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Wrestling: Carroll fares well at Class 2A-1A West tournament

Zach Kirby said his teammates and the rest of Carroll County consider his wrestling style to be “funky.”

An aerial attack, you could describe it as.

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It’s a technique Kirby said he began learning in first grade and it’s continued under the coaching of John Lowe.

Kirby allows his opponents to hoist him in the air, thinking they have control, only to be caught off guard with a variety of takedown tactics.

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“Everything I do, you can’t be taught, but I was somehow taught it from coach Lowe,” Kirby said. “He just knows pretty much everything about the sport.”

Sometimes different is better and on his home mat on Saturday evening, Kirby caught Damascus’ Michael Emerick off guard and pinned him just one minute and 38 seconds in.

The quick decision earned Kirby a regional title and a roaring ovation from the surrounding crown.

“Here, it’s fantastic,” Kirby said, on the familiar atmosphere. “Everyone that I know here, everyone in the county is here rooting for me so it’s great to be in this school.”

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Along with Kirby, Carroll County crowned three regional champs on Saturday evening.

South Carroll’s Ryan Athey (106) and Antonio Bradford (160) took home first-place hardware in their respective weight classes.

Bradford grinded out a 3-1 decision over North Garrett’s Hunter Wilhelm in a match he held consistent control over for the better part of the three periods.

Athey prevailed in a thrilling 5-3 overtime victory over Mountain Ridge’s Jesse Fresh to cap off the tournament.

“It was pretty hard,” Bradford said, on his victory. “I was trying to maintain my energy for the match, trying to score as much as I could.”

Down 3-1 heading into the third period, Athey earned two crucial points to send the match into overtime.

When the final points where signaled by the official, Athey threw his headband up in excitement knowing the feat he had accomplished as just a freshman.

“I knew [Fresh] was a big strong kid, liked to ride legs,” Athey said. “It’s a kid I lost to earlier in the year … I just had to get it back just for revenge.”

SC’s Cam Werner (138), Steven Dahl (152) and Pat Quinn (285) join Bradford and Athey as state qualifiers.

Colby Unkart join Kirby as Winters Mill’s qualified grapplers, while FSK’s Wyatte Johns (220) earns a trip to states after posting a third-place finish – pinning Poolesville’s Jacob Zeranski two minutes and 58 seconds into the consolation final.

To round things out, Ryan Ohler (113), Jacob Gaskin (132), McClain Butler (170) and Noah Weinclawski (182) advance.

In 4A-3A West competition, Manchester Valley boasts six wrestlers heading to states – Adam Mattson (2nd), Heathe Hernandez (4th), Chad Schaffer (4th), Thomas Chenoweth (3rd), Grant Warner (4th) and Connor Livingston (4th).

Hunter Green will travel with the Mavs as an alternate.

Jack Conrad and Marley Warfield will represent Westminster as fifth-place alternates.

The goal for each wrestler this weekend was to earn a regional title, but the path doesn’t stop for those who advance.

Up next, the state tournament, which begins Friday at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

There, the ultimate goal – to hoist a state championship trophy.

Each wrestler heads in with their own share of confidence and for Kirby, he made his apparent.

“I can’t be stopped,” he said. “There’s nothing that can get in my way at this point.”

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

106: Ryan Athey (SC) dec. OT 5-3 Jesse Fresh (MTR)

113: Landen Harbaugh (MID) pin Zaden Meyer (WIL) 4:29

120: Shane Hovermale (SMI) dec Alex Carbonell (POO) 1-0

126: Zach Kirby (WM) pin Michael Emerick (DAM) 1:38

132: Jason Guglielmini (MID) dec. Colby Unkart (WM) 4-1

138: Wyatt Mckoy (OAD) dec. Cam Werner (SC) 8-4

145: Ramy Freeman (OAD) dec. Jace Guy (SG) 4-3

152: Jake Sweitzer (SG) dec. Steven Dahl 2-0

160: Antonio Bradford (SC) dec. Hunter Wilhelm (NG) 3-1

170: Xavier Kresslein (POO) dec. McClain Butler 6-5

182: Timothy Furgeson (DAM) dec. Dustin MacDonald (MTR) 7-2

195: Aiden Beall (DAM) dec. Brandon Oyster (WIL) 7-5

220: Elijah Baisden (DAM) pin Nick Harden (MTR) 2:15

285: Tayquon Johnson (WIL) pin Cole Sweitzer 3:17

CONSOLATION FINALS

106: Zachary Starr (WIL) dec. Aiden Schwab (O) 7-4

113: Ryan Ohler (LIB) dec. Sean Rinebolt (BO) 7-4

120: Brogan Kealy (SG) m-dec. Brandan Myers (WIL) 9-1

126: Will Custer dec. Colby Keiholtz (CT) 5-4

132: Jacob Gaskin dec. Kevin Fultz (PO) 5-1

138: Brendan Mislan (SMI) pin Ryan Kirby 1:27

145: Sam Hull (POO) dec. Darby Bryant (WIL) 7-4

152: Josh Atkinson (SMI) dec. Wyatt Payne 12-7

160: Andrew Creedon (DAM) dec. Travis Fields (CA) 5-2

170: Jay Miller (MTR) pin Max Crist (BOO) 2:52

182: Noah Weinclawsk (LIB) m-dec. Brady Kerns (BW) 13-4

195: Hunter Park (SG) for. Kieran Barney (POO)

220: Wyatte Johns (FSK) pin Jacob Zeranski (POO) 2:58

285: Pat Quinn (SC) pin Michael Harris (DAM) 2:05

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