Wrestling: South Carroll crowns three individual 2A-1A West champions

South Carroll senior Joey Thomas won his third straight regional championship.

Seniors Jamar Williams and Joey Thomas and sophomore Cam Werner won individual titles, and South Carroll placed second to Middletown in the team race in the Class 2A-1A West Region wrestling tournament Saturday.

Host Middletown (199.5 points) dashed the Cavaliers’ bid for a third straight championship as the Knights crowned six champions.

“They have a special team,” said South Carroll coach Bryan Hamper, whose team finished with 162.5 points. “We knew their depth would really shine. They had 14 guys here and we had only nine. I really felt this tournament of every one we have competed in would be the hardest one to win.”

South Carroll’s runners-up were Dakota Bowers (113 pounds, 42-5), Travis Crawford (120, 45-2), Tyler Harbison (138, 38-7) and Jake McKenzie (152, 41-5).

The Cavaliers had a third-place finisher in Jagger Clapsadle (106, 44-4).

The top four in each weight class advance to the state tournament, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

Werner (132, 36-8) won by technical fall over Francis Scott Key’s Gabe Mojica, 26-11, to capture his second regional title.

“He really stepped up,” Hamper said of Werner. “He faced some adversity in the finals of Carroll County tournament last weekend. He got pinned. Some guys would feel sorry for himself, but he trained hard this week.”

Thomas (126, 46-1) grabbed his third consecutive regional championship. Thomas, the state’s all-time leader in wins among public school wrestlers with 191, won by technical fall over Williamsport’s Cody Crawford, 25-10.

“It feels great to win another regional title, but I’m ready to win my third state title,” Thomas said.

Williams (170, 47-0), a two-time state champion, secured his second regional title when he pinned Mountain Ridge’s Marcus Folk in 2:59.

Century had two wrestlers garner regional championships: Seniors Jack Akers (220, 31-0) and Cody Davis (160, 36-2).

Akers has come a long way in two years.  Problems with fatigue limited him to a combined 25 matches during his sophomore and junior seasons, but he has put that problem behind him this season.

Akers pinned Winters Mill senior A.J. Holmes in the first period (1:26) for his 31st pin of the campaign.

“I have done a lot better in winning counties and regionals than I thought I would after not wrestling much the past two years,” Akers said. “I am pretty proud of myself.”

Davis cruised past Southern Garrett’s Joe Embleton, 13-0, to grab his title.

“Davis is so driven and motivated to finish the season strong,” Century coach Steve Willingham said of Davis, who placed fifth in the state last year. “It was evident out there on the mat today."

Middletown senior Sean Mullican (285 pounds) scored a 7-2 decision over Century senior Sam Rothstein in the regional final.

Liberty’s state qualifiers were Evan Bliden (160, 3rd) and Noah Wienclawski (182, 4th). Winters Mill had Hunter Lowe (182, 3rd) and Troy Blessing (145, 4th), and Francis Scott Key’s Paul Hann (285, 4th) also posted a top-four finish.

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