The Glenelg wrestling team has long had its sights on the state tournament, and the No. 5 Gladiators are taking the toughest road possible to make sure they're ready when the time comes.
Yesterday, it meant a visit to Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association power Mount St. Joseph, and the Gladiators responded with a 37-30 win over the No. 2 Gaels.
Senior Chris Stinnett (140 pounds) returned to the lineup after missing a month with an injured shoulder and was one of four Gladiators to get pins, with senior Tim Chase (160), securing the outcome with a third-period pin of Bobby Bowman.
The Gaels were without four regulars, which Gaels coach Kirk Salvo attributed to disciplinary reasons and injuries.
He declined to provide further details and wasn't sure how long the wrestlers would be out, but he did say one of the four, junior R.J. Schmidtz (215), was lost for the season after breaking his leg last week.
"Glenelg came ready to wrestle today, so I certainly don't want to take anything away from them. They're a great team, and they out-wrestled us," Salvo said.
Along with Stinnett and Chase, the Gladiators got a pin from senior Dan Bichner (135) and decision wins from senior Brian Marcoux (125), a major, and sophomore Brendan Conway (119) - points they're accustomed to getting from their experienced standouts. Glenelg coach Scott Delpo said the efforts put forth by junior Zach Cross (215) and sophomores Zach Gerber (103) and Craig Brindza (130) proved key to the win.
Cross got six points with a pin against Mike Rovnan, while Gerber scored a takedown with 22 seconds left to earn a 5-4 decision over Alex Rice. Brindza got a reversal and three back points in the third period to get past Gino Pollack, 10-5.
"We're just trying to do anything we can to get ready for the state regional duals," Delpo said. "Last year, we hit Rising Sun and felt they were just so much better than we were. So we're trying to wrestle all the competition we can to get better. I'm real proud of my guys. I know Mount St. Joe had a few kids out of their lineup, but even to come into this school with all their tradition to beat this team is big."