Local teams will make presence felt at MPSSAA State Wrestling Duals Finals

Defending champs South Carroll and South River are on the hunt to repeat as state champions

Published 2/10/2023 6:00 p.m. EST, Updated 2/13/2023 9:51 a.m. EST

South River avenged an earlier loss to Anne Arundel County rival Broadneck by knocking off the top-seeded Bruins, 38-30, the 4A East Region finals.

Here is a roundup of how Baltimore area wrestling teams performed in the various regional semifinals and finals, held across the state on Thursday night.


No. 14 Broadneck defeated No. 17 South River a few short weeks ago in an Anne Arundel County dual meet. South River, which is the No. 2 team in the 4A Team Rankings got by No. 5 in 4A, Leonardtown (HM overall), in the semifinals. Broadneck (No. 1 in the 4A rankings) got past Annapolis in their semi, setting up a winner take all rematch between the rivals in the 4A East Region Final.

In this encounter, the Seahawks flipped the script and came home with a 38-30 win. A few keys wins powered the upset, along with the strategizing of South River Head Coach John Klessinger.

“Our kids have made a lot of growth in the past month to six weeks,” Klessinger said. “It was nice to reverse the loss to Broadneck and have a chance to compete in state duals. We needed a team effort, and last night (Thursday) was a team effort. We got big wins from Jon Titow at 126 winning by fall over state placer Whyte-Taylor and Brent Phillips picking up a fall. Trent Shipley (106), Alex Szkotnicki (113), Sam Ditmars (152) and Aidan Healey (195) have been our steadies all season and were last night with big wins.”

Titow Bear Hugged Brandon Whyte-Taylor to his back, only to see Whyte-Taylor recover before he pinned him with a Blair Ride Half 32 seconds into the match. Phillips’ fall came in 1:08 over highly rated Max DeMella at 182. Phillips quickly fell behind 4-1, then reversed DeMella and pinned him in a cradle.

The Seahawks will face Sherwood (No. 10 4A, HM in the state) in their semi-final on Saturday. Sherwood won the 4A North over Montgomery Blair (HM, No.11), who upset Perry Hall (No. 6, HM), 43-30, in Thursday’s first round match.

If South River proves the rankings to be correct, they will reach the finals and square off with the winner of 4A West champs, No. 28 Urbana (No. 4 in 4A) and unranked Dr. Henry A. Wise, winners of the 4A South.

“First thing is first, I couldn’t be more proud of my teammates,” state runner-up Sam Ditmars continued. “Last night (Thursday) we had a lot of guys toe the line with a lot of pressure on their backs, and they performed without a doubt. They brought the intensity but wrestled with composure and because of it we carried the momentum for the entirety of the match.”

“Returning to the state finals feels awesome! Losing quite a few seniors last year, there were some questions as to how well we would perform this year. But nonetheless our standards in practice and competition never changed. Our program emphasizes focusing on the little things because they take care of the big things: winning is a result of consistently challenging oneself and putting forth one’s best effort. More than anything else, returning to states reaffirms the faith that we have in our preparation. That faith cannot be understated because it is something to hold onto during times of uncertainty.”


No. 3 South Carroll (No. 1 in 1A) is the state’s top ranked public school. The Cavaliers handled both of their 1A North regional opponents with ease on Thursday night, blanking Francis Scott Key, 72-0, in their opener, and following that with a 72-0 win over ACCE in the final.

“It feels good to win with such dominance in the region,” Cavalier senior AJ Rodrigues said. “We can carry that momentum off to states. To get back to the semifinal is good for us but our goal isn’t to just make it back to the state semis, it’s to win the states for a second time in a row.”

Third-ranked South Carroll was absolutely dominant in the 1A North Region finals, blanking Francis Scott Key, in the semifinals, and ACCE, in the finals, both by identical scores of 72-0.

