WINFIELD — Richie Summerlin enjoys his role as elder on South Carroll’s wrestling team, the lone senior on a roster of 21 grapplers.
He’s a four-year varsity member of the Cavaliers, and took a few moments in the spotlight during SC’s Senior Night ceremony prior to Monday’s dual meet against Winters Mill. Then he posted a victory in leading the Cavs past the Falcons 47-21, a victory that clinched a Carroll County Athletic League championship.
Five freshmen posted wins for South Carroll (19-2, 6-0 CCAL), and Summerlin started a run of five consecutive victories that gave his team a 47-9 lead and sealed the match. Summerlin said being a football team captain in the fall helped him stay in a similar mindset for the winter, where he gladly gave way to some of his more accomplished teammates.
“I try to lead in a moral sense,” Summerlin said. “They lead in talent and skill and that sort of thing ... I don’t have a lot of talent that they have. It helped me lead the team and make sure they’re on the right track, doing the right things, not messing up, staying in school.”
Summerlin improved to 21-15 (4-2 in the county) and wrestled at heavyweight Monday, where he edged WM’s Sebastian Springfield 5-1. South Carroll coach Matt Thomas said Summerlin has been wrestling up one weight class for most of the season to help the Cavs fill out their lineup.
“He’s a big strong kid,” Thomas said. “He’s very quiet, but when he needs to step up he steps up as a leader. He didn’t have to stick around this year or last year. We don’t have too many big guys up top, but he saw the talent coming in and wanted to put the work in to get the job done. He’s a huge part of our lineup.”
Winters Mill (10-2, 4-2) fell behind 21-0 after four bouts but trimmed the deficit when Cayden Beard snagged a pin at 195 pounds and Cian McCauley added a decision at 220. But Summerlin sparked South Carroll’s run, which included pins from Michael Pizzuto (106) and Gage Owen (120), and wins from Ryan Athey (113) and AJ Rodrigues (126).
Athey beat WM’s Garrett Dell 5-1, but Dell was disqualified after his bout because of flagrant misconduct. The Falcons were docked three team points at the end of the match (SC got six for the Athey win).
Pizzuto, Owen, Rodrigues, Brandon Athey (160), and Rylan Moose (152) are SC’s freshmen.
Winters Mill’s Zach Kirby (132), Colby Unkart (138), and Hunter Merson (145) closed out the dual with wins, but the outcome had been decided by then. The Cavaliers posed for a photo following the teams’ handshake line, and some of the home fans serenaded them with a chant of “County champs!”
Summerlin said wrestling a challenging schedule this season got the Falcons to where they are.
“I think persevering through all of that and coming out on top to where we are now, it’s a real big statement on where we are and how far we’ve come,” he said.
South Carroll travels to Linganore on Wednesday, and another win helps the Cavaliers in their quest to host next week’s Class 2A West Region dual-meet tourney. It could very well be a county rematch, too, if Winters Mill earns one of the four regional berths.
“Trying to punch a ticket to the state duals,” Thomas said.
152: Rylan Moose (SC) pin John Alcorn 3:30
160: Brandon Athey (SC) dec. Luke Chmar 10-6
170: Austin Gidge (SC) over Jake Stiff, injury default
182: Antonio Bradford (SC) pin Noah Ocasio 3:22
195: Cayden Beard (WM) pin Justin Brister 3:31
220: Cian McCauley (WM) dec. Shane Allison 10-5
285: Richie Summerlin (SC) dec. Sebastian Springfield 6-1
106: Michael Pizzuto (SC) pin Brady Forte 3:42
113: Ryan Athey (SC) over Garrett Dell, disqualification
(WM deducted 3 team points for flagrant misconduct)
120: Gage Owen (SC) pin Alex Vagnier 3:30
126: AJ Rodrigues (SC) tech fall Logan Konold 16-1
132: Zach Kirby (WM) dec. Jake Rippeon 8-5
138: Colby Unkart (WM) pin Anthony Bond 1:51
145: Hunter Merson (WM) pin Gage Duncan 0:29