No. 1 Mount St. Joseph halts McDonogh's reign

The Baltimore Sun

The drought between state wrestling titles came to an end for No. 1 Mount St. Joseph last night at the Maryland Independent Schools State Championships, when the Gaels stopped No. 2 McDonogh's three-year reign with a 275.5-230 victory.

"This is great," Gaels coach Kirk Salvo said. "This means we're No. 1 in the state without a doubt. Our plan coming in was for each of our guys to wrestle his best. And I'm very proud, because we brought 14 guys and all of them finished in the top seven. It's a pretty rare feat and a tribute to our balance and depth."

Though the title wasn't celebrated until after the Gaels' Karl Green pinned Loyola's Doug Shaw in the 285-pound match, the last bout of the night for his second state title, the outcome was clear after the semifinals.

But McDonogh also had its moments of glory. While Mount St. Joseph celebrated the team title and three individual ones - by Green, Frankie Goodwin (119) and Graceson Pastirik (125) - the Eagles claimed first place in all five of their finals.

Curtis Holmes (145), a four-time Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champ, won his third state crown. Alex Pagnotta (189) and Shane Milam (171) each won a second state title, and Eric Filipowicz (140) and Albert Woody (130) each won for the first time.

Woody beat Andrew Bannister of Bishop McNamara, 6-4, and was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the meet. Bannister was going for a rare fourth straight state title. Only three other wrestlers have won four, the last being McDonogh's Josh Fitch last year.

Woody, who has worked hard to become leaner and stronger, thoroughly enjoyed the result.

"Bannister is a three-time champion, but this is my time," the senior said. "It feels great because a state title is something I've been training for my whole high school career."

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