La Plata wrestling hosts dual tour­na­ment

Wrestling pow­ers meet at La Plata

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

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.”

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

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.

PHO­TOS BY ROB WORMAN

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.

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