In wrestling, it takes a precarious balance of individual talent and team depth to succeed as a dual meet team. Not only does a coach need a wrestler at all 14 weight classes, but they need 14 wrestlers of all different shapes and sizes who can win more than they lose.
So after Glenelg, the 2010-11 1A/2A dual meet state champion, graduated eight state qualifiers, including a state champ (Charles Walls) and three other state placewinners (David Pruett, 2nd; Nick Caffrey, 3rd, and Jack Borkowski, 4th), there was good reason to think that the Gladiators might struggle this season.
That group combined for more than 200 wins last year and an 80 percent winning percentage.
But as evidenced by Tuesday night's sweep of traditional powers Oakland Mills, 37-21, and Hammond, 63-9, Glenelg has once again found the winning formula.
"We don't have all the studs we've had, guys that you look at and say, 'Man, he's gonna get six (points),' but our guys are working hard. Kind of like we had last year. There's a good tradition through the school," second year coach Chris Rosas said. "What needs to happen is our guys that were kind of our second tier guys need to move up to that first tier. Our captains are really working hard to keep the room straight and we're working hard to keep the room straight and it's going well."
Glenelg was coming off of a tenth place finish out of 32 teams at the War on the Shore tournament in Salisbury over the weekend. Junior Sean Twigg (285), whose second place finish at War on the Shore was Glenelg's best performance, continued his hot start by winning both of his matches on Tuesday.
Twigg has been stuck behind veteran heavyweight Nick Hoyt the last two years, but was a JV county champion last year.
"I think Sean Twigg is going to be a big time competitor jumping into that heavyweight spot," Rosas said. "He's hit the weights, and he's pretty athletic for his size."
Also winning twice for the Gladiators were Ricky Gezelle (120), Austin Pagnotta (132), Joe Zoller (138), Ryan Carter (145), Tyler Asher (170), Glenn Lucas (195) and Justin Jung (220).
Zach Hensley (106), Matt Sileo (113) and Tony Farace (126) each won twice for Oakland Mills.
The success of Hensley, who was 41-2 last year, and Farace, a three-time state champion, is not a surprise. But Sileo, who is only a freshman, has benefited from drilling with Hensely and Farace, coach Brad Howell said.
Hammond, which lost to Oakland Mills, 39-30 in the third match of the tri-meet, was led by Jonathan Goodwin and Bryan Overton on Tuesday. Goodwin (152) needed only three minutes and 17 seconds of mat time to pin both of his opponents on Tuesday, and Overton (160) won hardfought decisions over Oakland Mills' David Ulysse and Glenelg's Anthony Pagnotta, two of the top wrestlers in the county.Glenelg 37, Oakland Mills 21
126: Tony Farace (OM) tf. Mike Buddock (G), 16-0/4:50. [0-5]
132: Austin Pagnotta (G) pin Michael Kolshi (OM), 1:47. [6-5]
138: Ryan Carter (G) wbf. [12-5]
145: Joe Zoller (G) dec. Ryan Andrews (OM), 3-0. [15-5]
152: David Ulysse (OM) dec. Troy Walter (G), 11-5. [15-8]
160: Anthony Pagnotta (G) maj. Jaron Smith (OM), 8-0. [19-8]
170: Tyler Asher (G) dec. Dylan Juskus (OM), 8-1. [22-8]