a lot to myself that I could compete on a big stage. I executed a lot of good technique today. It is my first high school tournament title but I promise to myself and my team it will not be my last.

“It was the finals of War on the Shore, and the opportunity showed itself for the win and I took it I just made sure I kept everything in bounds. I was very happy with my performance. I mean, we work hard in the St. Joe wrestling room and it shows, not just from my performance, but my teammates as well.”

Keagan Rill (220) brought home silver for St. Joe. Nathan Porter (126) and Seth Fillers (138) grabbed bronze. Paul Warner (285) was fourth. Jonathan Short (152) placed fifth, and Matthew Jun (120) landed in sixth place.

Damascus had two champions, Scott Obendorfer (138) and Ryan Lawrence (145). Lawrence, ranked No. 3 in Maryland, defeated No. 4 Andy McKahan (Stephen Decatur), 4-1. It was a rematch of last year’s 138lb final, also won by Lawrence.

The Swarmin’ Hornets had seven other competitors reach the awards stand. Coming up short in their title quests were Johnny McLaughlin (120) and Purkey. Dyllan Ramirez (126) and John Allan Furgeson (160) were fourth. Elijah Baisden (195) placed sixth, while Silas Patton (106) and TJ Macklin (113) finished seventh.

Maryland had two other champions, St. Mary’s Ryken’s King Sandoval (120) and Brady Daniel (220, Good Counsel). Sandoval, who is ranked 7th by the MSWA, won a close bout, 5-4, with Damascus’ No. 7 McLaughlin. No. 1 Daniel pinned St. Joe’s Rill (No. 6) at the 3:36 mark of the second period.

Fourth place Huntingtown’s Josh Stokes (126) dropped his title bout to Rashad Stratton (Sussex Central, DE), but en route to the finals, Stokes (No. 20 by the MSWA) edged St. Joe’s No. 5 Porter, 1-0 in their semi-final matchup.
Archbishop Curley had three guys reach the podium, Josh Laubach (152, 3rd), Ryan Becker (126, 8th), and Ian Budny (138, 8th).

Two grapplers from Pennsylvania left town with titles, Octarara’s Seth Hoopes (113) and Coatsville’s Chase Stephens. Stephen’s downed Good Counsel’s Bailey Thomas (No. 1 in Maryland) in the 152lb final.
Delaware’s Bryon Wynes (Milford) won the heavyweight crown.

St. Joe coach Harry Barnabae reflected on his team’s strong performance.

“Every year we look forward to going to the shore to wrestle in this tournament. Todd Martinek of Stephen Decatur High School does an excellent job of drawing teams from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and sometimes New Jersey. It gives us an opportunity to compete against competition that we don’t see during the season. Damascus and Huntingtown are two strong programs that are well coached. Their wrestlers are disciplined and aggressive and always present a challenge.

“I thought we had some exceptional performances throughout the tournament. A couple that are foremost in my mind are David Schultz at 182 with a decisive victory in the semis against the number one seed, and then pinning Purkey from Damascus in the finals. Austin Stith at 195 is improving every week, and has worked extra hard on refining his technique and finishing. I believe securing a fall in the finals is a huge confidence builder and will go a long way as we move into the end of season tournaments. Justin Henry at 170 also did very well as he held on in a hard-fought battle against Gino Sita from Huntingtown. Sita is a very strong wrestler and Justin was able to maintain good positioning and held on for a sudden victory escape in triple overtime.”

Team Scores
1. Mount St. Joseph 256
2. Damascus 168
3. Sussex Central (DE) 152
4. Huntingtown 136
5. Milford (DE) 128.5
6. Freedom 115 (PA)
7. Good Counsel 113.5
8. Coatsville (PA) 110.5
9. Stephen Decatur 106
10. Ceasar Rodney (DE) 98
11. Octarara (PA) 91
12. St Mary’s-Ryken 75
13. Nansemond River (VA) 71
14. Middletown (DE) 57
15. Archbishop Curley 31
15. Lake Braddock (VA) 31
17. Archbishop Ryan (PA) 19
18. Archbishop Carroll (PA) 4
19. Caravel Academy (DE) 3.0

106 Results
1st Place Match
Chris Barnabae (Mt Saint Joes) 24-5, Fr. over Michael Primo (Ceasar Rodney) 16-5, So. (Dec 13-6).
3rd Place Match
Javon Saffold (Sussex Central) 20-4, Fr. over Blake Jury (Huntingtown) 22-6, Fr. (Dec 10-3).
5th Place Match
Jaxson Al-Chokhachy (Middletown) 12-9, So. over Connor Huber (Freedom) 12-9, Fr. (MD 9-1).
7th Place Match
Silas Patton (Damascus) 11-5, Fr. over Brennan McBride (Coatsville) 12-8, Fr. (Dec 11-8).

