Eagles place fifth in 4A-3A South wrestling tourney
Edmond brings home individual crown for North Point
andery SPRINGDALEsport athletes stress from the — virtually importance Coachesevof Saturday peaking eveningat the rightthe time Hunting-and town team provedHigh nearly School dominant wrestling en route to capturing the Class 4A3A South Region title at Charles H. Flowers High School.
Huntingtown easily won the team title by amassing 204 points, nearly 50 more than runner-up Leonardtown (158). North Point (78) finished fifth, while Northern (61) took ninth, Chopticon (50) and 10th to round out the top 10. Great Mills (17) was 14th and St. Charles was one of four teams that failed to score and tied for 19th.
Huntingtown had 10 wrestlers reach the region semifinals and six of them advanced to the championship matches where four of them, Josh Stokes (126 pounds), Tristin Breen (160), Gino Sita (195) and Jared Bur- goyne (220) all proved victori- ous. Tony Sita (145) and Jacob Cramer (170) settled for run- ner-up honors in their respec- tive weight class finals.
“It was a great two days for these kids,” Huntingtown head coach Kevin Gilligan said. “We had 10 guys make it to semis, six reached the championship and we have four individual champs and we scored over 200 points. Our freshman, Josh Stokes, was really good and then Tris- tin, Gino and Jared all wrestled extremely well. It’s great to win the regions, but there’s still a lot of work that we have to do this week to get ready for states next week.” Huntingtown and their fellow Southern Maryland Athletic Conference teams that qualified wrestlers for the 4A-3A state championships will not have to travel quite as far next weekend when they venture to the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. Nevertheless, for several Hurri- canes the shorter commute will hardly impact their eagerness to participate in the state cham- pionships. “This week I will be doing a Huntingtown’slot of work on Gino cardio,”Sita, who said recorded a pin with 20 seconds left in the second period to defeat Stephen Decatur’s Caleb Bourne in the 195-pound title match. “It means a lot to win the team title. All of these guys really worked hard for this. Josh Stokes is only a freshman, but he’s already breaking school records. I was so proud of Jared — he’s my practice partner all week and he was great tonight.” “I really want to focus on staying healthy and staying focused,” Breen said. “I’m in a really tough weight class. There are a lot of really strong wrestlers at 160 this year, so I will have to just have to come in ready and healthy. It was great to win the region title, especially after we let the chance to com- pete at state duals slip away.” Stokes had jump started the Hurricanes by defeating Elea- nor Roosevelt’s Andrew Thom- as, 7-1, and later Burgoyne punctuated Huntingtown’s title by downing Parkdale’s Nathan Forschner. Burgoyne gained the upper hand right from the outset and led 9-4 when Forschner suffered his third injury of the match and could not continue with 46 seconds left in the third period.
Leonardtown had several wrestlers reach their respective title match. Sean Vosburgh (106) was pinned by Parkdale’s Kidus Gebriorgis with 1.8 seconds left in the first period. Trevor Crowley (160) lost to Breen in an all-SMAC final, but Raiders sophomore John Podsednik (152) edged Northern’s Lance Adriani, 5-4, in another allSMAC final.
“It’s hard to believe that seven weeks ago I dislocated by right elbow,” said Podsednik, who has bypassed surgery to seek healing from a higher authority. “I asked God to heal my elbow and here I am back competing and able to win a region title. Ev- ery match that I wrestle helps me to give thanks to God and spread the word of Jesus. Without his strength and guidance and inspiration, I would have nothing.”
Despite having only one wrestler reach the championship round on Saturday, North Point finished fifth in the team standings and the efforts of Isaiah Edmond were a big reason for that climb. In one of the closest matches of the evening’s finals, Edmond (132) edged Eleanor Roosevelt’s Isaiah Williams, 8-6, to highlight the performances of Charles County performers and continue the family tradition.
“My brother, Malachi, won a region title,” Edmond said. “So, tonight I came here wanting to follow in his footsteps. A lot of my friends and family came up here from Waldorf to watch me and cheer for me. It means a lot of win a region title with so many of them here. I’m ex- cited to be going to states. I’ve had good competition all year, but I know it’s going to be even tougher over there.”
Northern had a pair of wres- tlers who reached the finals. While Adriani suffered a nar- row setback to Podsednik, Seth Cranford (182) edged C.H. Flowers’ Austin Cole, 4-3. Cran- ford led 4-1 heading into the third period, but Cole continued to attack the Patriots wrestler whose defensive tactics enabled him to prevail.
Chopticon’s Mason Cox con- tinued his stellar season by capturing the 138-pound title. In the finals, Cox actually trailed High Point’s Kevin Rojas 2-0 initially, but the Braves wrestler scored the last 11 points of the match, including all six in the third period, to pull away from his Eagles foe for an 11-2 triumph.
“My main focus was trying to get off to a good start,” Cox said. “He surprised me with an early move, but then I was able to get control of the match after that. It’s always meaningful to win a region title. Now I’m looking forward to states. I know that I have to work on a few new moves in order to be ready for some of the guys I will see over there.”
From a team perspective, SMAC squads captured the top two spots and three of the top five. In 10 consecutive weight classes from 126 to 220, SMAC schools had a representative in a championship match. SMAC schools had a finalist in 11 of the 14 weight classes, collecting eight individual titles and five runner-up finishes.
STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK North Point High School’s Isaiah Edmond, center, proudly displays his certificate after winning the 132-pound title at the Class 4A-3A South Region wrestling tournament at Charles H. Flowers High School in Springdale on Saturday evening.