Hereford High produced four individual champions and captured its first Baltimore County wrestling tournament team title since 2009 and coach Ron Causey couldn’t have been more ecstatic.
“These boys came to wrestle this weekend and they wrestled beautifully,” Causey said. “I’m very proud of these boys. These are great kids. They have a great work ethic, great attitude and great desire.”
Anthony Genco (113 pounds), Billy Hess (170), Brock Turnbaugh (195) and Mike Swiger (220) all won individual titles to help the Bulls (200.5 points) hold off three-time defending champ Owings Mills (186).
Hereford’s biggest surprise champ was fourth-seeded sophomore Hess, who upended third-seeded Trevar Jackson, of Catonsville, 7-0. “This whole season I’ve kind of been the underdog,” Hess said. “I haven’t won a tournament and I just went out there and I controlled the match.”
Genco earned an 18-9 major decision over Brandon Bekar, of Owings Mills, and Swiger pinned Catonsville’s Jordan Reynolds in the third period.
Turnbaugh made Bull fans sweat as he scored a takedown with 15 seconds left in the third period for 4-2 win over Catonsville’s Jordan Reynolds.
“I just gut it out,” Turnbaugh said. “I get that feeling where if I don’t do something now, it doesn’t look too good for me later, so I took a chance and it ended coming out in my favor.”
Hereford also had four third-place winners in Andrew Lopez (126), Kevin Wheeler (132), Dylan Grey (152) and Joe Miller (182).
“We were 18 and 1 in our last 19 matches here and that is when the competition gets tougher,” Causey said.
Owings Mills, who was gunning for its eighth county title since 2001, had three county champions in Jake Rendelman (106), Antwan Reddick (152) and Komil Jaraev (182).
Joining Bekar as finalists were Isaiah Mack (120) and Demetrius Johnson (145).
Johnson (32-1), who boasts a career record of 141-30, came into his match with Dulaney’s Jacob Asher unbeaten, but fell 3-2 after Asher scrambled for an escape with 1:33 left in the third period.
“I knew I was the underdog, but I just wrestled my hardest,” Asher said.
Perry Hall heavyweight Mike Green (35-0), a defending state champion, kept his unblemished mark intact with a first period pin of Milford Mill’s Steven Gbale.
“My goal was, if I could, end it as soon as I could,” Green said.
Another defending state champion, Western Tech’s Tejon Anthony (132), won his second straight county crown with a 15-4 major decision over Perry Hall’s DJ Grindle.
“It’s a good achievement, but overall, it’s just a small step towards a bigger goal, which is states,” Anthony said.