113 Results
1st Place Match
Seth Hoopes (Octarara) 21-3, So. over Robbie Rosser (Milford) 17-3, Jr. (Fall 5:07).
3rd Place Match
Robert Kaminski (Stephen Decatur) 23-3, Sr. over Alex Figueras (St Marys Ryken) 37-6, So. (SV-1 9-7).
5th Place Match
Kevin Bowne (Ceasar Rodney) 14-9, So. over Yony Morales (Sussex Central) 12-9, Jr. (Dec 5-2).
7th Place Match
TJ Macklin (Damascus) 21-4, Sr. over Darius Grant (Freedom) 7-7, Sr. (MD 8-0).

120 Results
1st Place Match
King Sandoval (St Marys Ryken) 38-6, Jr. over Johnny McLaughlin (Damascus) 23-2, So. (Dec 5-4).
3rd Place Match
Cameron Hayes (Ceasar Rodney) 20-3, Jr. over Liam Babauta (Octarara) 19-8, Jr. (Dec 8-3).
5th Place Match
Cord Richardson (Good Counsel) 18-11, Jr. over Mathew Jun (Mt Saint Joes) 13-8, Fr. (Dec 7-2).
7th Place Match
Josh Lawson (Stephen Decatur) 20-6, Sr. over Alex Kephart (Huntingtown) 20-8, Jr. (Dec 3-0).

126 Results
1st Place Match
Rashad Stratton (Sussex Central) 19-2, Jr. over Josh Stokes (Huntingtown) 23-4, Fr. (Fall 4:13).
3rd Place Match
Nathan Porter (Mt Saint Joes) 16-3, Fr. over Dyllan Ramirez (Damascus) 16-9, Jr. (Dec 2-0).
5th Place Match
Andrew Youwakim (Freedom) 5-6, Jr. over Benedict Anderson (Ceasar Rodney) 11-7, So. (Fall 4:39).
7th Place Match
Jeremy Danner (Stephen Decatur) 18-8, Jr. over Ryan Becker (Archbishop Curley) 8-3, So. (Dec 14-8).

132 Results
1st Place Match
Shawn Orem (Mt Saint Joes) 29-4, Sr. over Jackson Dean (Ceasar Rodney) 18-5, Fr. (Dec 6-3).
3rd Place Match
Andrew Evans (Freedom) 14-5, Jr. over Grady Hotz (St Marys Ryken) 35-9, Jr. (Dec 6-4).
5th Place Match
Nathan Gathercole (Coatsville) 10-12, Jr. over Kaleb Dolina (Huntingtown) 12-14, Fr. (MD 11-0).
7th Place Match
Brandon Greenlee (Sussex Central) 11-11, Fr. over Reilly Nuckols (Octarara) 6-15, Fr. (Fall 4:52).

138 Results
1st Place Match
Scott Obendorfer (Damascus) 25-0, Sr. over Dante Immediato (Middletown) 17-5, Sr. (Fall 1:12).
3rd Place Match
Seth Fillers (Mt Saint Joes) 19-5, So. over Ben Huber (Freedom) 15-7, Jr. (Dec 3-1).
5th Place Match
Stefon Tracey (Coatsville) 8-5, Sr. over Cole Robilotto (Good Counsel) 18-12, So. (MD 14-3).
7th Place Match
Gavin Garcia (Milford) 13-10, Sr. over Ian Budny (Archbishop Curley) 13-7, Sr. (M. For.).

145 Results
1st Place Match
Ryan Lawrence (Damascus) 24-1, Jr. over Andy McKahan (Stephen Decatur) 24-1, Sr. (Dec 4-1).
3rd Place Match
Alex Creasey (Milford) 18-7, Sr. over Tony Sita (Huntingtown) 23-5, Sr. (Dec 7-0).
5th Place Match
Ryan Dellicompagni (Coatsville) 12-10, Jr. over Daniel Peacher (Nansemond River) 19-9, Jr. (MD 9-1).
7th Place Match
Tyler Bunting (Sussex Central) 11-7, Jr. over Sam Casalvera (Middletown) 7-9, Sr. (Dec 9-2).

