Advertisement

Wrestling: Winters Mill pins its way past South Carroll to take CCAL title, secure regional duals berth

Fellow sophomores Noah Ocasio and Luke Proffitt may not have figured on how important their matches would be in Saturday’s county wrestling clash between rivals Winters Mill and South Carroll.

Ocasio and Proffitt, a pair of heavyweights, likely aren’t the first names that come to mind when breaking down the Falcons’ lineup. Ocasio didn’t see much varsity mat time last winter; Proffitt is in his first year wrestling, and came into Saturday winless against Carroll opponents.

Advertisement

Yet theirs were the bouts that injected energy into the home team’s fans, and perhaps lifted Winters Mill to its second straight Carroll County Athletic League championship.

Pins from Ocasio and Proffitt in potential swing bouts gave the Falcons some momentum, and they turned it into a 48-29 victory on Senior Night.

“We just had to stay calm and make sure that we wrestled smart,” said Proffitt, who pinned SC’s Richie Summerlin midway through the second period of their 220-pound match.

When Proffitt followed Ocasio (195) and gave WM back-to-back pins, the Falcons (14-7, 6-0 CCAL) led 24-11. The Cavaliers countered with a pin from senior Pat Quinn (285) and a technical fall from freshman Ryan Athey (106), and cut the led to 24-22.

That’s when Winters Mill’s match-clinching run began.

Sophomore Garrett Dell (113), senior Alex Vagnier (120), sophomore Zach Kirby (126), and junior Colby Unkart (132) each posted pins in succession. When Unkart decked Reese Snook in 42 seconds, the Falcons led 48-22.

“It was insane,” Proffitt said. “That was my only county win. I knew that the pressure was going to be a lot, more than I’m used to.”

Added Ocasio, who pinned Colin Rolfes in 1:01: “I always like to get out there in all of my matches, and try to do something big if I can. And when I can get a pin in the first [period] like that … it’s unbelievable, you know?”

Winters Mill's Noah Ocasio, right, holds off an attack by South Carroll's Colin Rolfes before trying for his own takedown in the 195 weight class during a wrestling match at Winters Mill High School on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Winters Mill's Noah Ocasio, right, holds off an attack by South Carroll's Colin Rolfes before trying for his own takedown in the 195 weight class during a wrestling match at Winters Mill High School on Saturday, Feb. 2. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

South Carroll (14-8, 5-1) got pins from Quinn and sophomore Antonio Bradford (170), and tech falls from Athey and senior Steven Dahl (160). Cam Werner, another senior, scored a major decision at 138, and senior Tyler Harbison topped Hunter Merson 5-1 at 145 to close out the match.

The Cavaliers just couldn’t quite keep up, but coach Matt Thomas said they know the season isn’t over despite Saturday’s loss.

“We’ve been working our tails off. We were where we need to be. We got the matchups we kind of were looking for,” Thomas said. “At the end of the day, we kind of laid an egg. It’s not the outcome we were looking for. It sucks not winning the county title, but now we bounce back and take these next two weeks to get healthy.”

The Cavaliers lost the county crown last season to Winters Mill, but responded by winning the county tournament team title a few weeks later. This year’s county tourney is Feb. 16 at Westminster High School.

Meanwhile, Winters Mill will be preparing for a different postseason experience before counties — their win over SC secured a spot in the upcoming Class 2A West Region dual-meet tournament.

“They came up clutch tonight,” WM coach John Lowe said. “Noah and Luke were absolutely clutch.”

Advertisement

152: Steven Dahl (SC) tech fall Jake Stiff 17-0

160: Josh Burndley (WM) pin Justin Brister 0:56

170: Antonio Bradford (SC) pin Cayden Beard 0:53

182: Trevor Fawley (WM) by forfeit

195: Noah Ocasio (WM) pin Colin Rolfes 1:01

220: Luke Proffitt (WM) pin Richie Summerlin 3:02

285: Pat Quinn (SC) pin Caleb Serafin 1:08

106: Ryan Athey (SC) tech fall Brady Forte 17-2

113: Garrett Dell (WM) pin Anthony Bond 0:42

120: Alex Vagnier (WM) pin Ben Markulik 2:53

126: Zach Kirby (WM) pin Jake Rippeon 1:27

132: Colby Unkart (WM) pin Reese Snook 0:42

138: Cam Werner (SC) m-dec. Russell McDowell 12-3

145: Tyler Harbison (SC) dec. Hunter Merson 5-1

Advertisement
Advertisement