Mount Saint Joseph wrestling coach Harry Barnabae says the focus at the start of each year is to win a state championship. The Gaels test themselves among the best in the country in December at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament in Ohio and at the Beast of the East tournament in Delaware as part of the preparation to peak at the end of the season.
Winning its own Mount Mat Madness wrestling tournament, however, is near the top of the list of accomplishments for Mount Saint Joseph, and on Saturday it got the job done and won the 16th annual competition for the third straight season, the fourth time in five years and sixth time ever.
“Every year is gets more challenging, this year particularly,” Barnabae said. “We didn’t have some of our guys in the lineup and it’s really important for the seniors to go out strong and on top. I was happy with everybody’s performance.”
The Gaels, who have finished in the top five at the tournament in 13 of the 16 years, scored 266.5 points to outpace St. Mary’s Ryken (187), Salesianum of Delaware (177), Westmont Hilltop of Pennsylvania (163) and Liberty of Virginia (160.5). Archbishop Spalding placed seventh with 152 points and a champion in Brady Pruett (113 pounds), Owings Mills placed 14th with 65.5 points in its first year at the tournament, and Archbishop Curley placed 15th with 57 points.
Northeast-AA (16th), Severn (21st), Calvert Hall (23rd), Gilman (26th) and St. Mary’s (27th) finished in the bottom half of the 30-team double-elimination bracketed event.
Mount Saint Joseph tied Buford (Ga.) with a tournament-high three champions: freshman Coleman Nogle (106), senior Chris Barnabae (126) and junior Clement Woods (138). Chris Barnabae captured his third consecutive title, and Woods won his second in as many years.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Harry Barnabae said.
Nogle was the first local champion of the day. The freshman earned All-American status by placing seventh in freestyle and fourth in Greco-Roman at the Cadet National Championships in Fargo, N.D. in July and has made an immediate impact for Mount Saint Joseph. An undersized 106-pounder, he took his licks at Ironman and went 0-2, went 4-2 at Beast of the East and on Saturday pinned all four of his opponents, including Yasire Brooks of Pennsylvania’s Belmont Charter in the finals in 2 minutes, 53 seconds with an arm bar, to win the championship.
“Four pins in the tournament feels good,” said Nogle, whose dad John went 118-10 at Smithsburg in Washington County. “… When you lose, you’ve just got to learn from it and that’s what I try to do; put it behind me and learn from my mistakes, go into the practice room and fix them and come out on top.”
Harry Barnabae said of Nogle: “Coleman is very self-motivated. Every day he walks in the room and it’s all business for him. Conditioning, training, technique, and he looks to improve, and he knows the last couple of weeks have been a battle going against upperclassmen, and he’s in there battling with them every match and learning and improving. You can’t ask for anything more from the kid.”
Chris Barnabae sat out last weekend’s Beast of the East tournament and battled through some conditioning issues to beat Colin Dupill of Liberty (Va.), 7-4, in the finals. The Lehigh University commit is currently ranked No. 18 in the nation, and he beat Dupill by scoring in all three positions.
“It means a lot to me. Coming in here I wanted to give it my all,” Chris Barnabae said. “… This one is a little more special. It’s my last time coming in here and it’s at home, so I really wanted to show everybody what I got.”
Woods had a familiar opponent in the finals in Archbishop Spalding sophomore Joe Fisk. Fisk beat Woods last season and led Woods 4-2 after the first period. Ultimately, Woods got his revenge and locked up a standing cradle and pinned Fisk in in 2:49.
“In practice we do a lot from that position,” Woods said. “The leg came up, I saw it, so I put the practice work to use. ... This one by far means more because last year we had a dual meet and he beat me, and he beat me bad. So, I’m just thinking the whole time, I can’t let him beat me again.”
“Clement did an outstanding job,” Harry Barnabae said. “Anytime you pin somebody the caliber of Joe Fisk, who is a great competitor, is no joke.”
Pruett also met a familiar foe, Mount Saint Joseph’s Joe Couch, but he maintained his career edge against him with a commanding 5-0 victory. Pruett, who scored two near-fall points in the second period and added an escape and a takedown in the third, is now 4-0 against Couch over the last two seasons.
“I mean, he’s a good wrestler. Very good at Greco(-Roman), for one thing,” Pruett said of Couch. “He does a lot of throws, so I know I’ve got to stay away from those upper-body locks and work on my single leg and my doubles and high crotches, all the shots.”
Mount Saint Joseph’s Nathan Porter (132) and Archbishop Spalding’s Nick Paolucci (145) were also runners-up, and Severn’s Brad Labella (145), Archbishop Spalding’s Dustin Radford (195), Owings Mills’ Alex Dufour (120), and Mount Saint Joseph’s Gavin Bage (285) placed third.
