If opposing coaches had something to say to McDonogh’s Pete Welch before his team faced Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) in the final of the 30th annual Haswell M. Franklin Gilman Duals on Saturday afternoon in Roland Park, it would probably be to wish him good luck.
After all, the Pennsylvania school is ranked second nationally by natprepwrestling.com and poses problems for opponents up and down a powerful lineup.
In spite of Wyoming Seminary's stellar record and reputation, No. 1 McDonogh did not back down. The Eagles stayed close, cutting the lead to six points with four bouts remaining before the Blue Knights pulled away for a 36-24 victory.
“We would have to do everything right to beat them,” said Welch, whose team beat Archbishop Spalding, 46-38, in the quarterfinal round and Germantown Academy, 48-16, in a semifinal. “They are an amazing team. But on another day, I definitely think we are good enough to beat them.”
McDonogh's Jack Clark (145), Toby Hague (152), Myles Martin (160), Tyler Patrick (195) and Xavi Ramos (138) earned gold medals for winning their weight classes in a tournament featuring teams from five states.
“Any time you can be that consistent and win three in a row in a tournament like this is impressive,” Welch said.
Wyoming Seminary got off to an impressive start against McDonogh, sweeping the first three matches.
Ramos countered with a 7-0 decision over Jesse Holton and Clark’s pin of Dan Brennan in 1:17 pulled the Eagles within 13-9. Clark, a 2012 National Preps champion, improved his career mark to 121-15.
McDonogh (17-2) took two of the next three matches to trail, 18-15, before Wyoming Seminary’s Eric Morris, ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 33-0 mark, recorded a pin in 12 seconds at 182.
Patrick then beat Matt Doggett, 8-2, to make the score, 24-18.
McDonogh, however, only managed to earn six points on a forfeit to TK Megonigal in the final four matches.
“A couple of guys getting major decision at the end was really helpful,” Wyoming Seminary coach Scott Green said. “We haven’t been able to put out a healthy lineup out on the mat in a few weeks. so we expected a dogfight. We really respected McDonogh, especially the middle of their lineup.”
Spalding finished third by beating Germantown Academy, 36-30 while host Gilman finished seventh.
“It’s a very prestigious tournament because of how old it is,” said Gilman assistant coach Henry Franklin, Haswell Franklin's son. “The oldest dual-meet tournament is the Virginia Duals and this came shortly after that. And when you get the No. 2 team in the country in your tournament, it’s a pretty big deal. You had the second-best in the country, the best in the region and best in Maryland battling it out.”