St. Frances (No. 8 in the Maryland State Wrestling Association’s State Rankings) and No. 16 Calvert Hall were points within each other going into Saturday’s action of the SnOverlea Invitational at Overlea High School in Baltimore County. As the results went onto the brackets, the Panthers started to enjoy some breathing room. As morning changed to afternoon and the semifinals played out, St. Frances jumped out to a 70.5 point lead, 216.5-146.

“We tried to stay on top of St. Frances as much as we could up in the front of the tournament,” Calvert Hall coach Karl Green said. “But they separated from us in the semifinals. We still knew we had almost the entire team left to wrestle back.”

Most people in the gym probably figured the team race was over at that point. The Panthers pushed nine of their ten place winners to the finals, so the bulk of their team points were already in the bank. The Cardinals on the other hand, only advanced four grapplers to the finals, but had nine guys in the consolation bracket.

St. Frances Academy's Ladaynean Simpson works for back points against Patapsco's Izaiah Wright (145). (Billy Buckheit)

Eight of them would make their way into placement position, throwing points on the board at a whiplash pace, with bonus points flowing, Calvert Hall fought their way back to relevancy, and was within striking distance of St. Frances as the final round began to tell its story.

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“Coming through the wrestle-backs we were up big, but I knew they had a lot of guys that were going to place,” said St. Frances Coach Doug McClain. “So, I knew it was really going to come down to the last match. But I told everybody that every point counts. We got to pin to win.”

When unranked Maxwell Garland upset No. 19 Tori Smith (Oakland Mills) in the bronze medal bout at 220, the Cardinals were within 1.5 points of the Panthers, 245.5-244. This set up a heavyweight battle that was literally, a winner takes all situation. The victor would clinch the tournament title for his squad.

The heavyweight battle of St. Frances' James Carrington and Calvert Hall's Maxwell Ohamuo. (Billy Buckheit)

The drama was thick, and there was no real favorite as both adversaries were next to each other in the state rankings, St. Frances’ James Carrington is No. 16, Maxwell Ohamou, No. 17. As the rankings would suggest, this was a tight match. With both wrestlers looking like they could come out ahead. It wasn’t easy, and Ohamou was attacking at the end, but Carrington posted a 5-3 decision.

“(I was just thinking) win, do the best I can for my team,” Carrington said. “I knew my team needed it (the win) and I did what was best for my team. We won, all as a collective team, everybody did their part.”

“Even a couple matches before that at 195,” McClain added. “We have a really good freshman, and we were able to put Doug Johnson down to 182 for this tournament. And James, our heavyweight, is a freshman as well and he showed a lot of guts sticking that out like that. So, I’m proud of him.”

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One match prior to that showdown, No. 2 Camren Wright did all he could to ensure a Panther victory, planting Dulaney’s Pedro Cruz in the opening frame, 1:46.

“I just needed to go in there and win for the team,” Wright explained. “I want that trophy. (I wanted to) dominate, just dominate. It’s always good to win. I’m just glad we came out here and did what we had to do.”

Christian Wright (no relation to Jayson or Camren) opened St. Frances’ run of finalists at 113. Wright is ranked No. 18 in the state, while his foe, Springbrook’s Ricky Dixon, was ranked No. 16.

Wright pushed the pace from the outset, eventually taking a 9-5 lead into the third period. Dixon chose neutral and attempted a throw, which Wright slipped and threw Dixon to his back for the fall mid-way through the period, 5:05.

“I was just thinking, I gotta win the match,” explained Wright. “I got to get it done. I’ve been working hard, and I’ve got to get it done. I thought, I got it right now, I just have to finish it. I got the win and now I have to keep working. It’s not done yet.”

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In the middle rounds, No. 13 Ladaynean Simpson (145) used a workmanlike performance to outduel Christian’s older brother, Patapsco’s Izaiah Wright, and book a 7-2 victory.

Coming home with silver were No. 23 Kamren Griffin (120), Jayson Wright (138, Honorable Mention), No. 20 Chase Carpintieri (152), Douglas Johnson (182, No. 24 at 195), and Jae’oyn Williams (195).

Carpintieri teched No. 19 Chase Lineberry (Aberdeen) in the semis. Lineberry defeated Carpintieri in the third place match at the Battle by the Bridge in early January. Noah Shird (HM) was fourth at 126lbs.

