La Plata wrestlers edge Calvert

Se­niors share spot­light for both teams

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­

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.

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