Reid Bloomfield had a good feeling going into this weekend’s 4A/3A East Regional wrestling tournament that his Broadneck squad would advance at least seven of its nine regional qualifiers to next week’s state championships.
He hit the nail on the head.
The Bruins advanced exactly seven wrestlers to the state championships next week. They include three regional finalists and 126-pound East Region champion Nick Schardt.
“It’s great having that experience and getting some good seeds in the state championships,” Bloomfield said. “They’ve worked hard and they’re peaking at the right time. We had some tough goes earlier in the year, matches we felt we could have done better in, and we knew we were heading in the right spot and we’re peaking exactly where we want to be peaking, so I’m proud of the kids.”
Schardt was one of three champions hailing from Anne Arundel County. He took his title on a pin in two minutes, 43 seconds. Schardt, a junior, is making his third trip to the state championships.
“I need to focus a lot more this year and go have fun more and stop thinking, stop putting so much pressure on myself at the tournament,” Schardt said. “I need to just go out and let it fly.”
South River’s Isaac Barber took home the 113-pound title on a 5-3 decision. He is a sophomore going to the tournament for the second time.
“I think I have a good chance of winning,” said Barber of his chances at the state championships. “I’m one of the (top seeds) of my region, so I’ll have an easier way, I guess to put it, than (I would getting seeded) fourth.”
Old Mill’s Jason Smith took home the 182-pound title on a 6-1 decision.
“(Leonardtown’s Steven Bieshelt) beat me before,” said Smith, who went to the state championships last year. “I just needed to come back strongly. I had a better gameplan this time. … Hopefully I can get to the finals and beat everybody on my way.”
Seven county schools are sending wrestlers to the state championships, led by Old Mill with eight. The Patriots are sending Trinity Killip (106), Ryheam Tull (120), Robbie Fleming (152), Boris Beltran (160), Levi Garren (170), Smith (182 pounds), Cortez Floyd (195) and Nasir Bakare (285).
Broadneck is sending Schardt, Michael Garlington (138 pounds), Owen Joyce (145 pounds), Mack Groah (160 pounds), Zach Doyle (170 pounds), Vinny Facciponti (195 pounds) and Noah Genovese (220 pounds).
South River is sending five wrestlers to the state championships. Barber, Calvin Brumfield (132 pounds), Trenton Puccinelli (145 pounds), Alex Peterson (220 pounds) and Ka’Ron Lewis (285 pounds).
Seth Davis (120 pounds), Rodney Jones (132 pounds) and Deshawn Madison (195 pounds) qualified from North County.
Arundel is sending Trevor Gagnon (138 pounds) and Terrence Scales (182 pounds).
Also qualifying were Harry Tompkins (285) of Severna Park and Kyle Preston (138) of Northeast.
Seahawks coach John Klessinger was pleased with the resolve he saw from his wrestlers.
“(I’m) pretty happy,” Klessinger said. “We knew coming in that we had five or six that could qualify. We had five (qualify), which is right where we expected. I thought we wrestled pretty tough overall and the competition was good. Obviously, (Barber) did great … it wasn’t his best match, but he found a way to win, and you always like those kind of matches. … To get are other guys to battle back and qualify, it was a good day. We have a lot to build on and I expect next week, if they go out and wrestle the same way, we can do pretty well.”
“Considering the fact that last year, my season ended in the first match of the season with a dislocated elbow, I have high hopes to go to states and get some upsets and hopefully take first,” said Northeast’s Preston.
The state championships will take place on Friday and Saturday at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.