“I’m really satisfied with how we wrestled,” reflected McClain. “We redeemed a lot of our individual losses from earlier in the season. I’m really proud and blessed with how we performed.”

Calvert Hall placed 12 of its 13 entries. Four reached the finals, but they could muster one lone champion, No. 7 Duncan Kammar (182). Kammar helped his team’s cause as much as he could, and did it quickly, putting a 47 second pin of the Panther’s Johnson on the bracket.

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“I was thinking I needed to go out there and get a pin,” Kammar remarked. “I got it done. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the tournament win, but I did my part, so I can be happy with that. I thought it was a good performance. He was a lot bigger than me. (It was) a tall task but he tried to throw me, that’s what I’m strong with so I was happy about that.”

Runner-ups for the Cardinals were No. 16 Byron Baldwin (160), No. 9 Sisto Averno III (170), and Ohamuo.

“Our guys had to wrestle back,” Green added. “That’s the one thing that we told our guys, is every point for the rest of the tournament is going to make the difference, and we just have to go from there, and play it ear by ear. We won some big matches. We got a lot of pins, and it just came down to that last match. It was fun.”

The following Cardinals placed third, No. 13 Griffin Stewart (126), who pinned a St. Frances rival (Shird) for his bronze, Aidan Kammar (132), Howard Otto (195), and Garland.

Joshua Jackson landed in the fourth position at 120lbs. Standing in fifth were No. 24 Matt Lombardo (138) and Mason Janicki (145). Adam Malinowski worked his way to a sixth place showing at 152.

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Hereford’s No. 6 Owen Bell was in the marquee bout of the championship round with No. 8 Ky-El Ali (Woodlawn). Both were Baltimore County champs and state placers last year, who were undefeated on the season.

Hereford's Owen Bell pins Woodlawn's Ky-El Ali in the 126lb final. (Billy Buckheit)

A scoreless first gave the feeling that this was going to be a chess match, but Bell changed the theme shortly into the second chapter, decking Ali, 2:45. Bell used pins of :41 and :51 seconds to reach the finals, which contributed to him being named Outstanding Lightweight.

“In the finals, I knew he was really good on his feet,” Bell said. “I kinda just focused on being in good position. I tried to get to my stuff. He was kinda shutting it down, so we had a tight match in the first period. I’m not really thinking too much, just go out there and wrestle. I’m excited. It’s just another award. I would have been fine without it to be honest.”

On the other side of the scale, New Town’s Maleek Ayonrinde (195) entered the finals with two pins and a tech-fall in his pocket. A third pin in the finals, 2:53, over St. Frances’ Williams propelled the second-year wrestler to Outstanding Upper Weight honors.

Outstanding Upper Weight Maleek Ayonrinde - New Town (Billy Buckheit)

“Last year was difficult, real difficult,” Ayonrinde elaborated. “I was wrestling 170. I was sluggish. I didn’t take no shots at all. I had no confidence. It was my first year. It was hard for me to place at regionals. I placed third at regionals. This year, I’m wrestling 195 and I just won the SnOverlea Tournament. I’m really proud of myself because I came a long way and I built myself to be like this, and I’m really proud of myself. This just makes me feel good.”

Third place Oakland Mills (152 points) went two-for-two in the finals. At 132, Mason Cowell (No. 24 at 145) jumped out to an early 6-4 edge, and at times looked close to putting away Overlea’s Tahikwa Theophile, but the Falcon would not fold. Cowell used five near-fall points in the second period to go up, 13-4.

Theophile mounted a furious comeback in the final sequence that had the crowd going crazy. Fatigue began to set in for Cowell, as Theophile’s pace was relentless. The senior simply ran out of time, though, getting a takedown with only a few seconds left as the clock expired with Cowell the victor, 18-17.

Joe Clark (HM at 170) would not be involved in that type of drama at 160, but emotions got tense as Clark began to dominate Calvert Hall’s Baldwin. Clark was sharp throughout the match, authoring his upset on the back of 4 takedowns and six near-fall points, rolling to a surprisingly lopsided 18-4 win.

“I just wanted to get out there,” Clark offered. “I knew I could beat the kid. I wanted to go out there and score as many points as possible. I was trying to keep my cool. I just got caught up in the match. I apologized to him afterwards. I didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I just got caught up in the heat of the moment. (I’m) ready for states, ready for counties, ready for regions. I want three more champ titles.”