Among other notable highlights was senior Phil Smith (152) seeing his 94-match losing streak come to an end in the semifinals. He lost to Dylan Weaver of Lyndhurst (N.J.), 20-10, and then lost again to the Gaels’ Chris Roybal, 11-5, before forfeiting to sixth place. Smith, a two-time defending state champion, entered the day with one career loss.
Buford’s Charlie Darracott, who won the 160-pound title, was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.
106: Coleman Nogle (Mount Saint Joseph) F Yasire Brooks (Belmont Charter), 2:53
113: Brady Pruett (Archbishop Spalding) DEC Joe Couch (Mount Saint Joseph), 5-0
120: Luke Kowalski (St Johns) DEC Mason Barrett (Liberty), 4-0
126: Chris Barnabae (Mount Saint Joseph) DEC Colin Dupill (Liberty), 7-4
132: Lorenzo Lopez (Landon) DEC Nathan Porter (Mount Saint Joseph), 3-1
138: Clement Woods (Mount Saint Joseph) F Joe Fisk (Archbishop Spalding), 2:49
145: Jovon Mitchell (Liberty) DEC Nick Paolucci (Archbishop Spalding), 5-3
152: Nick Stonecheck (Buford) DEC Dylan Weaver (Lyndhurst), 11-7
160: Charlie Darracott (Buford) F Hudson Holbay (Westmont Hilltop), 3:37
170: Blaine Bergey (Buford) F Ethan Marcozzi (Bishop McCort), 0:45
182: Brady Colbert (St. John’s) DEC Royce Hall (Liberty), 10-5
195: Danny Stradley (Salesianum) DEC Nasir Dreuitt (William Penn), 3-2
220: Kyonte Hamilton (Georgetown Prep) TF Kaylen Perez (St. Mary's Ryken), 17-2 3:35
285: Terrence Mccauley (St. Mary's Ryken) DEC Max Yonko (Westmont Hilltop), 7-2
106: Mason Buckler (St. Mary's Ryken) F Drew Simpson (Delaware Military Academy), 2:21
113: Christopher Albo (St. Mary's Ryken) DEC Jack Engelmann (Salesianum), 3-2
120: Alex Dufour (Owings Mills) DEC Jacob Wright (Mount Saint Joseph), 9-7 SV
126: Evan Eldridge (St. Mary's Ryken) F Anthony Portillo (Fairfax), 1:57
132: Blake Jury (St. Mary's Ryken) DEC Conner Polacek (Westmont Hilltop), 3-2
138: Damian Weaver (Lyndhurst) DEC Roy Dunn (Westmont Hilltop), 5-4
145: Brad Labella (Severn School) F Finn Eskeland (Leonardtown), 3:57
152: Bryan Contreras (Liberty) DEC Christopher Roybal (Mount Saint Joseph), 5-4
160: Max Agresti (Salesianum) DEC Caleb Swinson (Liberty), 2-1
170: Mauro Pellot (Fairfax) DEC Tim Froelich (Salesianum), 9-3
182: Mason Muto (Westmont Hilltop) DEC Tony Zancan (Mount Saint Joseph), 7-5 SV
195: Dustin Radford (Archbishop Spalding) DEC Parker Warner (Mount Saint Joseph), 4-1
220: Tommy Heisler (Fauquier) DEC Zach Brady (Middletown), 3-1
285: Gavin Bage (Mount Saint Joseph) DEC Ryan Adams (Salesianum), 3-2
1. Mount Saint Joseph, 266.5
2. St. Mary’s Ryken, 187
3. Salesianum (De.), 177
4. Westmont Hilltop (Pa.), 163
5. Liberty (Va.), 160.5
6. Buford (Ga.), 158.5
7. Archbishop Spalding, 152
8. St. John’s (D.C.), 116
9. William Penn (De.), 98
10. Fairfax (Va.), 91
11. Middletown, 89
12. Fauquier (Va.), 79
13. Leonardtown, 73.5
14. Owings Mills, 65.5
15. Archbishop Curley, 57
16. Northeast-AA, 56
17. Delaware Military Academy (De.), 55
18. St. George’s Tech (De.), 54
19. Lyndhurst (N.J.), 52
20. Belmont Charter (Pa.), 49.5
21. Severn School, 43.5
22. Georgetown Prep, 41.5
23. Calvert Hall, 40.5
24. Bishop McCort (Pa.), 39
25. Landon, 39
26. Gilman, 31
27. St. Mary’s, 22.5
28. Bichop O’Connell (Va.), 20
29. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 8
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