La Plata wrestling hosts dual tournament
Wrestling powers meet at La Plata
Conditions inside the La Plata High School gymnasium last Saturday afternoon for the second day of Warriors Duals were far more pleasant than those onlookers en- countered outside and that optimistic approach proved common among the four coaches of Southern Maryland squads on hand.
Damascus, a perennial power in the state, emerged as the only undefeated team during the two-day affair, boasting a 7-0 mark, with North Hagerstown, another established stellar program, going 6-2. Huntingtown (6-2) clearly had the best outing among the four SMAC teams, while La Plata (2-5), North Point (2-6) and Lackey (0-7) performed respectably at the meet.
La Plata freshman Owen Butler, the younger brother of Cameron Butler, the 2015-16 state champion in the 2A-1A 120-pound classification, displayed precocious ability going 6-1 in the 106-pound bracket. Teammates Jack Chipps (5-1), Colton Sciascia (52) and Marco Frederico (5-2) also all had successful weekends in their respective brackets.
“I am looking for our new guys to continue to grasp the concepts we are teaching in practice and continue to be able to apply them in competition,” said La Plata coach John
Pankhurst. “I saw some growth this past weekend, despite losses. I see the kids working toward our offense and expectations.”
At opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to weight class, Butler and heavyweight Sciascia impressed Pankhurst with their performances throughout the weekend, even in the matches they lost.
“I am very pleased with the tempo and effort from Owen,” Pankhurst said. “As a freshman, he is coming into the fold at 106. He is working on developing his techniques and continues to compete at a high pace and I want that effort level. At the other end of the lineup, Colton has been working to operate effectively at 285 and he is utilizing his athleticism and technique to put himself in positions to be successful.”
Huntingtown got ample stellar performances over the two-day event. Tristin Breen (160) went 8-0, as did Gino Sita, who was 6-0 at 170 and 2-0 at 182. Blake Jury (113), Tony Sita (145) and Nick Sulhoff (152) all went 7-1 in their respective weight classes. Josh Stokes (126) and Jack- son Cramer (106) both went 6-2, with Cramer recording six pins.
North Point finished the weekend 2-6, but Eagles coach Will Leonard was quick to praise the efforts of Jaden Mack (182), Elijah Griggs (170), Isaiah Edmond (132), Xavier Prince (285) and Caleb Blancaflor (120). Mack went 7-1, Edmond was 5-1 and Blan- caflor, Griggs and Prince each went 5-3 in their respective matches.
“There were a lot of hammers at that event,” Leonard said. “Those kids from North Hag- erstown and Damascus are all very good. I liked what I saw from my guys. Jaden had a very good two days. Elijah was in a very tough bracket and he still won most of his matches. We know we have to keep fighting. We’re going to the North Hagerstown tournament over the break, so that will be another good test for our guys.”
Lackey failed to win any of its dual meets last weekend, but the Chargers also did not bring their entire lineup which was primarily by design. Lack- ey first-year head coach Justin Lansley, now in his third season with the program, had sent his freshman wrestlers to compete at the junior varsity level and only brought his seasoned, vet- eran grapplers to the Warriors duals.
“We have 23 on the roster this year, but we’re very young,” said Lansley, a freshman English teacher at the school. “I have six freshmen that I sent to a JV tournament, so we had to forfeit quite a few individual matches. But the guys that we had there like senior Trevor Thorne, Brayon Farmer, Brandon Ream, Jacob Dobry and Sebastian Kolczynski all did really well.”
Thorne (160) went 3-1, Farm- er (195) was 3-4, Ream (220) and Kolczynski (126) both went 2-5, while Dobry (145) was 1-6. Thorne was limited due to having strep throat.
“We’re looking forward to taking some time off during the Christmas break,” Lansley said. “We’re also looking forward to coming back at full strength in January. We should have someone in every weight class. A lot of the county is down in numbers this year, except for us and La Plata. This is my third year with the program and we’ve increased numbers each year.”
La Plata wrestler Mike Bellerose performed well during the Warriors duals that his school hosted last weekend. Bellerose went 3-4 over the two days.
Lackey’s Sebastian Kolczynski went 2-5 last weekend competing in the Warriors Duals at La Plata, but he impressed Chargers first-year coach Justin Lansley with his work ethic and tenacity during the two-day event.
North Point’s Elijah Griggs works toward a pin in one of his matches at the Warriors Duals last weekend at La Plata High School. Griggs went 5-3 during the two-day event while competing at 170 pounds for the Eagles, who were 2-6 at the tournament.