Centennial’s defending 3A/4A state champion, No. 5 Calvin Kraisser, took on a gamely Jayson Wright in the 138lb final. They entered the second period with goose eggs on the board. Wright chose neutral and Kraisser scored the takedown for the 2-0 advantage. In the final frame, Kraisser turned up the pressure, posting six points (four on near falls), to work to an 8-0 major decision.

Outstanding Lightweight Owen Bell - Hereford (Billy Buckheit)

No. 14 Toby Eveleth (Catonsville) captured the 120lb crown with two seconds left on the clock of the beginning period, flattening the Panther’s Griffin, 1:58.

Washington County’s Smithsburg made their long trip home more enjoyable by claiming two golds. No. 9 Clark Smith (152), who is a 1A/2A state placer, won his title with ease over St. Frances’ Carpintieri, 17-3.

No. 20 James Brashears (170) pulled off a big upset of Calvert Hall’s Averno (No. 9). It was a back-and forth affair, with the first period ending tied at six. The middle section ended at eleven all. Brashears chose down for the final frame and executed a reversal, after an Averno escape, the Leopard got a final takedown to gain the 14-11 ending tally.

Springbrook will haul one titlist back to Montgomery County in 106lber Sean Torres, who opened the finals with a bang, pinning Hereford’s Brandon Ramsel, 1:29.

Team Scores (top 10)

1-St. Frances Academy 249.5

2-Calvert Hall 244

3-Oakland Mills 152

4-Springbrook 135.5

5-Hereford 108.5

6-Smithsburg 97

7-Centennial 92.5

8-Lansdowne 81

9-Woodlawn 70

10-Catonsville 69

106

1st Place Match

Sean Torres (Springbrook) 22-4, So. over Brandon Ramsel (Hereford) 16-9, Fr. (Fall 1:29)

3rd Place Match

David Small (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) 21-5, Fr. over Anthony Stanton (Patapsco) 14-4, Fr. (Fall 4:57)

5th Place Match

Mathew Cowen (Oakland Mills) 9-7, Fr. over Jackson Cosola (Fallston) 12-16, Fr. (Dec 2-0)

113

1st Place Match

Christian Wright (St Frances Academy) 13-4, Fr. over Ricky Dixon (Springbrook) 21-3, Jr. (Fall 5:05)

3rd Place Match

Michael Cowen (Oakland Mills) 16-10, So. over Scott Snyder (Lansdowne) 13-9, Sr. (Fall 4:17)

5th Place Match

Kaden Dietrich (Smithsburg) 20-11, Fr. over Jayden Green (New Town) 21-8, . (For.)

120

1st Place Match

Toby Eveleth (Catonsville) 25-2, Jr. over Kamren Griffin (St Frances Academy) 28-6, So. (Fall 1:58)

3rd Place Match

Adam Mathew (Springbrook) 20-7, Jr. over Joshua Jackson (Calvert Hall College) 17-10, Fr. (Fall 1:47)

5th Place Match

Andy Burton (Hereford) 19-8, Fr. over Camari Gilliam (Milford Mill Academy) 14-9, Jr. (Fall 3:54)

126

1st Place Match

Owen Bell (Hereford) 26-0, Sr. over Ky-El Ali (Woodlawn) 20-1, Sr. (Fall 2:45)

3rd Place Match

Griffin Stewart (Calvert Hall College) 21-10, So. over Noah Shird (St Frances Academy) 28-10, So. (Fall 3:46)

5th Place Match

Glen Roe (Boys` Latin School) 18-18, Sr. over Bolden Bernard (Lansdowne) 13-9, . (Dec 8-5)

132

1st Place Match

Mason Cowell (Oakland Mills) 25-3, Sr. over Tahikwa Theophile (Overlea) 23-3, Sr. (Dec 18-17)

3rd Place Match

Aidan Kammar (Calvert Hall College) 20-10, So. over Ky-Ron Ali (Woodlawn) 16-2, Fr. (Fall 2:51)

5th Place Match

EJ Hill (Boys` Latin School) 21-14, So. over Derrel Davis (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) 20-7, Fr. (MD 8-0)

138

1st Place Match

Calvin Kraisser (Centennial) 22-2, So. over Jayson Wright (St Frances Academy) 27-10, Jr. (MD 8-0)

