Mount St. Joseph claims its second consecutive MIAA Wrestling Tournament title

Gaels crown seven champs; Coleman Nogle is named Outstanding Wrestler; second place Gilman has two champs,;Loyola grabbed three golds; Averno III ends 13-year title drought for Calvert Hall

Published 2/12/2023 10:27 a.m. EST, Updated 2/13/2023 1:34 p.m. EST

The Mount St. Joseph Gaels claimed the championship plaque once again with a dominant performance at Saturday's MIAA Wrestling Tournament.

Team race drama was not expected on Saturday at the MIAA Wrestling Tournament at the Gilman School. Through the early stages it was close but as advancement points to the finals were assigned, No. 1 Mt St. Joseph started to pull away from the field. And pull away they did, indeed, claiming superiority, 270.5-194.5, over No. 4 Gilman.

“I believe we have secured five of the last six MIAA team titles” Gaels coach Harry Barnabae reflected. “You always like to win the MIAA conference, especially since it showcases some of the top teams in the area. And over the years it has proven to be quite competitive and at times very exciting.”

Because of scratches during the morning check-in, the Gaels only had 11 wrestlers competing. Eight of those made their way to the championship finals, the other three placed third.

“Naturally, every season the staff focuses on the end of the year run,” added Barnabae. “This week it was our wrestlers’ chance to get their name on the schools “WALL of Champions”. There is not another school in the state that has the number of champions that appear on that wall so it is quite an accomplishment, and the boys are motivated to attain that feat.”

With domination like that, a second straight MIAA title was pocketed, led by senior Coleman Nogle (No. 1 in MD, No. 12 in SBLive Sports’ National Rankings). Nogle used three falls to gain the 126lb title, two over state ranked opponents, which led to him being named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.

In the semis, the Harvard bound two-time MIAA Champ, pinned No. 14 Nick Melfi (Severn) in the second period, 2:57. In the finals he again ended a foe’s day in the second frame, planting No. 7 Vincent Paolucci (Spalding), 3:34.

“It’s a little bittersweet that my high school career is coming to an end,” Nogle said. “I’m just trying to have fun with my teammates and savor every moment I have before I leave for college. The goal is to always get a pin. So, I know some of the guys are going to ball up, so if I keep working, keep attacking, keep pushing the pace, they’ll eventually break. I’m constantly looking for the fall. It’s important in team tournaments like this, where individual points matter. And it’s going to be the same attitude next weekend (at states).”

Coleman’s brother No. 2 Carter got the championship round train rolling for St. Joe with a 7-4 win over No. 3 Sean Garretson (Spalding). The two grapplers split matches prior to this one with Garretson winning the first encounter.

No. 7 Cameron Cannaday (150) was bestowed the award for most team points registered by a wrestler. The sophomore picked up four falls in his run to the top, including putting Gerstell Academy’s Sameer Nasir (Honorable mention in the state, No. 7 in private school rankings) to sleep in the second, 3:49.

“I thought I wrestled pretty well, overall,” Cannaday added. “I think I coulda did better on my last match. I thought the team wrestled pretty good. We had eight finalists, even though we had a bunch of holes. We just dominate everybody in Maryland.”

No. 5 Ben Smith (157) has been slowly ascending the state rankings since his arrival on the St. Joe campus this season. The sophomore authored a dominate 6-1 win over No. 4 Ian Moccia (John Carroll). Smith posted a takedown in each period, with Moccia gaining a third period escape.

No. 3 Austin Lewis figured he would see No. 2 Reid Gills (Severn) in the 175lb final. Lewis did his part, but Gilman’s unranked Nick Haughey had other plans. The Greyhound was locked in a draw with Gills when he used his Judo background and executed a throw that ended the match with 28 seconds left, 5:32.

Haughey’s mojo ran out when he shook hands with Lewis, though, as the Gael was methodical in building a 4-0 divide after one, and adding a second takedown in the middle, then riding Haughey out for a 6-0 win.

