Three-peats for Thomas, Williams help South Carroll wrestling win fourth straight title

Tim Schwartz
Contact ReporterBaltimore Sun Media Group
South Carroll had the second-best showing in state wrestling tourney history to win its 4th straight title.

South Carroll coach Bryan Hamper couldn't think of a better way to cap off the careers of seniors Joey Thomas and Jamar Williams.

The pair combined to win 338 career matches compared to only seven defeats. And at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state wrestling tournament Saturday night at Show Place Arena, they both won their third consecutive Class 2A-1A titles to lead the Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive team championship. South Carroll scored 166 points — the second-most ever scored in the state tournament behind Northern Garrett's 173 in 2000 — to outpace Middletown by 26 points.

"Our guys really stepped up. We went 8-for-8 in placers, had six guys in the finals. You talk about effort — every single one of those guys really stepped up this weekend and I'm extremely proud of it," Hamper said. "It's only fitting that Joey and Jamar get to walk away with another team championship. ... They've really helped change the culture of our program."

Thomas made his title run look easy, as he beat Owings Mills' Tyson McDuffy, 10-4, to capture the 126-pound championship. The win extended his public school wins record to 195 and his season record to 47-1.

"Today was the day," he said. "Last high school match. It will be remembered."

Williams (48-0) capped an undefeated season by knocking off defending state champion Eugene Zacerous of Perryville, 8-4, to win the 170-pound title.

"It was a great feeling helping my team win their fourth straight state title," Williams said. "It can't end in a better way."

Cavaliers sophomore Travis Crawford avenged his only loss of the season and edged Northern Garrett's Steven Yutzy, 6-5, thanks to a late takedown in the 120-pound final. He also beat Marriotts Ridge defending state champion Chris Spano in overtime in a semifinal.

"Most teams, they're teams. But our team is a family," Crawford said. "We're all really, really close and it's a family environment. I feel accepted by all of them. They're all my best friends at school. ... Hamper is a great coach and they make champions."

Sparrows Point senior and Ohio State commit Ethan Smith won all four of his matches by first-period fall to win his second straight state championship. He stuck Dunbar's Dwayne Johnson in 1 minute, 47 seconds to win the 182-pound title and finish the year 41-0, ending his Maryland wrestling career 73-0.

"It feels good. I've just got to keep looking forward," Smith said. "I wanted to, in each match, rack up as many points as I could in the first period and not let anybody get past that. I think I did that."

The Pointers, who finished third in the team race with 99 points, also crowned a state champion at 138 pounds. Max Hammond (45-5) earned an escape with four seconds remaining to beat Oakland Mills junior Kyle Farace, 1-0.

"This was my dream my whole life and I accomplished it," Hammond said. "It means a whole lot. ... I just had to hold to my stuff and I knew what I had to do — keep working like I did last time I wrestled him and do what I know."

Owings Mills senior David Hollingsworth won his second consecutive championship at 145 pounds to end his career with a record of 159-13. He said winning the second one was better than the first, but he is most proud to own the school's wins record.

"It's my senior year; it's my last ride," Hollingsworth said. "I wanted to make sure I win."

Oakland Mills senior Daiquan Anderson (36-3) broke a 6-6 tie with a five-point move late in the match to beat Smithsburg's Shane Hovermale, 11-6, to win the 106-pound title. Anderson lost in the finals of the same bracket a year ago.

Dunbar crowned its first-ever state champion at 220 pounds, as Jorden Pryor (41-1) beat Century senior Jack Akers via injury default.

On the Class 4A-3A side, Bel Air sophomore Brent Lorin edged Parkdale's Axel Giron, 3-2, in the 113-pound final to win his second straight state championship and improve his career record to 90-0. He broke a 1-1 tie with a takedown in the final 25 seconds.

"I did not expect him to come after me like that," said Lorin, who improved to 46-0 this season with the victory. "That match did not go like I expected, but I still came out on top and that's a good thing. ... I'm glad he tried that headlock. Throws and Judo, that's my thing."

Centennial sophomore Jason Kraisser also won his second title in as many years, as he knocked off Urbana's Logan Arneson, 4-2, to win the 138-pound championship. The title is the 10th overall for the Kraisser family, and Jason becomes the third brother, joining Nathan and Austin, to win multiple state championships.

"I had a good tournament. I wrestled tough the whole time," said Kraisser, who added that he has eyes on winning four state titles like Nathan did. "But this isn't the end of it. This is still the path to going up. I've got to keep working hard and preparing for everything else."

Arundel senior Nathan Gainey capped his career with his second straight state championship in his third finals appearance. He scored a first-period takedown to beat Churchill's Lucas Young, 2-1, to win the 120-pound bracket.

"It feels amazing," said Gainey, who improved to 36-4 this season. "It's the greatest feeling ever coming from someone who used to hate wrestling and never wanted to do anything with it, and I've worked so hard to get to where I am. It feels great to know I've improved and end my high school career with a win feels amazing."

South River senior Brendan Woody (45-1) won the 285-pound championship with a 2-1 victory over Woodlawn's Alon Hough. He finished third at the state tournament last year and finishes with a record of 90-2 over his past two seasons.

"It feels great," Woody said. "The beginning of the year I was catching wins pretty easy ... but then I met my first loss and that really got me in gear to get more conditioned and work way, way harder in the practice room."

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