Winters Mill might have learned more about itself through the season had it tasted a loss or two, but there was no complaining when the No. 4 Falcons completed their first perfect regular season in school history Thursday night.
Wrestling in its home gym, Winters Mill (28-0) defeated Wilde Lake, 57-12, and Catonsville, 67-12.
The Falcons, who won the Class 2A-1A state championship last year and were runners-up in the state dual meet tournament, now set their sights on the postseason. The state duals begin Wednesday.
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Winters Mill High School, 560 Gorsuch Rd, Westminster, MD 21157-6530, USA
"There's always a little pressure before a match," said Winters Mill senior Gunner Cullison, who won both of his 135-pound matches Thursday with pins. "But we handle it well and stay focused."
And despite their season-long string of victories, Arizona Oxendine, one of eight juniors in the lineup, said no one has gotten a fat head.
"We try not to be too cocky," Oxendine said. "We try not to be overconfident. We just focus and do our job. If we play our cards right, we should do well in the post season."
It seemed Thursday's competition was all about preparing for the postseason.
Before facing the Falcons, Catonsville coach Eric Warm gathered his team in the hall outside the gym. His 8-5 squad had just lost to a 24-6 Oakland Mills team, 39-30, in a match that came down to the final weight class.
"It's hard for me to tell them they're going to lose," Warm said. "But this is the best team we will face all year, and the only way my guys can improve is by wrestling this team. This match will prepare us for the county, regional and state tournaments. Winters Mill is a top-notch program, and I think it's great they're willing to wrestle us this time of the year."
Wilde Lake coach Jeff Starnes felt the same and, despite his team's loss, he said he couldn't have asked for more out of his team considering the week the Wildecats had been through. Starnes, who last led a wrestling team in 1998 at Hammond, was retired from coaching until Monday, when Wilde Lake coach Asmar Hagler left the position and he was called in to fill the void.
"I don't know what happened," he said. "I just know that these kids did a great job adjusting to a sudden change in coaches. I don't know our record, and I told them if they know to forget it and just concentrate on what's coming in the postseason.
Through the night, Winters Mill's wrestlers collected 13 pins and one tech fall. Flavio Valdez (106), Cullison (132) and Jake Utz (285) each pinned both of their opponents.
No. 4 Winters Mill 57, Wilde Lake 12
106 – Valdez (WM) p Delacruz (WL), 2:53
113 – Logue (MW) d Polansky (WL, 7-5
120 – Trinh (WL) p Balfour (WL), :53
126 – Guerelo (WM) d Anderson (WL), 9-6
132 – Cullison (WM) p Andrews (WL), 2:26