As Reservoir 170-pounder Wes Beattie watched teammate A.J. Strott wrestle Oakland Mills' Dylan Juskus Thursday night, he knew that there were two possible scenarios. If Strott, a freshman, were to beat Juskus, Reservoir would clinch team victory. But if Strott were to lose, the entire outcome of the match would be on Beattie's shoulders.
Strott took a 4-3 lead into the second period, but Juskus scored six second-period nearfall points to earn the 12-4 major decision, and the pressure was on for Beattie.
"I see A.J. out there winning then I see him (losing) and I said 'it's all me now'," Beattie said. "I'm not that good under pressure."
Luckily for Beattie and the Gators, actions speak louder than words.
The junior defeated Oakland Mills sophomore Jaron Smith, 8-6, to clinch the 33-28 win for Reservoir.
"I've never actually beaten a ranked kid before, so it feels good to be right up there with them," said Beattie, who won 24 matches and placed fourth in the county at 145 pounds last year.
Oakland Mills' Smith is no ordinary sophomore wrestler. Last year, as a freshman, he won 30 matches, was a regional finalist, and placed fifth at the state tournament at 145 pounds.
"I heard he had good legs so as soon he got those legs in I was terrified," Beattie said. "He's (also) good on bottom. I knew he wanted it, but I just had to want it more. I heard my team cheering for me so I had to keep it going ... I had to win."
Beattie took an early lead on a quick takedown and nearfall, but Smith had tied it before the round was over with a reversal and two backpoints of his own. Beattie caught Smith on his back again in the second period, but Smith hit another reversal to make the score 8-6 in favor of Beattie heading into the third period.
With top position, Beattie had to hold Smith down for two full minutes to secure victory for himself and his team. But that task was much easier said than done.
"I just about died," Beattie said. "My hands were giving out. I had to grab that ankle and lace it and do everything I could."
Earlier in the match, it was all Oakland Mills. The Scorpions broke open an 18-0 lead on back-to-back decisions by Robby Happy (182) and Dominick Clarke (195) — on a last second takedown — a forfeit at 220, and a 52-second pin by heavyweight Roy Kadje.
But the Gators, stacked at the lower weights, won five of the next six weight classes — Tyler Ponton (106, pin), Troy Kilcarr (112, pin), Joe Quattrone (126, pin), Mason Kilcarr (132, pin) and Hans Wicklein (138) — including four pins, to take the lead, 27-21.
Oakland Mills' only win in that stretch came from defending county champion and state finalist, Zach Hensley (120), who came away with a 7-4 decision after a wild tussle with Trent Kilcarr.
"I was actually very impressed with Trent," Reservoir coach Andrew McIntyre said.
At that point, Reservoir could have run away with the momentum, but Oakland Mills' Bradley Montecino (145) and Reservoir's Stephen Sims (152) traded off hardfought decisions in the next two bouts to set up climactic finish.
"Under the circumstances, it feels great," Beattie said. "I'm excited for the rest of the year."
Last year, Oakland Mills defeated Reservoir, 40-30, two days after Christmas.
Reservoir 33, Oakland Mills 28
182: Robby Happy (OM) dec. Brian Glueck (Re), 10-4. [0-3]
195: Dominick Clarke (OM) dec. Michael Sullivan (Re), 4-3. [0-6]
220: Joey Celtnieks (OM) wbf. [0-12]
285: Roy Kadje (OM) pin Nick Busia (Re), :52. [0-18]
106: Tyler Ponton (Re) pin Julian Capino (OM), 1:40. [6-18]
113: Troy Kilcarr (Re) pin Dakota Thompson (OM), 1:17. [12-18]
120: Zach Hensley (OM) dec. Trent Kilcarr (Re), 7-4. [12-21]
126: Joe Quattrone (Re) pin Cody Thomas (OM), 4:48. [18-21]
132: Mason Kilcarr (Re) pin Aaron Wood (OM), :46. [24-21]
138: Hans Wicklein (Re) dec. Matt Claxton (OM), 3-1. [27-21]
145: Bradley Montecino (OM) dec. Paul Quattrone (Re), 4-0. [27-24]
152: Stephen Sims (Re) dec. Nerio Bunn (OM), 8-4. [30-24]
160: Dylan Juskus (OM) maj. A.J. Strott (Re), 12-4. [30-28]
170: Wes Beattie (Re) dec. Jaron Smith (OM), 8-6. [33-28]
Around the league
Mt. Hebron 36, Tuscarora 33
182: Alex Hanson (MH) dec. Matt Meagher (Tu), 6-3.
195: Brennan Stup (Tu) pin Andrew Ansaldi (MH), 1:06.
220: Ryan Hassan (MH) pin Jacob Fazio (Tu), :22.
285: Zadok Miller (Tu) pin Nicholas Suri (MH), 2:10.
