With just five Severn wrestlers suited up for its match with rival St. Mary’s, the afternoon’s victor was decided before anyone stepped on the mat.
With nine matches forfeited to the Saints by the Admirals, 54 points were already assured the visitors – guaranteeing them their first dual meet win over Severn since 2013. Nevertheless, the Admirals did find a moral victory in defeat, winning four of the five bouts that were held, three by pin.
Though the final score was 60-21, both teams were left feeling like winners afterward.
“It would have felt better if (there had been more matches), but that’s not Severn’s fault,” St. Mary’s coach Brad Best said. “Some years you have a lot of wrestlers on your team. Some years you don’t. That’s the way it is with schools our size.
“It’s been a while since we’ve won (against Severn), so it feels good,” added Best, whose team has won its first two dual meets.
Best said the fact that only five of his wrestlers were able to compete was disappointing, but added that with six experienced seniors back this season he expected his squad to do well overall.
Severn normally dresses nine for a match, so the Admirals are used to wrestling themselves from out of a deep deficit. The situation was direr for this match though because two athletes were injured and two others were traveling with their families.
“We went with the five that we had. I knew we didn’t have a chance to win but was happy with the results we got from the guys we did have,” Severn coach Doug West said. “I knew we weren’t going to win on the scoreboard just because of the numbers, but with it being a rivalry I wanted my guys to go out and give it their best shot.”
St. Mary’s was awarded forfeits in the 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 152, 160, 220 and 285 pounds and led 30-0 from five straight forfeits before the first faceoff took place at 138. Severn won the first four matches where there was competition, before John Carl won by fall at 195 to prevent a Severn sweep of the matches that were held. In between there were two more forfeits, and two more ended the night.
“That was his first match,” said Best of Carl’s victory.
“We moved some kids around. Some of our better wrestlers didn’t get to wrestle because of forfeits, but we got to give some of the other guys more experience,” added Best.
Winning for Severn were Brad LaBella with a second-round pin at 138, Peter Jensen by a 11-7 decision at 145, Bryan Arteen with a pin just over a minute into his match at 170 and senior team co-captain Jacob Jarosz, by a third-period pin at 185 pounds.
“We won four of our five matches and the one loss was a freshman (Darian Harrington) who is still building his talents. These guys wanted to win their matches for the school. I hope they are happy because I’m happy,” West said.
Though his pin did not come until midway through the third period, Jarosz dominated his opponent with three takedowns and two near falls, showing the form that has him ranked as one of the best in the state at both 170 and 182 pounds. According to his coach, Jarosz is ranked among the top five in the state in both weight classes.
“Going into this match we knew we were bound to lose no matter how we wrestled, so as a team we made it our goal to win every match by pin. The team wrestled pretty well,” Jarosz said. “Looking to take this into our next tournament.”
Jarosz said because Severn’s numbers are too small to win most of its matches, the team places more emphasis on its tournament appearances.
“We’ll try hard in our dual meets, but our focus is to get people to place high in the tournaments we wrestle in,” Jarosz said. “A couple weeks ago we wrestled in the Ray Oliver tournament (at McDonogh). With just five guys, we placed 12th in a big field that had some of the more prestigious programs in the state.”
The Saints will compete in the Mount Mat Madness tournament over Christmas break at Mount St. Joseph.