“It’s feels good,” Lewis added. “Last year I came in fourth, so It’s definitely an improvement. I think I was doing really good out there, controlling the guys throughout the match. Staying ahead in all my matches. We expected to come in and dominate the tournament and our guys showed up.”

No. 1 Bryce Phillips (No. 18 in the country in SB Live’s Rankings) was familiar with his 215lb finals opponent, No. 2 Camren Wright (St. Frances Academy). The two faced off in the War on the Shore finals in January, with Phillips posting a major-decision, 10-2. This dance would end early, lasting just over a minute, before Phillips stuck Wright, 1:07.

No. 1 Gavin Bage and No. 3 Luke Randazzo have had heavyweight battles over the last two years that feature a lot of action and tend to be very physical. Randazzo beat Bage in their first meeting last year. The Gael rallied to post wins the next three times they wrestled. Two to end last year, one to begin this year at the Beast of the East. In their league dual, the Don prevailed by fall.

Early on it appeared Randazzo was on track to repeat that performance. The sophomore used a slick shuck by for a takedown to take a first period lead. It was 3-1 when the third period kicked off with Bage choosing bottom. After an escape, a takedown that almost resulted in near fall points for Randazzo, became a reversal for Bage before they went out of bounds.

The score was 5-4 and the St. Joe senior chose to let his rival up with 1:05 left on the clock. The move paid off when Bage secured a takedown with a cradle and balled up Randazzo to put him away at the 5:32 mark of the final period.

“We’ve wrestled a bunch,” remarked Bage. “I love him off the mat, but when we’re on the mat, we have some intense battles. I love them every time. The last match was a tough one. He came in and he wrestled really hard. Coming into MIAAs, I was working my butt off. Working extra hard in the room.”

“I never do cradles. So, I was like, holy crap, I can get a cradle. I was getting really excited because I never do them. So, getting that cradle was hype. I love the team. We’re a really good team this year. I think, chemistry wise, we’re one of the closest we’ve been. I think having everybody on my sideline cheer for me really helped me get the win. And helped everybody else win as well.”

Placing second for St. Joe was No. 9 Joseph Cooper (106). Walking out the door with bronze medals were No. 13 Maximus Conley (132), No. 15 Jaden Diggs (138), and Marcello Procopio (144).

“I was very proud of all of our wrestlers from the spark, JoJo Cooper, to the Heavyweight Gavin Bage,” Barnabae continued. “I felt that each and every one of them left it all on the mat and battled until the very end. Some noteworthy performances by Marcello Procopio (Most Falls/TechFalls in the least amount of time) and Cam Cannaday (Most Points scored for the Team). Coleman Nogle continues his stellar senior year with an outstanding wrestler award, Gavin Bage’s come from behind victory and of course Ben Smith’s sixth tournament title of the season.”

The Sherlock brothers used different extremes to earn their first MIAA golds. No. 1 Tyson (132) found himself in a chess match with No. 8 Zane Leitzel (Spalding). Leitzel played it close to the vest, pushing the match to be a defensive battle with the only scoring being a second period escape from Sherlock for a 1-0 win.

No. 4 Emmitt, on the other hand, was able to post points at a furious clip in his 138lb final with McDonogh’s No. 9 Connor Bollinger. Sherlock put four takedowns in the book to open things, then added an escape and takedown in the subsequent period, and one final takedown in the ending frame for a 13-3 major-decision.

In addition to Haughey, No. 3 Carson Mingo (190) was second for the Greyhounds. No. 7 Zach Glory was third at 120. Placing fourth were Anders Martin (106, HM, PS 7) and No. 21 Allan Gushue (157). Standing in the fifth spot were Sawyer Enright (113, HM, PS 7), Buck Franklin (144), and No. 12 Wesley Seba (215).

Third place Loyola saw three of their ranks gain champion status, No. 5 Jayden Jackson (106), No. 7 Cayden Farver (113), and No. 2 Judah Aybar (144).

