Westminster senior Brad Walsh understands the odds are against him going undefeated with two more months of wrestling still ahead.
But he’s enjoying the ride of his perfect 21-0 start.
Walsh (145 pounds) won 10 of those matches in the two-day, 15-team Duals at Westminster, which Hammond (10-0) won by finishing ahead of Owings Mills (9-1).
“I am trying to go into matches with the mindset where if I work harder than my opponent, I can beat him no matter his rank, record or name,” said Walsh, a county runner-up last year and fifth-place state finisher. “That mentality is kind of new for me. I have been very successful the past couple of years, but now I go into every match knowing that I can beat that guy instead of just wanting to beat him.”
Walsh wasn’t the only Owl to have a stellar tournament. Junior Marley Warfield went 9-1 and teammate Parker Strieb finished 8-2.
“He has all the physical tools,” Westminster coach Mike Flemming said of Warfield. “The biggest thing is confidence. He definitely wrestled with confidence both days.”
Westminster senior Brad Walsh talks about going 10-0 in the Duals at Westminster.
Sophomore Kyle Ensor (120, 6-4) and senior Chris Hauffman (220-285) also posted winning records for Westminster, which finished the Duals 3-7.
You don’t have to ask Manchester Valley sophomore Thomas Chenoweth what he considers his favorite tournament. It has to be the Duals, based on the success he’s had there.
Chenoweth (138) had a perfect record for the second straight year and went 9-0 this time.
“It’s tough to go undefeated in one of these Duals,” Chenoweth said. “There are a lot of really good teams and wrestlers here. Sometimes I would get nervous, but I was focused and I zoned out everybody.”
MV seniors Liam Pence (126, 8-0) and Troy Warner (285, 7-1) also had solid tournaments. The trio of Mavs helped their team to a 4-0 record on the second day after they started 2-3.
There’s no way to sugarcoat Liberty’s start — the Lions lost their first six matches over two days.
They ended the event on a positive note, however. Liberty beat Milford Mill, Catoctin, and St. Mary’s Ryken.
“We had very tough first day, and most of those teams we wrestled were in the finals,” Liberty coach Logan Yox said. “I don’t think we came ready to wrestle (the first day). But we came prepared today. It’s great to see a turnaround.”
Liberty senior Jake Griffin (170) was focused. Last year’s county runner-up finished a perfect 8-0 and recorded seven pins. He’s now 11-0.
The Duals’ outstanding heavyweight wrestler went to Dunbar’s Jordan Pryor, while Linganore’s Earl Blake won for outstanding lightweight wrestler. Dunbar was third in the team standings (7-2) and Linganore (6-3) placed fourth.