A year after Catonsville was dominated by Milford Mill, the Comets exacted revenge with a 53-15 shellacking on senior night at Catonsville High on Thursday evening.
Four of the seniors won with sweat on the mat and one was awarded a forfeit victory as the Comets erased the memory of last year’s 54-21 loss to Milford Mill (9-3) and improved to 10-1 in dual meets.
Coach Eric Warm was most impressed with the effort of senior TJ Henry (25-7), who pinned Nathaniel Dunchie in 3:00 at 195 pounds.
“That was a really good wrestler and not only did TJ control the match, everything that kid threw at him, TJ countered,” Warm said. “TJ had him on his back twice and he just dominated the entire match.”
His win bumped the Comets’ lead to 27-0 and they cruised to victory.
“I just wanted to do the best I could after what they did to us last year,” said Henry, whose victory followed an 11-9 decision by Catonsville senior Trevar Jackson (21-8).
“This win was for my team and for my parents,” Jackson said. “Senior night is a great night and all the parents were here to see the team and that’s a great thing for them.”
Senior Joseth Hylton (160) earned Catonsville’s first pin as his fall of Adam Abdulani followed junior Greg Eads’ 12-10 victory in the opening match at 145, and junior Brandon King’s forfeit victory at 152.
Hylton (25-8) credits Catonsville’s vigorous tournament schedule for making the Comets a much better dual-meet squad.
“Those tournaments are the real deal,” Hylton said. “I thank coach Warm for that because he’s giving us a different experience for wrestling.”
The individual losses in tough tournaments have also brought the team together in dual meets, where Catonsville’s only loss was 37-33 at Owings Mills.
“This is a team and we are all family,” Hylton said.
Senior Manny Miranda, one have four captains, instilled that over the summer.
“Manny pulled these guys together in the off-season and had them running and doing stuff together to build team unity,” Warm said. “I have a leader in the room and the guys feed off it.”
Miranda (18-11), like Hylton, bumped up a weight class (170) and dispatched Jordan Simms, 9-4.
Senior Sean Thrasher (16-7) won a forfeit at 138 and senior TJ McDonald lost an 18-8 decision to Evan Laryea at 126.
Although they didn’t wrestle against Milford, seniors Deion Young, Adam Sattler, Yasin El Hazz-Jabbar and Norris Holloway were honored before the match.
Underclassmen also contributed heavily to the victory over Milford.
Freshman Andrew Southwell (106) and junior Ryan Whittington (120) won with first-period pins.
Junior Michael Thome (113) won a 10-9 decision and sophomore Connor Hurd (132) won a 17-2 technical fall decision.
Hurd (13-11) has learned from the veterans in the wrestling room.
“I feel like I belong here and it’s natural that I think I’m going to do well,” Hurd said. “I’ve got to thank coach Warm and the seniors for making me that much better of a wrestler.”
Catonsville junior Jordan Reynolds (25-8) was pinned by Devin Fesenfeld at 220, while trailing 1-0 midway through the third period, and junior heavyweight Calloway Lee lost to Steven Gbale, 4-2, in double-overtime.
The Comets are at Kenwood on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and they host a regular-season-ending tri-meet against Oakland Mills and Winters Mill on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Winters Mill is the defending Class 3A-4A state champion and top-ranked squad in the state rankings.
Before the Milford match, the Comets were third in the regional dual meet standings behind Urbana and Hereford and ahead of Patterson.
The top four teams in the standings make the regional dual meet tournament.