Jackson, a freshman, who spent some time at 113 this year found himself in a tight battle with St. Joe’s top-seeded Cooper. All the regulation time scoring happened in the opening window, with Jackson getting a takedown and Cooper a reversal. Tied at two, through the first two stages of overtime, Jackson rode Cooper out in the ultimate tie-breaker period for the 3-2 win.

‘It was hard at first (getting down to 106),” Jackson elaborated. But once I really got down there, it was easy for me to maintain. I was wrestling and practicing seven days a week, just to try and get down there. As soon as I got down there everything got easier.”

“I think it was a good match. I wasn’t too worried about the seeding. I knew me and him were going to meet in the finals. All I had to do was lock in and be ready for that match. It was a real good match, though. I kept going with my shots. I was offensive. I kept him on his toes.”

Farver came out firing on all cylinders, putting points on the board at a dizzying pace through the initial two periods in his bout versus No. 20 Henry Gessford (Spalding). Farver’s pace slowed in the third and Gessford booked his only points of the match with two takedowns, and the match ending 16-4 in Farver’s favor.

Aybar replicated Farver with the points flying, but his effort resulted in a 20-3 technical fall of Spalding’s No. 7 Charlie Gessford. In a match that didn’t make it much past the halfway point, Aybar put four takedowns and ten near fall points on the scorecard.

No. 16 Calvert Hall’s fourth place showing was highlighted by the program ending a 13-year run without having a champion. No. 12 Sisto Averno III made quick work of No. 19 JJ Dimonte (McDonogh) with a 1:14 fall.

“There’s not a lot to talk about,” quipped Averno III. “My coach told me going into it, it’s been 13 years. So, I went out there, I had a job to do. It didn’t matter who stepped out on the mat. Coach told me, go out there and finish it quick, so that’s what I did.”

McDonogh’s No. 2 Noah Onkst claimed the 190lb title with a 3-1 decision of Gilman’s Mingo. Onkst defeated Mingo in their dual meet with an identical, 3-1, score.

“It’s great, last year I came up short,” Onkst elaborated. “I ended up getting second place, losing to Cole Myers. I came back and beat him in the finals at states. But it’s great to finally get a MIAA title under my belt. I wanted to get more aggressive, get a takedown quick, which I did. I switched it up a little bit. Showed him something new.”

No. 8 St. Frances Academy was participating in its first ever MIAA Wrestling Tournament. The Panthers finished sixth overall with 141 points. As a new program, they were inserted into the B-League, that point total gave them the B-Conference title.

To accomplish what coach Doug McClain has with a first-year program is unprecedented. The Panthers were nine points away from a top five finish.

“It’s a black and white thing, and right now we’re really in the gray area,” St. Frances coach Doug McClain continued. “We need to go through these experiences to prepare the team going forward, so I’m glad we had the opportunity to touch everybody and know where we need to go in the future. Winning the B title is good. I thought we could do so much better. But it’s just something else to work on. I am excited about winning it, but we can be so much better going forward.”

Wright’s silver at 215 was joined by bronze medalists, No. 18 Christian Wright (113) and No. 24 Derrick Grant (165). Standing in the number four position were Kamren Griffin (120, HM, PS 7), No. 22 Jayson Wright (138), Douglas Johnson (190, HM), and No. 21 James Carrington (285). Kychauun Simpson was fifth at 157, No. 23 Noah Shird, sixth at 126.

A sixth straight state title is on the table for St. Joe next weekend at the MIS Tournament, which is being held at Harford Community College again.

“We certainly will be challenged by Ryken and more than likely will not see many of their wrestlers until the finals,” said Barnabae. “Bonus points will be the key to winning the team title next week. Every wrestler on our team will need to contribute and bring his A game.”

