Southern wrestlers steal spotlight in opener

The Southern High School mascot is the Bulldog. For at least one night this wrestling season, however, a change to Top Dog was needed as Southern knocked off a pair of Anne Arundel County heavyweights in a home tri-meet with Arundel and Severna Park to open the 2017-18 season on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs (2-0) started that two-match sweep with a 43-31 victory against Arundel (1-1) as they used some key falls late in the match to pull away. Southern followed with a 51-21 win against the Falcons (0-2).

“The goal was to get two wins and we got two,” Southern coach Jeff Schrumm said. “Everyone worked hard and it paid off. I thought we wrestled well on top, but we gave up too many pins. We can’t keep giving up extra points.”

Southern’s Josh Merkel (160) and Averum White (170) opened the match with Arundel with back-to-back pins for a 12-0 lead that stood at 18-9 after five matches through another pin by Joe Ireland at 220 pounds. In between those pins, Terrance Scales (182) worked a thrilling 18-12, back-and-forth victory against Jojo Herring and Colin Tracy received a forfeit at 195 to keep the match close for the Wildcats.

Heavyweight Joey Miller (285), Bowen Wilson (106) and Devin Ball (113) powered Southern’s advantage to 31-9 with a 1-0 decision, an 11-0 major decision, and a fall in 1:49, respectively, before Arundel’s David Johnson (120) stopped that four-match run with a pin of Jackson Shiffer in 4:27 and started a streak of three straight falls to trim the deficit to 31-27 with three matches left.

After Johnson, Caleb Chavez and Joe Chavez scored pins in 3:22 and 21 seconds, respectively, at 126 and 132 pounds. Stemming the tide was Southern’s Tommy Miles (138), who turned a reversal very early in the second period into a pin at the 2:24-mark of the match for a 10-point lead that swelled to an insurmountable 16 points following a match-clinching fall by Hunter Anderson (145) in 1:50.

“It’s a pretty nice way to kick off the season,” Miles said. “If everyone keeps working hard, we might make regional duals.”

Miles gave up a takedown to open the second period, but he quickly switched spots with Amir Conwell before working the timely pin.

“I was hoping it would come down to that final match,” said Arundel coach Dwayne Vogel, on his 152-pound victory by Trevor Gagnon to end the match, “but it didn’t. We have a lot of work to do, but overall, I’m encouraged. I think we’ll have good team chemistry.”

The Wildcats opened the tri-match with a 42-32 win against Severna Park, using pins from Johnson (120), Scales (182), Josh Weiss (113), Tracy (195), Trevor Gagnon (152) and Steven Sturlaugson (170) to secure the victory. Caleb Chavez (126) received a forfeit in the victory.

Colin Shadowen (132), Griffin Strickler (138) and Harry Tompkins (285) secured pins in the Arundel setback.

“Staying off our back, we knew that was going to be an issue,” said Falcons coach Chad Vosburg, of his squad’s loss to Arundel. “We won seven of the 13 matches, but when you give up bonus points, you aren’t going to win.”

Southern used victories by White (170), Herring (182) and Ireland (195) to open up a 15-0 lead against Severna Park before a forfeit and two narrow decisions scored by Tompkins (3-1 in overtime) and John Chadwick (4-2 decision) closed the gap to 15-12.

Herring recorded a takedown with 12.2 seconds left in overtime to secure his victory, which looked fleeting as Ronald Schilipp looked poised for his own takedown for much the extra period.

Devin Ball (113) came right back for Southern, pinning Kevin Lee in 14 seconds. Shiffer (120) followed with a pin of Ryan Campbell in 5:25 and Michael Segreti (126) received a forfeit for a commanding 33-12 advantage.

Miles (138) and Anderson (145) put the match out of reach with back-to-back pins in 1:35 and 28 seconds, respectively, to push that lead to 45-12. Merkel closed the match with a pin at 160 pounds.

Shadowen produced a fall for the Falcons at 132 and Bohdan Andrulis produced a 10-6 decision at 152.

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