Manchester Valley wrestler Liam Pence talks about the Mavericks' win over Liberty.
The balance of the Manchester Valley wrestling team — especially in the lower weights — has been trouble for a lot of teams this season.
Just ask Liberty coach Logan Yox.
The Mavericks prevailed in five of six bouts from 106 to 138 pounds to overcome an early deficit and cruise to a 47-24 victory Thursday evening.
“If they have any postseason success, most of it’s going to be at their lower weights,” Yox said. “They are very deep there.”
With the regular season over, Manchester Valley will turn its attention to the Class 3A West regional dual-meet championships on Feb. 7. Manchester Valley is making its first trip there in school history, and Mavericks coach Dave Dodson said he expects the tournament to be held at No. 1 seed Tuscarora.
Linganore and South Hagerstown will also be participating.
“Making the regional duals has been a driving force for our entire season,” Dodson said. “They are pretty excited. It’s an opportunity to go in and do something that has never been done. You never know when you are going to have a chance to get there.”
Dodson coached North Carroll to the regional duals five times, in 2008 he led the team to the state duals final.
Liberty pushed the Mavericks early Thursday. The Lions took the first four matches to build a 21-0 lead, and three of them were pins.
Liberty sophomore McClain Butler (160 pounds) broke a 4-4 tie with Kyle Mathias in the third period with a takedown and back points on his way to a 8-5 victory.
Then the Mavericks took the next five matches to seize the win.
Brayden Safely (126, 10-6) dominated Jake Boteler, 13-1, Liam Pence (132, 31-3) pinned Jacob Gaskin in 2:37, Tom Chenoweth (138, 23-3) topped Jacob Slicher, 8-2, Chad Shaffer (145, 31-6) pinned Anthony Marsico in 3:47 and Adam Mattson edged Anthony Marsico, 4-2.
“I give Liberty credit,” Dodson said. “There were a couple of weight classes where they really took it to us. But our kids were resilient and did what they needed to do.”