When Noah Ocasio and Sebastian Springfield notched back-to-back victories early in Winters Mill’s match with Manchester Valley on Tuesday, the noise emanating from the Falcons’ side of the mat could best be described as deafening.
Makes sense, since it seemed as if a small village had congregated behind WM’s bench to support the Falcons in their second Carroll County Athletic League road contest of the season.
The heavyweights came through and started a string of five consecutive victories en route to Winters Mill’s 45-25 win. The Falcons improved to 8-4, 2-0 in the CCAL, behind six pins.
Ocasio had one of them when he decked Man Valley’s Nate Renfro late in the first period of their 220-pound bout. The Winters Mill sophomore seemed to surprise his teammates somewhat with the result, and Ocasio flexed his muscles upon securing his pin.
Springfield, also a sophomore, came up next to face MV’s John Mueller, and outlasted his county foe with a reversal in the fourth period (overtime) to the delight of Winters Mill’s horde.
The reigning CCAL champions travel quite well, and coach John Lowe knows it. It’s easy to cheer for situations such as what took place Tuesday — Ocasio wrestling up one weight class and winning, and Springfield making the most of his chances in his first year as a varsity wrestler.
“About 10 out of the 14, I can’t say enough,” Lowe said about his starting lineup. “We have some young guys that are doing things that are unexpected. They’re fearless, they’re trying stuff. And our seniors … are looking solid.”
Trevor Fawley started the match with a pin at 182, and he was joined by Ocasio, Brady Forte (106), Garrett Dell (113), Zach Kirby (132), and Russell MacDowell (145).
Fawley’s came in 15 seconds; Dell grabbed his in 17 seconds.
Manchester Valley (13-11, 2-2) got pins from Connor Livingston (195), Hunter Green (126), and Grant Warner (170). But the Mavericks fell behind early and couldn’t recover.
Chad Schaffer won at 138, Thomas Chenoweth scored a major decision at 152, and Warner ended his close bout with WM’s Cayden Beard with an overtime pin.
The body language was quite different on the Mavericks’ side, though, as the match progressed. They’ll get a chance to regroup with a tri-meet Monday against Bel Air and North Harford.
Meanwhile, Winters Mill is set to face city rival Westminster on Wednesday in its home opener before hitting the road to Francis Scott Key on Jan. 16. It’s that time of year Lowe said, for the competition to increase.
“I think we’re in the beginnings of hitting a stride,” the coach said. “Which we’re going to need, because January is Carroll County matches.”