Wrestling: For starters, Liberty posts five pins to take down Francis Scott Key

Pat Stoetzer
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

Wrestling in early December can pose its challenges.

Some teams are still tinkering with their lineups. Others have holes that won’t filled for a little while. Grapplers are adjusting to weight gain, or loss, while doing their best to maintain eligibility status.

Then there’s the action itself, which tends to erase any early-season doubt that every wrestler and his team want to start things off the right way.

“It kind of gets boring beating up the same kids in the wrestling room for two weeks,” said senior Noah Wienclawski, one of Liberty’s veterans that helped his team post a 60-15 victory Thursday over Francis Scott Key in the season opener for both Carroll County Athletic League teams. “Very nice to get out there, get a county win.”

The new year started quite well for Wienclawski and the Lions, who took advantage of five FSK forfeits and posted five pins along the way. Wienclawski (285 pounds) was joined by Sammy Nehme (170), McClain Butler (182), Max Ellis (195), and Daniel Bird (132), and they helped Jeff Kent win his first match as Liberty’s new coach.

Kent made his return to the sideline after a long break — he coached at Glenelg in the early 1990s, then helped Henry Mohlhenrich at Westminster a few years later before sharing coaching duties with Randy Biden at Winters Mill when that school opened.

When Liberty was without a varsity coach this summer, Kent said he talked with athletic director Ed DeVincent and asked DeVincent to reach out once the season’s start grew closer. It helped that Nate Kent, Jeff’s son, transferred from Westminster to Liberty to play football in the fall.

Jeff Kent said assistant wrestling coach Matt Kuegler, a former Lions standout, has been the “glue” that helped create a smooth transition with a new front man coming in.

“We want to do what’s right by the kids,” Kent said. “I think that’s his role and he’s pretty good at it. I tie up all the other ends right now. It’s a good learning experience for me.”

Kent said he shuffled some wrestlers around Thursday to give them as much mat time as possible. Meanwhile, FSK dealt with six open spots in its lineup. Eagles coach Bill Hyson said it will take some time for his squad to be at full strength.

“In theory, if everything settles, we’re going to overcome being real inexperienced,” Hyson said. “That was pretty obvious in a couple places tonight.”

Hyson said he was pleased with the first bout of the night between Key’s Nathan Perry and Liberty’s Jake Gaskin at 138. Perry scored late in the third period and held on for a 6-5 win.

Plus, FSK posted pins from freshmen Wyatte Johns (220) and Zach Kinloch (106).

“I like the attitude of the kids in the room and all right now,” Hyson said.

Wienclawski likes where Liberty is in its practice room, too. And last year’s county champion at 182 said he’s expecting an improved regular season in Eldersburg — the Lions went 1-5 in CCAL dual meets a year ago.

“Big time,” he said. “I really think we’ll have a solid lineup. We’re not going to have much gaps … I plan to get down to [195]. I think we have a really good chance at doing very well in the county this year.”

138: Nathan Perry (FSK) dec. Jake Gaskin 6-5

145: Jacob Slicher (L) by forfeit

152: Anthony Marsico (L) by forfeit

160: Justin Richardson (L) by forfeit

170: Sammy Nehme (L) pin Blaine Robertson 3:25

182: McClain Butler (L) pin Sam Kinloch 1:03

195: Max Ellis (L) pin Anthony Klass 4:26

220: Wyatte Johns (FSK) pin Nick Griffin 0:26

285: Noah Wienclawski (L) pin Quinlan Stacy, first pd

106: Zach Kinloch (FSK) pin Matt Slowikowski 1:16

113: Ryan Ohler (L) by forfeit

120: Devin Ross (L) by forfeit

126: Double forfeit

132: Daniel Bird (L) pin Josh Rouse, first pd

pat.stoetzer@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7894

twitter.com/carrollvarsity

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