The only thing better than having a pair of dominant heavyweights on your wrestling team, is having a pair of heavyweights with a chip on their shoulders.
Catonsville High School seniors Jordan Reynolds (220) and Calloway Lee (285) are determined to improve on what they did last season, even though both had 30-win campaigns.
Reynolds wants Baltimore County and regional titles and a strong showing in the state touranment after finishing second in the county and Class 4A-3A North Region tournaments.
Reynolds won a consolation match in the state tournament and posted a 34-13 record, but he didn’t place in the top six.
Lee was third in the regional tournament, but was defeated in both of his matches at states and finished 30-18.
The Comets had eight regional qualifiers last season and Reynolds, Lee and sophomore Andrew Southwell (112) are the only ones who returned.
The three opened the season with pins in the Comets' 46-33 triumph at Dulaney on Dec. 5.
They will make their home debut at Catonsville High on Thursday, Dec. 12 against Kenwood at 6:30 p.m.
Against Dulaney, Lee decked David Wong in 10 seconds after the Lions had cut the Comets' lead to 34-33.
Reynolds’ fall took just 16 seconds.
“If we have a match coming down to the wire, the team is just going to rely on those two and let them carry us,” Catonsville coach Eric Warm said. “They are going to have very successful years. They work hard all season, play football, lift weights and train together.”
Dulaney coach Desi McNelis was aware of the dynamic duo.
“We knew we had to have a lead going into the last two because they had two very, very good kids,” he said.
Reynolds added 30 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and Warm is aware of his dedication.
“He’s pretty hungry,” Warm said. “He’s all business in practice.”
Lee is just as hungry and dangerous every time he gets on the mat.
“Calloway can beat anybody,” Warm said. “He’s got a low center of gravity and he’s tough to lock up.”
The Comets also got pins against Dulaney from senior Mike Thome (106), Southwell (113), junior Connor Hurd and senior Adam Dye (182) and a 10-6 decision by junior Kelly Lassiter (120).
Thome’s pin came in 27 seconds.
Last year, Thome wrestled at 113, but dropped a weight class this season after wrestling for the Maryland National team and competing in Fargo, N.D., during the summer at the junior national championships.
Dye wrestled as a sophomore, but missed last season after he tore the meniscus in his knee while playing football.
Southwell and Hurd are both regional qualifiers from last season and Warm has high expectations for both of them.
The rest of the Comets, who lost in the opening match against Dulaney, include sophomore Jarrod Martin (126), senior Kamal Musallam (138), junior Ben Metzler (145), sophomore Brian Taylor (152), senior Greg Eads (160), junior Kojo Danquah (170) and senior Talil Rogers (195).
Metzler was one of the top junior varsity wrestlers as a freshman, but he moved to India with his family as a sophomore, before returning this season.
Taylor and Eads are middleweights, where the Comets have the most depth.
Junior Luke Mercier (160) and senior Calvin Henderson (160), a transfer from Roanoke, Va., could make an impact.
“He (Henderson) missed the beginning of the season, but he has wrestled for four years,” Warm said.
Danquah was a junior varsity county champion and even though he lost to state qualifier Sean Hoffman at Dulaney, Warm sees the big picture.
“He’s a really hard-working kid and he has never missed a practice,” Warm said.
The Comets finished 11-3 in dual meets last season and earned a third seed in the four-team Class 4A-3A North Region team tournament.
Although Warm lost several veterans, the coach was was encouraged by the win over a tough Dulaney team.
“I didn’t think we were going to be as competitive as a dual-meet team, but we have a lot of quality wrestlers and could do well in tournaments,” he said.
Just like the coach has done in past seasons, he is challenging his team by entering in three tough tournaments again this season.
The Comets will compete in the Bear Cave Brawl at Oakdale High in Frederick, Patriot Classic, at Northern High, in Calvert County, and the Battle at the Base at Meade High.
“I do those tournaments to let my guys face the best wrestlers in the state,” Warm said.
It paid off last season in the regional tournament, when three Comets, who lost in the county tournament to Hereford wrestlers, avenged those defeats by beating them at regionals.
“That’s the goal of those tournaments, to learn from them and win later,” Warm said.