106: Jordan Kadan (Tu) pin Josh Kendrick (MH), 6:00.
113: Jeff Hayden (MH) pin Nathan Ramos (Tu), 2:43.
120: Brandon Wilson (MH) pin Sunni Sheron (Tu), :11.
126: Mark Gugliemini (Tu) maj. Alexander Bisant (MH), 14-2.
132: Michael Pause (Tu) pin Zach Stewart (MH), 2:45.
138: Chase DaMaille (Tu) dec. Jake Norton (MH), 6-0.
145: Connor Strunk (MH) pin Wes Wenzlaff (Tu), 2:43.
152: Joe Kendrick (MH) wbf.
160: Nick Lucchesi (MH) pin Austin Gentel (Tu), 3:15.
170: Billy Mills (Tu) tech. Stefen Chavis (MH), 0:00/15-0.
Catonsville 44, Hammond 23
132: Evan Nuss (Ha) dec. Connor Hurd (Ca), 7-2.
138: Anthony Solis (Ha) dec. Kamal Musallam (Ca), 13-6.
145: Greg Eads (Ca) dec. Xavier Reeves (Ha), 7-4.
152: Joseth Hylton (Ca) tech. Nicholas Johnson (Ha), 4:28/16-1.
160: Nick Ellsworth (Ca) pin Justin Taylor (Ha), 5:22.
170: Bryan Overton (Ha) tech. Adam Dye (Ca), 3:51/15-0.
182: Trevar Jackon (Ca) pin Brandon Wood (Ha), 1:22.
195: Tj Henry (Ca) pin Justin Nelson (Ha), 1:14.
220: Jordan Reynolds (Ca) pin Marquise Myers (Ha), 1:21.
285: Calloway Lee (Ca) pin David McLaurin (Ha), 3:16.
106: John Lowe (Ha) dec. Andrew Southwell (Ca), 11-7.
113: Benjamin Morrill (Ha) wbf.
120: Kelly Lassiter (Ca) pin John Hedrick (Ha), 1:47.
John Carroll 58, Centennial 18
120: Joe Kyburz (JC) wbf.
126: Mark Pickett (JC) wbf.
132: Devin Davis (JC) pin Sam Routt (C), 2:17.
138: Austin Kraisser (C) tech. Artie Millner (JC), 0:00/20-4.
145: Hutson Baumann (C) pin Brian Chalmers (JC), 1:29.
152: Sameh Boulos (C) dec. Philip Venanzi (JC), 6-5.
160: Austin Ross (JC) maj. Nick Shearin (C), 11-2.
170: Christian Scott (JC) pin Bradley Fasulo (C), 2:55.
182: Steven Wysocki (C) maj. Rawlison Zhaing (JC), 10-0.
195: Jay Etkins (JC) wbf.
220: Dan Kleble (JC) wbf.
285: Andy Reineger (JC) wbf.
106: Chad Skokowksi (JC) wbf.
113: Austin Smith (JC) wbf.
Glenelg Country School 31, Annapolis Area Christian School 21
106: double forfeit.
113: Jonathan Bradley (AA) pin Adam Bothwell (GC), 4:33.
120: Mathew Riehl (AA) dec. Sam Smith (GC), 5-0.
126: Matt Campbell (GC) dec. Spencer Mellinger (AA), 7-2.
132: Reid Chaconas (GC) maj. Micah Cotton (AA), 13-3.
138: Christian Vinyard (GC) wbf.
145: Eric Wootton (GC) pin Phil Dempsey (AA), 3:10
152: Eddie Howlette (GC) pin Gavin Brownlee (AA), 1:52.
160: double forfeit.
170: Micheal House (AA) wbf.
182: Warren Boord (AA) pin Demetrius Ravenell (GC), 4:51.
195: Emanuel Curtis (GC) wbf.
220: double forfeit.
285: double forfeit.
Saint Mary's 58, Glenelg Country School 18
106: double forfeit.
113: Dominic Canterbury (SM) pin Adam Bothwell (GC), 5:10.
120: Nathaniel Brown (SM) pin Sam Smith (GC), 1:21.
126: Gary Grant (SM) pin Matt Campbell (GC), 3:23.
132: Chase Pappas (SM) maj. Reid Chaconas (GC), 10-0.
138: Kevin Fox (SM) pin Christian Vinyard (GC), 1:21.
145: Eric Wootton (GC) pin Patrick Hines (SM), 1:08.
152: Eddie Howlette (GC) pin Monte Jones (SM), 1:59.
160: Neil Ruppert (SM) wbf.
170: Peter Leimbach (SM) wbf.
182: John Whitehead (SM) pin Demetrius Ravenell (GC), 4:13.
195: Emanuel Curtis (GC) pin Matthew Kerner (SM), 3:03.
220: Noah Rosseau (SM) wbf.
285: Nick Stone (SM) wbf.