152 Results
1st Place Match
Chase Stephens (Coatsville) 18-1, Sr. over Bailey Thomas (Good Counsel) 29-8, Sr. (Dec 5-0).
3rd Place Match
Joshua Laubach (Archbishop Curley) 20-4, Jr. over Brian Schneider (Middletown) 19-5, So. (MD 13-4).
5th Place Match
Jonothan Short (Mt Saint Joes) 16-5, So. over Nick Sulhoff (Huntingtown) 21-7, Sr. (Fall 3:48).
7th Place Match
Thomas Bonilla (Freedom) 11-7, Sr. over Elijah Williams (Nansemond River) 20-5, Jr. (Dec 3-1).

160 Results
1st Place Match
Corneilus Schuster (Mt Saint Joes) 23-4, Sr. over Brandon Bautista (Sussex Central) 18-5, Sr. (Dec 5-2).
3rd Place Match
Scott Burridge (Octarara) 21-4, Sr. over John Allan Furgeson (Damascus) 22-4, Jr. (Dec 4-2).
5th Place Match
Aaron Whear (Nansemond River) 20-8, So. over Jacob Cramer (Huntingtown) 22-7, Jr. (Fall 2:51).
7th Place Match
Jared Jenkins (Freedom) 5-2, Fr. over Mikel Abdullah (Ceasar Rodney) 8-11, So. (M. For.).

170 Results
1st Place Match
Justin Henry (Mt Saint Joes) 23-4, So. over Gino Sita (Huntingtown) 25-2, Sr. (UTB 3-2).
3rd Place Match
Kaje Reynolds (Milford) 13-6, Sr. over Ryan Sharpless (Octarara) 18-7, Sr. (Dec 2-1).
5th Place Match
Ryan Briggs (Good Counsel) 20-11, Sr. over Zechiariah Gray (Nansemond River) 17-10, So. (Dec 10-3).
7th Place Match
Marco Augello (Freedom) 7-9, Jr. over Derek Seagreaves (Coatsville) 8-10, Fr. (Fall 2:35).

182 Results
1st Place Match
David Schultz (Mt Saint Joes) 24-2, Jr. over Paul Evan Purkey (Damascus) 24-1, Jr. (Fall 3:24).
3rd Place Match
Ryan Deloach (Freedom) 16-3, Sr. over Tyler Matheny (Lake Braddock) 27-2, Jr. (Dec 6-4).
5th Place Match
Lucas Hudson (Sussex Central) 22-6, Sr. over Ernie Sigmon (St Marys Ryken) 41-5, Jr. (M. For.).
7th Place Match
Dakota Cram (Huntingtown) 16-11, So. over Bevensky Augustine (Milford) 14-5, Fr. (Dec 8-4).

195 Results
1st Place Match
Austin Stith (Mt Saint Joes) 21-6, Jr. over Eric Bennett (Milford) 13-3, So. (Fall 1:57).
3rd Place Match
Michael Wright (Sussex Central) 14-3, So. over Sean McBride (Coatsville) 13-6, Sr. (Dec 3-2).
5th Place Match
Caleb Bourne (Stephen Decatur) 18-8, Jr. over Elijah Baisden (Damascus) 19-3, So. (Dec 4-1).
7th Place Match
Cyrus Santos (Huntingtown) 13-4, So. over Andrew Allison (Octarara) 13-13, Jr. (Fall 5:51).

220 Results
1st Place Match
Brady Daniel (Good Counsel) 29-5, Sr. over Keagan Rill (Mt Saint Joes) 21-6, Jr. (Fall 3:36).
3rd Place Match
Johnny Morris (Sussex Central) 22-4, Sr. over Jian Joobeen (Stephen Decatur) 22-3, Sr. (Dec 5-0).
5th Place Match
Dominyc Hovington (Milford) 15-4, Sr. over Tommy Cervantes (Nansemond River) 13-12, Sr. (TB-1 2-1).
7th Place Match
Alex Raimondo (Coatsville) 4-4, Jr. over Brenden Holder (Ceasar Rodney) 11-10, Jr. (Dec 9-5).

285 Results
1st Place Match
Bryon Wynes (Milford) 12-1, Sr. over Dia Gray (Nansemond River) 22-2, Sr. (Dec 3-2).
3rd Place Match
Jalen Lea (Good Counsel) 21-8, Sr. over Paul Warner (Mt Saint Joes) 14-5, Jr. (Fall 1:30).
5th Place Match
Ean Spencer (Stephen Decatur) 21-4, Sr. over Jase Crouse (Freedom) 9-7, So. (Fall 2:40).
7th Place Match
Mario Santizo (Sussex Central) 7-10, Jr. over Sean Craven (Archbishop Ryan) 2-10, So. (Fall 3:46).