Tuesday night’s wrestling dual between Manchester Valley and South Carroll was a chance for each to assert their claim to supremacy in Carroll County. When the smoke cleared, the king was still the king.
Second-ranked South Carroll used its domination in the middleweights to pull away from a tie six matches in and defeat visiting and No. 8 Manchester Valley, 51-24, in a battle of the county’s two heavyweights.
“They say us and Man Valley are the two best teams in the county, so beating them pretty handily kind of sends a message to the rest of the county that we’re still the best,” South Carroll’s A.J. Rodrigues said.
All totaled, the Cavaliers (26-0) won 10 of the 14 matches, eight coming by pin.
“Man Valley’s a very tough team, so we knew they would be tough, and they were,” said Anthony Winfield, who was acting as the South Carroll coach while Jerome Braunstein was attending to personal matters. “Luckily for us, we are battle-tested and it showed tonight.”
The Cavaliers, with pins from Rylan Moose (182 pounds) and Manny Rodrigues (195), raced out to a 12-0 lead. Not to be outdone, the Mavericks (32-3) picked up pins from Cru Boog (220) and Derek Martin (285) to tie the match at 12.
South Carroll pulled ahead when Grayson Barnhill pinned Lance Chapman at 106, but Manchester Valley immediately responded with Dakota Barnard pinning Bella Garrity at 113 to tie the match at 18. From that point on, it was pretty much all South Carroll. The Cavaliers won seven of the final eight bouts to walk away with a 27-point win.
“That’s where the heart of our lineup is in the middleweights,” said Rodrigues. “Every team has some weak spots in their lineup, but the heart and the beat of our lineup is the middleweights. Anytime we’re down, you can count on our middleweights to get us back into it.”
Rodrigues probably had the most entertaining match of the night when he wrestled Manchester Valley’s Jake Boog at 170 pounds, a clash of two returning state champions. Rodrigues started the match with a 5-0 lead after the first period using a combination of a takedown and back points. Try as he may, Boog was always a step behind before falling, 11-4.
Michael Pizzuto, another South Carroll state champion who will wrestle at Maryland next year, had little trouble with his opponent, pinning Kameron Reid just 1:05 into their 145-pound match.
“I came out doing everything I could for the team,” said Pizzuto. “I got my pin and scored my points, and we showed that we were one of the best teams in the state.”
“We came in here to compete, and our kids showed what they could do against a pretty good team,” said Manchester Valley coach David Dodson. “Give South Carroll credit; they are who they are. I feel good in some respects that our guys came in and gave them a good effort. They tried their best.”
Dodson said the loss will help to energize the Mavericks.
“You build off of this match,” he said. “You use this match to motivate you to work hard. Understand who they are, and take what you learn and move on to the next step.”
South Carroll 51, Manchester Valley 24
182: Moose (SC) p Grimm, 1:29; 195: M. Rodrigues (SC) p Foutham, 1:12; 220: C. Boog (MV) p Brightful, 1:22; 285: Martin (MV) p Logan, 2:15; 106: Barnhill (SC) p Chapman, 1:11; 113: Barnard (MV) p. Garrity, 2:35; 120: Owen (SC) d Hydorn, 2:53; 126: Gigliotti (SC) p Vandervoort, :58; 132: Marcheny (SC) d Yowell, 3-1; 138: Cyrus (SC) p Kaminsky, 3-0; 145; Pizzuto (SC) p Reid, 1:05; 152: A. Rodrigues (SC) d Ray, 5-2; 160: Green (MV) p Govier, 1:15; 170: AJ Rodrigues (SC) d J Boog, 11-4.