Team Scores: (Top 15)

1-Mt. St. Joseph 270.5

2-Gilman 194.5

3-Loyola 186

4-Calvert Hall 165.5

5-Archbishop Spalding 150

6-St. Frances Academy 141

7-McDonogh 106.5

8-Gerstell Academy 85

9-John Carroll 61.5

10-Severn 57

11-Archbishop Curley 50

12-St. Paul’s 47.5

13-Boys’ Latin 37

14-Glenelg Country School 11

15-St. Mary’s 9


1st Place Match

Jayden Jackson (Loyola-Blakefield) 16-2, Fr. over Joseph Cooper (Mount Saint Joseph) 26-4, Fr. (UTB 3-2)

3rd Place Match

Eli Chesla (Archbishop Spalding) 39-10, Fr. over Anders Martin (Gilman School) 16-12, Fr. (Fall 3:28)

5th Place Match

Luke Layden (Severn School) 13-12, Fr. over Robbie Garcia (McDonogh School) 6-8, Fr. (Fall 0:36)


1st Place Match

Cayden Farver (Loyola-Blakefield) 21-6, So. over Henry Gessford (Archbishop Spalding) 26-15, So. (MD 16-4)

3rd Place Match

Christian Wright (St. Frances Academy) 18-5, Fr. over Reid Swirnow (McDonogh School) 5-8, Fr. (Fall 0:47)

5th Place Match

Sawyer Enright (Gilman School) 16-17, So. over Tim Stevens (Archbishop Curley) 10-18, Sr. (Fall 2:50)


1st Place Match

Carter Nogle (Mount Saint Joseph) 77-9, Jr. over Sean Garretson (Archbishop Spalding) 39-4, So. (Dec 7-4)

3rd Place Match

Zach Glory (Gilman School) 27-13, So. over Kamren Griffin (St. Frances Academy) 33-8, So. (Fall 2:10)

5th Place Match

Joshua Jackson (Calvert Hall College) 18-11, Fr. over Cal Bullers (McDonogh School) 8-7, Fr. (Fall 0:39)


1st Place Match

Coleman Nogle (Mount Saint Joseph) 122-8, Sr. over Vincent Paolucci (Archbishop Spalding) 30-6, Jr. (Fall 3:35)

3rd Place Match

Griffin Stewart (Calvert Hall College) 29-11, So. over Nick Melfi (Severn School) 22-3, So. (Fall 3:15)

5th Place Match

Josh Hale (Loyola-Blakefield) 23-14, Fr. over Noah Shird (St. Frances Academy) 34-13, So. (SV-1 4-2)


1st Place Match

Tyson Sherlock (Gilman School) 35-4, Jr. over Zane Leitzel (Archbishop Spalding) 39-8, Fr. (Dec 1-0)

3rd Place Match

Maximus Conley (Mount Saint Joseph) 32-12, Jr. over EJ Hill (Boys` Latin School) 3-2, So. (Dec 9-3)

5th Place Match

Jack Bruffey (Gerstell Academy) 27-7, So. over Aidan Kammar (Calvert Hall College) 18-15, So. (Fall 1:40)


1st Place Match

Emmitt Sherlock (Gilman School) 36-6, So. over Connor Bollinger (McDonogh School) 12-9, Sr. (MD 13-3)

3rd Place Match

Jaden Diggs (Mount Saint Joseph) 20-5, Fr. over Jayson Wright (St. Frances Academy) 31-13, Jr. (Dec 5-4)

5th Place Match

Evan Williams (Loyola-Blakefield) 6-10, Jr. over Seve Lombardo (Boys` Latin School) 2-3, So. (Dec 7-3)


1st Place Match

Judah Aybar (Loyola-Blakefield) 38-3, Jr. over Charlie Gessford (Archbishop Spalding) 3-1, Jr. (TF-1.5 3:40 (20-3))

3rd Place Match

Marcello Procopio (Mount Saint Joseph) 26-11, Sr. over Landon Bell (Gerstell Academy) 26-5, Jr. (Fall 2:57)