South Carroll opens Saturday’s action with 1A East Champion, Harford Tech (HM, No. 5 in 1A). The Cobras beat North East of Cecil County in their semi, then dropped Patterson Mill, 66-18, in their championship match.

For the second consecutive year, The Cavaliers likely state final challenger will be Northern of Garrett County (No. 5 in the state, No. 2 in 1A). The West region winners are looking to exact revenge after falling to South Carroll in last year’s state final. Northern faces the South Champ, Lackey, in their semi-final on Saturday.


No. 13 Sparrows Point (No. 4 in 2A) coach Mike Whisner’s team captured win No. 400 for him along with a sixth straight regional dual championship. The Pointers downed Milford Mill, 56-16, then rolled over Hereford, 51-27 in the North Region Finals.

The state draw was kind to Sparrows Point as their first-round foe will be the South Region Champ, unranked La Plata, who surprised No. 22 Huntingtown (No. 6 in 2A) with a 42-29 win.

“We were very excited to win last night,” Whisner replied. “Once again, we had a great home crowd and the wrestlers fed off of that energy. Hereford is always a tough well coached team and never makes it easy. The wrestlers wrestled tough, and we’re excited to make another trip to North Point to try to win our first state title.”

The Pointers should get past La Plata to face the winner of three-time state champion, Stephen Decatur (No. 9, No. 1 in 2A), and No. 12 Middletown (No. 3 in 2A). The Point beat Decatur in January’s Iron Horse Duals, but due to bracketed tournament performance, the Seahawks are above Sparrows Point in the state rankings.

Middletown comes out of the West region, which was the toughest of the 2A Division. In the semis, the Knights edged No. 10 Manchester Valley (No. 2 in 2A), 34-33. Middletown defeated No. 27 Glenelg (No. 9), 47-33, in the finals. Glenelg avenged an earlier loss to No. 26 Hammond (No. 8) in their semi-final, 37-30, after losing to the Golden Bears during the regular season.

Two local teams dropped their opening matches in the East. C. Milton Wright (HM, No. 13) lost to Decatur, 43-27. No. 20 Rising Sun (No. 5) was upset by Honorable Mention, Parkside (No. 10), 42-32.


No. 25 Marriott’s Ridge (No.5) won its first ever regional championship with a 39-30 win over Reservoir (HM, No. 8). To win the East, Marriotts Ridge also beat Atholton, 48-31.

The Mustangs will face No. 6 Linganore (No. 1 in the 3A rankings) in Saturday’s semi-final. Linganore won the West with a 44-24 victory over Damascus (HM, No. 7).

No. 29 Bel Air (No. 6) returns to the state duals following a 78-6 domination of Kenwood. The Bobcats handled UCBAC rival Aberdeen, 69-3, in their first match. Kenwood took out Poly to reach the North finals.

“We are very excited to be back at the State Duals,” said Bel Air coach Craig Reddish. “It is a goal of ours every year. This makes four of the past five years, and five times total as a program, winning the 1A/2A State Duals title in 2010. At Bel Air, we focus on the team aspect and dual meet success to develop our program. All of our wrestlers can contribute, and it establishes a culture of team first. The goal is to allow the wrestlers to shine individually within this framework. It’s what makes the sport of wrestling special. The best programs in the state do this and we are honored to get this opportunity.”

The Bobcats will square off with No. 11 North Point (No. 2 in 3A), who captured the South crown over defending state champs, Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County (No. 19, No. 3) with a 35-32 win. Chesapeake downed No. 23 Crofton (No. 4) 35-30 in their semi.

The State Dual Meet Tournament will take place on Saturday at North Point High School in Waldorf, MD. Tickets must be purchased online, no ticket sales will occur at the venue.

The Schedule:

State Semifinals:

Class 2A & Class 1A — 12 pm

Class 4A & Class 3A — 2 pm

State Finals:

Class 2A & Class 1A — 4 pm

Class 4A & Class 3A — 6:30 pm

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