La Plata wrestlers edge Calvert
Seniors share spotlight for both teams
Perhaps it seemed only fitting that the outcome of Tuesday evening’s inter-county clash between Southern Maryland Athletic Conference wrestling squads La Plata and host Calvert High would come down to the last match.
La Plata (21-14, 8-1 SMAC) owned a 37-36 ad- vantage heading into the last match, a 195-pound contest between the War- riors’ Ryan Latimer and Calvert’s Asaun Hudson.
Through the first period and well into the second, Hudson owned the upper hand. Leading 7-0, he appeared on the verge of pinning Latimer and giv- ing the Cavaliers a comefrom-behind victory.
But Latimer, who by- passed last season to focus on baseball and was part of La Plata’s successful run to the Class 2A state baseball title, kept his hopes and those of his teammates alive. A rever- sal and, moments later, after facing certain defeat, the senior completed the rally with an improbable pin nearing the midway point of the second period to lift the Warriors to a 4336 victory.
“I just knew that I had to keep battling and not let down my team,” Latimer said. “He almost had me in a headlock, but I was able to get my right arm free and then I was able to get a quick reversal and then get a pin. This whole season has meant the world to me. I made a mistake by sitting out last year. I’m glad that I came back this year.”
Calvert (9-12, 8-4) trailed by as many as seven points on three different occasions, but it stayed close courtesy of a trio of pins. One of them came from senior Austin Libby (160 pounds), one of three seniors honored by the school before the match. Libby, who plans to join the Marines after taking a cruise to the Bahamas this summer, fell behind La Plata’s David Cooksey twice before recording a pin with 15 seconds left in the second period.
“This whole night meant a lot to me,” Libby said. “My family was here and I wanted to win for my
teammates. It’s all about my teammates, even though we might get on each other’s nerves a lot at practice. It was a great match. We pushed real- ly hard, but we battled a great opponent. Now we want to push ourselves to get ready for SMAC and regions and states.”
Calvert started the match quickly as Dominic Pasch (220) won by forfeit and then the Cavaliers’ Jesse Chick (285) won in a late first-round pin. But the lightweights quick- ly reversed the trend for La Plata as Owen Butler (106) pinned Calvert’s Lucas Bernard in the first period and Josh Roberts (113) eventually earned a third-period pin against Will Green.
“Owen has continued to progress from the start of the season,” La Plata head coach John Pankhurst said. “Josh has also im- proved steadily over the course of the season. He has really taken a lot of the younger guys under his wing. His leadership has impressed me so much that I made him one of our captains. It wasn’t quite how we drew it up, but we pulled it out.”
Devin Jones (120) gave Calvert the lead briefly with a pin, but the War- riors drew even when Marco Federico (126) won via forfeit. La Plata then regained the lead for good when Mike Bellerose (132) bested Calvert’s Kross Canter, 5-0, in one of the few bouts that went the distance.
La Plata then widened its advantage to 25-18 when Jack Chipps (138) recorded a 10-1 decision over the Cavaliers’ Isaiah Buck. But Calvert’s Jake Davis (145) responded with a first-period pin against La Plata’s Nick Meadows to bring the hosts back within a point with five bouts remaining.
La Plata’s Matt Embrey (152) earned a late sec- ond-period pin against Calvert senior Rafael Navarro, but that was immediately followed by Libby’s pin fall victory for the Cavaliers. The War- riors’ Corbin Bales (170) pinned Calvert’s Daniel Jones in the first period, but the Cavaliers’ Andrew Jones (182) recorded a late first-period pin of La Plata’s Jason Mohler to bring the hosts back to within a point heading into the final bout.
The Warriors were scheduled to host St. Charles on Thursday night and next set to be in action at 5 p.m. Tuesday in a tri-match with Westlake and host Lackey. Calvert is scheduled to return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Leonardtown.