South Carroll wrestler Travis Crawford talks about his performance in the Duals at Westminster. (Tom Worgo / Carroll County Times)
Seniors Joey Thomas and Jamar Williams are the wrestling version of thoroughbred horses for reigning county champion South Carroll.
Both have won a pair of Class 2A-1A state championships, and each one has surpassed 100 career victories.
So if you are South Carroll sophomore Travis Crawford, a transfer from McDonogh School in Owings Mills, it's easy to get overlooked. But Crawford is walking as confidently as his two higher-profile teammates after his performance in the two-day Duals at Westminster that finished Wednesday night.
Like Williams and Thomas, Crawford finished with a perfect record to help the Cavaliers to a second-place finish behind West Chester Henderson of Pennsylvania. He went 9-0 while both Thomas and Williams had 10-0 marks.
Thomas (lightweight) and Williams (heavyweight) earned Outstanding Wrestler honors.
For Crawford, beating King Sandoval of St. Mary's-Ryken, a nationally-ranked wrestler by the Amateur Wrestling News and two-time Maryland Independent Schools State champion, highlighted his tournament.
Crawford (22-0) came from behind Tuesday to edge Sandoval 4-3 at 120 pounds.
"He is being overshadowed by two state champions," SC coach Bryan Hamper said. "And there is an element locally that maybe he wasn't known by some of the coaches. But if they didn't know him this week, they will certainly know him now. He is peaking at the right time to beat those high-level guys."
Crawford, a Mount Airy resident, credits Thomas for his development. The two are wrestling partners.
"He is changing how I wrestle," Crawford said. "He is teaching me more and more technique. He is making me more of a shooter on my feet. I used to be more of a defensive wrestler."
Crawford, Thomas, and Williams guided South Carroll to 4-1 mark in the championship round at the Duals, which featured 18 teams. but West Chester took the title by going 5-0 and beating the Cavaliers 36-27 on Wednesday.
Westminster placed third.
South Carroll won the Duals team title last year.
"West Chester is a solid team from top to bottom," said Hamper, whose team beat West Chester 44-27 on Tuesday. "They made great corrections in our second matchup and moved some guys around. Wins and losses in dual meets are not a major factor at this time of the year. We are looking forward to have a big second half and getting ready for states."
The Cavaliers also received standout tournaments from senior Jake MacKenzie (9-1, 152), sophomores Tyler Harbison (9-1, 145) and Steven Dahl (138, 8-2), and freshmen Jagger Clapsadle (106, 9-1) and Dakota Bowers (9-1, 113).
Seniors Jaime Rodriguez (10-0, 285), Garrett Vandervalk (9-1, 195), and Tyler Watkins (7-1, 145), and junior Brad Walsh (10-0, 138) led Westminster.
"This is the best I have seen Brad wrestle," Westminster coach Mike Flemming said. "He went out and was dominant. He was able to get bonus points in every match."
The Owls posted a 2-3 record — including losing to South Carroll 37-35 — on the second day after going 4-1 on first day.
"The biggest thing was to challenge our guys by putting them up against better wrestlers," Flemming said. "I am very proud of the success of our big guns against guys where they were on paper supposed to be outmanned. Something like this tournament is fantastic for preparing the kids for the next month."
After going 2-3 on the first day of the tournament, Manchester Valley went 5-0 on the second day in the consolation bracket, winning convincingly over Quince Orchard, Patuxent, Liberty, and Queen Anne's, while edging Hammond 39-33. Junior Liam Pence (120) went 10-0 with eight pins while senior teammates Harry Walsh (9-1, 220) and Zach McAleer also enjoyed standout tournaments.