Catonsville topples Towson in season-opening wrestling meet

Catonsville may have opened the dual meet wrestling season with a 52-28 victory over Towson, but Catonsville coach Eric Warm wasn’t celebrating the margin of victory on Thursday evening. He knew his team was in a battle.

“They were a rebuilt team and they were definitely ready to wrestle today,” Warm said. "I give them credit. They had us on our heels.”

Clinging to a 24-22 lead with six matches remaining, Catonsville sophomore Connor Hurd trailed Towson’s Boris Sivak, 4-0, late in the second period.

A loss of any kind would have given Towson the lead.

Suddenly, with 12 seconds left in the period, Hurd scored a takedown and three back points and took a 5-4 lead into the final period.

Less than a minute into the third period, Hurd built the lead to 9-4 and secured a pin that gave the Comets a 30-22 advantage.

Towson’s Liam St. John answered with a pin of Kamal Mussalam to cut the margin back to 30-28, but Catonsville closed it out with pins from Sean Thrasher (145), Joseth Hylton (152) and Manny Miranda, and a 14-5 major decision from Adam Dye (170).

Hurd’s emergence was a bit of a surprise for Warm.

“He had to beat a couple older guys to win a starting spot,” Warm said. “He puts in work after practice and he’s a soccer player, so he is already in shape.”

The Comets had eight pins overall, including falls from freshman Andrew Southwell (106), sophomore Michael Thome (113), senior TJ Henry (195) and junior Jordan Reynolds (220).

Warm was pleasantly surprised at the pins by the lightweights.

“It’s nice to have some wins at the lightweights which I haven’t traditionally had in the past,” Warm said.

Towson registered four pins of its own, led by senior Nathan Nenoritas in the first match at 182 pounds.

“He is a good tough kid and he’s wrestled for me for four years and he has improved every year,” Towson coach Phil Simmonds said. “This year, he is a leader on the team and a captain.”

Nenoritas went to a pair of camps over the summer and spent a lot of time in the weight room with the football team and he expects a strong season with a goal of qualifying for the Maryland state championship meet.

After one match, he already likes the direction of the team.

“I think all the guys came out here and they definitely gave their best and even though we lost, I would still say I’m proud of them and they really did well.” Nenoritas said.

Jordan Thomson (285), Darren Cockerille (120) and St. John had pins and Jamil Garrett (126) earned a 10-2 decision that preceded Hurd’s comeback victory.

Catonsville’s Thrasher, a captain along with Miranda, Henry and Reynolds, felt the comeback pin by Hurd was a big lift for the wrestlers that followed, including himself.

“I was just mentally ready,” said Thrasher, who was wrestling up a weight class at 145. “I guess I was pumped up before I went out.”

“Sean was in complete control,” Warm said.

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