3rd Place Match

Sean Lippman (Lansdowne) 19-3, . over Liam Peterson (Aberdeen) 17-5, So. (Fall 0:37)

5th Place Match

Matt Lombardo (Calvert Hall College) 18-10, Sr. over Raul Rodriguez (Oakland Mills) 23-7, Fr. (Fall 0:30)

145

1st Place Match

Ladaynean Simpson (St Frances Academy) 34-3, So. over Izaiah Wright (Patapsco) 19-5, So. (Dec 7-2)

3rd Place Match

Logan Ryan (Smithsburg) 25-6, Sr. over Rhys Edwards (Glenelg Country School) 17-6, Jr. (Dec 8-2)

5th Place Match

Mason Janicki (Calvert Hall College) 12-10, So. over Ezra Ruiz-Lebron (Centennial) 19-7, Sr. (Fall 1:32)

152

1st Place Match

Clark Smith (Smithsburg) 28-2, Sr. over Chase Carpintieri (St Frances Academy) 27-7, So. (MD 17-3)

3rd Place Match

Dom Garbarino (Hereford) 23-8, Jr. over Chase Lineberry (Aberdeen) 20-9, So. (Dec 3-0)

5th Place Match

Chase Swiger (Lansdowne) 18-6, Fr. over Adam Malinowski (Calvert Hall College) 17-12, Sr. (Fall 2:09)

160

1st Place Match

Joe Clark (Oakland Mills) 21-3, Jr. over Byron Baldwin (Calvert Hall College) 14-5, So. (MD 15-4)

3rd Place Match

Noah Whipkey (Centennial) 19-6, Sr. over Lincoln Wendel (Springbrook) 21-5, So. (Dec 8-1)

5th Place Match

Sorensen Wynn (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute) 17-2, Sr. over Ethan Royster (Milford Mill Academy) 10-7, So. (Fall 2:11)

170

1st Place Match

James Brashears (Smithsburg) 29-2, Sr. over Sisto Averno III (Calvert Hall College) 19-8, Jr. (Dec 14-11)

3rd Place Match

Roman Kaminski (Dulaney) 18-5, Jr. over Mason Ritter (Catonsville) 22-8, Sr. (Dec 4-0)

5th Place Match

Sagbe Sieh (Springbrook) 21-5, Sr. over Adam Keever (Hereford) 10-5, Fr. (Dec 9-3)

182

1st Place Match

Duncan Kammar (Calvert Hall College) 22-5, Sr. over Douglas Johnson (St Frances Academy) 25-8, So. (Fall 0:47)

3rd Place Match

Brighton Barker (Oakland Mills) 23-6, Jr. over Jermaine Henderson (New Town) 15-3, Sr. (Fall 3:16)

5th Place Match

Ibrabheem Adebowale (Woodlawn) 21-8, Sr. over Jake Bieschke (Boys` Latin School) 17-9, Sr. (MD 10-2)

195

1st Place Match

Maleek Ayonrinde (New Town) 24-3, Jr. over Jae`oyn Williams (St Frances Academy) 7-1, Fr. (Fall 2:53)

3rd Place Match

Howard Otto (Calvert Hall College) 14-5, Jr. over Darius Evans (Dulaney) 13-4, So. (Fall 2:54)

5th Place Match

Tristan Yee (Centennial) 13-12, Sr. over Ismaila Badje (Springbrook) 18-9, Jr. (Dec 6-3)

220

1st Place Match

Camren Wright (St Frances Academy) 28-2, Jr. over Pedro Cruz (Dulaney) 22-3, Jr. (Fall 1:46)

3rd Place Match

Maxwell Garland (Calvert Hall College) 18-10, So. over Tori Smith (Oakland Mills) 20-9, Sr. (Dec 4-1)

5th Place Match

John Davis (New Town) 19-7, So. over Austin Loss (Fallston) 22-8, Sr. (Fall 2:24)

285

1st Place Match

James Carrington (St Frances Academy) 33-5, Fr. over Maxwell Ohamuo (Calvert Hall College) 17-5, So. (Dec 5-3)

3rd Place Match

Luis Funes-Hernandez (Overlea) 22-2, Sr. over Amory Hills (Milford Mill Academy) 15-4, So. (TB-1 2-1)

5th Place Match

Anthony Nguyen (Lansdowne) 14-9, Jr. over Shawn Traynum (Catonsville) 13-7, Sr. (For.)