Qual­i­fy­ing for states

La Plata’s Chipps only SMAC wrestler to win 2A-1A South ti­tle

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

Get­ting up early to head south from Howard County to Wal­dorf may not be the op­ti­mal way the Oak­land Mills wrestling team would like to start a Satur­day, but the Scor­pi­ons made the trip well worth their while at the Class 2A-1A South Re­gion tour­na­ment on Satur­day at Thomas Stone High School.

Oak­land Mills put eight wrestlers in their re­spec­tive fi­nals, win­ning six of them, and rolled up 203.5 points to claim the re­gion champi- on­ship. La Plata fin­ished sec­ond with 160 points, while Mar­riotts Ridge of Howard County was third with 144.

“We’ve just been fo­cus­ing on get- ting bet­ter,” Oak­land Mills head coach Brad How­ell said. “We’re in our tour­na­ment phase, phase four, re­ally fo­cused on tight­en­ing up tough matches, stay­ing busy get- ting af­ter it when you’re win­ning, and just keep it rolling.

“I thought the boys came down here loose and ex­cited. They’ve put the right work in start­ing way back in Novem­ber and it’s re­ally show­ing. There were some qual­ity teams and some qual­ity op­po­nents. We def­i­nitely got tested. That’s what we were look­ing for.”

Dai­quan An­der­son (106 pounds), Kyle Farace (132), John Rynn (145), Paul John­son (182), Aaron Smith (195) and Kha­lyl Ab­dul-Ma­lik (220) all earned spots atop the podium to lead the Scor­pi­ons to the re­gional crown.

Mar­riotts Ridge boasted four cham­pi­ons, with Will Vax­mon­sky (113), Chris Spano (120), Justin Hooper (152) and Austin Ce­stone (160) all do­ing the hon­ors. Other cham­pi­ons were South­ern’s Hunter Sharpe (126), Kent Is­land’s Brady Love­less (170), Largo’s

Joseph Mon­roe (285) and La Plata’s Jack Chipps (138).

Chipps was the only wrestler from the SMAC con­tin­gent at the tourna- ment to claim an in­di­vid­ual crown. The La Plata grap­pler got be­hind early but came back to de­feat Oak­land Mills’ Ben Gold­fein in a 10-7 de­ci­sion.

“I felt like I was do­ing well through­out the tour- na­ment,” Chipps said. “The fi­nals, it was kind of scary when he got the first points of the match. Then I was get­ting tired and could tell he was get- ting tired. It was a men­tal bat­tle. When it was tied, that’s when I knew I could come back.”

Three other War­riors reached the fi­nals but ul­ti­mately set­tled for run- ner-up fin­ishes. Marco Fred­erico reached the 126-pound cham­pi­onship match, but was pinned by Sharpe in 57 sec­onds. Matt Em­brey wres­tled for the 152 ti­tle, los­ing to Hooper by a 15-10 deci- sion, while Ryan La­timer reached the fi­nal at 195 and was lead­ing af­ter two pe­ri­ods against Smith be­fore get­ting stuck in the third.

Among other SMAC fi­nal­ists, Lackey’s Brayon Farmer came up on the bot­tom end of a com­peti- tive cham­pi­onship match at 182, fall­ing to John­son by an 8-5 de­ci­sion. Stone’s Adam Roberts earned a spot in the fi­nal at 113, los- ing by fall to Vax­mon­sky.

Calvert had a pair of fi­nal­ists in Devin Jones (120) and Ja­cob Davis (145). Jones lost by fall to Spano with six sec­onds left in the third pe­riod, while Davis lost by tech fall to Rynn.

The tour­na­ment was just an­other step in the build­ing process for the youth­ful Cava­liers. Of the 11 Cava­liers who wres­tled in the tour­na­ment, just three were se­niors. Calvert fin­ished sixth as a team with 104.5 points, while Lackey (46) and Stone (38) placed ninth and 10th, re­spec­tively.

“I’m proud of the kids. They wres­tled well,” Calvert head coach Mike Free said. “We have four go­ing to states and two al­ter­nates. They wres­tled well, and over­all as a team I think we did well. Again, we have un­der­class­men, so we’ll just keep build­ing.”

Patux­ent fin­ished 12th with 24 points, West­lake tied for 14th with six and McDonough tied for 17th with 0.

The state wrestling tour­na­ment is sched­uled for March 3 and 4 at The Show Place Arena in Up­per Marl­boro.

PHOTO BY ROB WOR­MAN La Plata’s Jack Chipps wres­tles against Ben Gold­fein of Oak­land Mills in the 138-pound fi­nal of the Class 2A-1A South Re­gion tour­na­ment at Thomas Stone on Satur­day. Chipps won the match 10-7 and was the only cham­pion from SMAC in the re­gion.

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