Owings Mills wrestling coach Guy Pritzker had to smile following the first day of the Franklin Invitational.
Heading into the tournament, Pritzker had heard No. 7 John Carroll and No. 9 Curley were hoping to make a point against his fifth-ranked squad.
But after Friday's quarterfinal round, the Eagles have nine wrestlers advancing to the semis, and they lead the scoring at the 17-team event with 100.5 points.
He still made a point not to fuel the fire.
"It's only the first day," Pritzker said. "I wouldn't even know the score if you hadn't shown it to me. I'm here strictly to get my kids ready for the end of the year. This is just a practice tournament."
John Carroll (96 points), Archbishop Curley (81), Glenelg (80) and Hereford (60) follow in the scoring. Host Franklin and Mount Hebron were tied for sixth with 46 points.
Wrestling continues Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with consolations followed by the semifinals. The finals are scheduled for 5 p.m.
Aside from Owings Mills, Friday was a particularly successful day for two Hereford wrestlers. Dylan Gray, a freshman seeded seventh at 132 pounds upset No. 2 seed Hutson Baumann of Centennial, 2-1. His teammate, sophomore Anthony Genco, the No. 1 seed at 106, continued his march toward what he hopes will not only be a Franklin tournament title, but a state championship by the end of the season. He pinned his quarterfinal opponent in 4:28.
"With all modesty, beating the Centennial guy was my goal," said Gray, who is back on the mat this season after a near two-year absence due to a knee injury and rehab. "I've had a lot of encouragement from my dad and I'm working hard. My biggest problem is having no confidence. But tonight, I got two points in the first period and won 2-1, and I never doubted myself."
Genco was equally thrilled by his match. He used to play soccer but has been wrestling for three years and has found his niche on the mat.
"I fell in love with wrestling," he said. "I try to live up to the expectations my coaches put on my, and I believe if I train really hard and push myself, I have a really good shot. I think I have two of the main essentials — heart and strength. I tend to outwork my opponents on the mat and in the [training] room."
Franklin Invitational Wrestling Tournament
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Franklin High School, 12000 Reisterstown Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136-3091, USA
Team scores through Day 1
1. Owings Mills – 100.5 points
2. John Carroll – 96
3. Archbishop Curley – 81
4. Glenelg – 80
5. Hereford – 60
6. (tie) Franklin - 46
6. (tie) Mount Hebron - 46
7. Towson – 42
8. Eastern Tech – 27
9. Centennial – 26
10. Northwestern – 25
11. Mount Airy – 18
12. (tie) Overlea – 14
12. (tie) Westminster – 14
13. Joppatown – 5
14. Glen Burnie – 4