The wrestling teams at Reservoir and Wilde Lake didn’t have much to celebrate last year.
The Gators had their worst record in school history by going 3-28 with just one county victory, while the Wildecats went 0-11.
But the beginning of a fresh season brings renewed hope for each team, and on Thursday host Reservoir got the better of Wilde Lake with a commanding 69-12 victory to kick off the 2019-20 season.
“It’s great to kick things off,” said Gators coach Andy McIntyre, now in his 10th year, “and it’s also great to start with a win.”
The Gators won six matches via forfeit, Jack Goldscher (120), Ben Coler (152), Dylan Wiegert (182) and Dylan Altman (285) won by fall, Kaz Okamoto (145) earned a decision and Luke Sims (170) won via disqualification.
McIntyre said they didn’t do anything ceremonial rid the memories of what was a tough 2018-19 season, but instead he focused on increasing participation at the school and preaching accountability. Reservoir had the wrestling mats open during the offseason “to try to get some kids to see that wrestling is a great sport, and that’s a big reason I think that we have these numbers (43 wrestlers),” he said.
“Even the parents were saying it feels like a different year, you know, it feels like there’s different energy, different everything, and I told the guys when we talked after the match that. The past is the past, and we need to wrestle like the team that we are capable of being instead of the team that we’ve been.”
While the dual meet lacked excitement about the outcome because Wilde Lake forfeited five of the first six bouts and trailed by 36 points, the competition on the mat didn’t. Okamoto held off the Hunter Ubbens for a tight 4-3 decision, and the match between the Sims and Steven Spooner, while not a technically sound match, was decided in the final seconds. Sims held an 11-9 advantage when Spooner was called for his fourth technical violation, which resulted in his disqualification.
It was a learning moment for a Wildecats’ team that is focused on building from the ground up.
The basics “is pretty much all we do,” said first-year Wilde Lake coach Sean Alkire, who coached at Howard from 2005 to 2009. “Basics meaning wrestling technique but also basics of, how do you do a match, what’s a match look like, you know, because a lot of these kids, this was their first (wrestling match) they’ve ever seen.”
There were some positives for Wilde Lake, though. Tony Blunt (195), who flashed potential last year, scored a quick takedown and two near-fall points before winning by fall in 1 minute, 34 seconds, and Louis Nanton (220) followed with a 21-second pin.
“He’s come in and provided that leadership we’ve been lacking, that veteran to kind of get things together,” Alkire said of Blunt. “He works extremely hard, and he’s on a little mission, and that’s good.”
Alkire said his team shouldn’t be forfeiting six matches all season. A few wrestlers are injured and will be moving weight classes.
As for Reservoir, McIntyre said he hopes this is the start of a major turnaround season. He expects to learn a lot about his team this weekend when they compete in the Golden Eagle Duals at Aberdeen against stiff competition.
“I don't think we proved anything tonight. I think it was just still got a long way to go,” McIntyre said. “But I feel good about where the season is, I feel good about where we are, and I'm very excited to see what happens this weekend at Aberdeen.”
Reservoir 69, Wilde Lake 12
106: Sebastian Meza (Re) via forfeit [6-0]
113: Olav Jensen (Re) via forfeit [12-0]
120: Jack Goldscher (Re) pinned Armon Wilson (WL), 1:05 [18-0]
160: Ethan Bohan (MR) pinned Alec Dean (Ho), 0:12 [24-21]
170: Will Vaxmonsky (MR) pinned Success Myers (Ho), 0:54 [30-21]
182: Zach Bedell (MR) dec. Chris Hallums (Ho), 4-1 [33-21]
195: Thomas Buckley (MR) pinned Blake Stolarik (Ho), 0:27 [39-21]
220: Idrees Ibrahim (MR) dec. Devin Dengu (Ho), 10-6 [42-21]
285: Jack Baxter (MR) pinned Solomon Larson (Ho), 1:24 [48-21]
106: Atley Turner (MR) via forfeit [54-21]
Hammond 60, Long Reach 24
The Golden Bears (1-0, 1-0) cruised past the Lightning (0-1, 0-1). Jabari Pinkney (120), Keneth Rios (126), Keiron Wilson (132), Chris Alvarenga (145), Micah Nowlin (152), Elliott Bauer (160) and Nolan Deshields (170) won by fall, and Jack Taylor (113), Jordan Brown (182) and Trenton Jones (220) won via forfeit for the Golden Bears.
195: Reggie Love (LR) pinned Linus Sekedjah (Ha), 1:56 [54-18]
220: Donald St. Aubin (Ha) fft. [60-18]
285: Sean Hicks (LR) pinned Kyle Jeffers (Ha), 1:47 [60-24]
Mt. Hebron 52, Atholton 21
The Vikings (1-0, 1-0) took down the Raiders (0-1, 0-1). Winning for Mt. Hebron were Lucas Lopez (106, forfeit), Jeremy Fox (113, pin) Muhammad Khan (120, decision), Aamil Vahora (126, pin), Bryce Kampert (152, tech fall), Bassam Qassem (160, pin), Noah Manasterli (170, decision), Aown Dar (182), Evan Turner (195, forfeit) and John Ross (220, pin). Atholton’s David Panda pinned Mt. Hebron’s Jack McGuire in the premier match of the night.
285: Desmon Craig (A) pinned Israel Funmilayo (MH), 0:35 [0-6]
106: Lucas Lopez (MH) fft. [6-6]
113: Jeremy Fox (MH) pinned Jalen Glenn (A), 0:24 [12-6]
120: Mo Khan (MH) dec. Sam Johnson (A), 3-1 [15-6]