Wrestling: Winters Mill clears the decks for a county title

Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

Winters Mill wrestling coach John Lowe was elated after his team cruised past visiting Francis Scott Key 66-9 on Monday night.

The Falcons did something they haven’t accomplished since 2013 — they captured the county dual-meet championship.

“It’s nice to be back,” said Lowe, whose team improved to 17-2 overall and 5-0 in the county. “It’s been a few years. So yeah, it’s a big thing. We want to get on a nice roll. We want to win the county tournament, make some noise in the region and maybe win the state.”

The Falcons face South Carroll on Wednesday, but they secured the county crown based on a head-to-head tiebreaker with Westminster (3-1 county). The worst WM can finish in the county is 5-1.

Winters Mill certainly looked like a championship-caliber team against FSK.

And it didn’t take long for the Falcons to knock off the short-handed Eagles (5-13, 0-5), defeating them in 48 minutes.

Logan Konold (120 pounds, 22-6), Russell MacDowell (138, 1-0), Nico Vagnier (145, 18-5), Josh Burndley (152, 21-9), Trevor Fawley (170, 25-4), and Alex Miller (220, 24-5) all recorded pins for Winters Mill.

The Falcons began the match by taking the first five bouts and recording pins in three of them.

MacDowell started things off by pinning Gunner Paolini in 3:03 in his first varsity match. Vagnier followed by taking down Sam Kinloch in 29 seconds.

Burndley, a junior, made it three straight pins when he decked Blaine Robertson in 3:09.

After Falcons senior Troy Blessing gained a forfeit at 160 to give his team a 24-0 lead, Fawley decked Ryan Owings in 2:40.

Francis Scott Key senior Nate Imes (182) scored the first points for the Eagles and needed only 19 seconds to pin Noah Ocasio. That fall only temporarily slowed the Falcons, as they took the next six bouts.

Hunter Lowe (195, 24-3) scored a 10-5 decision over Kane Richardson, Miller pinned Wyatte Johns in 1:27, while Blake Billings, Garrett Dell, and Alex Vagnier received forfeits.

Konold ended the stretch by pinning Lonnie McLain in 5:30.

FSK junior Dontae Smith (126, 23-2) won his match over freshman Zach Kirby (25-6), scoring on a takedown and near fall points in final 10 seconds of the third period to prevail 6-4.

“That was probably the best match of the night because of intensity on the mat,” FSK coach Bill Hyson said. “We always tell the kids it takes two seconds to win a match and you have to wrestle all six minutes. To his credit, he did do that.”

Winters Mill sophomore Colby Unkart (132, 21-9) finished the scoring, edging Nathan Perry 4-2.

The Falcons celebrated their first county crown in five years, back when they had reeled off back-to-back titles and three in five seasons. Winters Mill won six consecutive county tournament championships from 2009-14.

“It’s really great that we brought home a title,” Blessing said. “The past couple of years we haven’t. South Carroll has been dominant the past few years. Hopefully, it brings back a tradition of winning for this program.”

138: Russell MacDowell (WM) pin Gunner Paolini 3:03

145: Nico Vagnier (WM) pin Sam Kinloch 0:29

152: Josh Burndley (WM) pin Blaine Robertson 3:09

160: Troy Blessing (WM) by forfeit

170: Trevor Fawley (WM) pin Ryan Owings 2:40

182: Nate Imes (FSK) pin Noah Ocasio 0:19

195: Hunter Lowe (WM) dec Kane Richardson 10-5

220: Alex Miller (WM) pin Wyatte Johns 1:27

285: Blake Billings (WM) by forfeit

106: Garrett Dell (WM) by forfeit

113: Alex Vagnier (WM) by forfeit

120: Logan Konold (WM) pin Lonnie McLain 5:30

126: Dontae Smith (FSK) dec. Zach Kirby 6-4

132: Colby Unkart (WM) dec. Nathan Perry 4-2

tworgo@baltsun.com

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