5th Place Match

Buck Franklin (Gilman School) 17-13, Jr. over Rhys Edwards (Glenelg Country School) 20-9, Jr. (Dec 7-3)


1st Place Match

Cameron Cannaday (Mount Saint Joseph) 49-14, So. over Sameer Nasir (Gerstell Academy) 24-7, Sr. (Fall 3:49)

3rd Place Match

Trevyn Suskowicz (John Carroll) 20-12, Sr. over Adam Malinowski (Calvert Hall College) 21-14, Sr. (Fall 1:46)

5th Place Match

Finn Smith (Loyola-Blakefield) 11-16, Jr. over Darren List (Archbishop Curley) 17-12, Jr. (Dec 3-2)


1st Place Match

Benjamin Smith (Mount Saint Joseph) 36-3, So. over Ian Moccia (John Carroll) 21-5, Sr. (Dec 6-1)

3rd Place Match

Michael Binder (Gerstell Academy) 28-3, Sr. over Allan Gushue (Gilman School) 26-14, Sr. (Dec 11-5)

5th Place Match

Kychauun Simpson (St. Frances Academy) 19-11, Fr. over Hayden Myers (Saint Paul`s School) 33-7, Fr. (M. For.)


1st Place Match

Sisto Averno III (Calvert Hall College) 26-8, Jr. over JJ Dimonte (McDonogh School) 15-11, Fr. (Fall 1:14)

3rd Place Match

Derrick Grant (St. Frances Academy) 30-12, So. over Noah Brannan (Loyola-Blakefield) 10-12, Fr. (Fall 0:37)

5th Place Match

George Bezhanishvilli (Saint Paul`s School) 11-4, Sr. over Roewn Myers (Gerstell Academy) 16-10, So. (Fall 1:38)


1st Place Match

Austin Lewis (Mount Saint Joseph) 65-16, Jr. over Nick Haughey (Gilman School) 20-14, Jr. (Dec 6-0)

3rd Place Match

Duncan Kammar (Calvert Hall College) 29-7, Sr. over Reid Gills (Severn School) 19-2, Jr. (Dec 7-6)

5th Place Match

Aaron Moccia (John Carroll) 24-9, Fr. over Jake Bieschke (Boys` Latin School) 3-3, Sr. (Fall 0:48)


1st Place Match

Noah Onkst (McDonogh School) 20-8, Jr. over Carson Mingo (Gilman School) 25-13, Jr. (Dec 3-1)

3rd Place Match

Howard Otto (Calvert Hall College) 20-9, Jr. over Douglas Johnson (St. Frances Academy) 31-10, So. (Dec 9-5)

5th Place Match

Aiden Bird (Loyola-Blakefield) 19-16, Jr. over Justin Brown (Saint Paul`s School) 19-16, Jr. (Fall 1:14)


1st Place Match

Bryce Phillips (Mount Saint Joseph) 87-6, Jr. over Camren Wright (St. Frances Academy) 32-3, Jr. (Fall 1:07)

3rd Place Match

Chance Miller (Loyola-Blakefield) 22-12, Sr. over Maxwell Garland (Calvert Hall College) 22-14, So. (Fall 3:28)

5th Place Match

Wesley Seba (Gilman School) 21-11, Sr. over Peter Jerdal (Archbishop Spalding) 2-3, Jr. (Dec 3-1)


1st Place Match

Gavin Bage (Mount Saint Joseph) 61-7, Sr. over Luke Randazzo (Loyola-Blakefield) 29-8, So. (Fall 5:32)

3rd Place Match

Maxwell Ohamuo (Calvert Hall College) 26-6, So. over James Carrington (St. Frances Academy) 37-7, Fr. (Dec 6-1)

5th Place Match

Gabriel Berzins (Saint Mary`s) 14-16, Jr. over Kevin Bright (Archbishop Curley) 14-13, So. (Dec 6-0)

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