Wrestling: Winters Mill wrestling overwhelms Liberty

Winters Mill wrestler Troy Blessing talks about his team's rout of Liberty. (Tom Worgo / Carroll County Times)

The Winters Mill wrestling team continues to build momentum.

The Falcons won their sixth straight dual-meet Wednesday night with a 66-6 thrashing of visiting Liberty.


Winters Mill has also beaten Westminster, Francis Scott Key, Manchester Valley, Gerstell Academy and Silver Oak Academy.

"It's the time of the year when you want to be peaking," Winters Mill wrestling coach John Lowe said. "We're down to like two weeks left in the regular season. At this time of the year, you want to pay attention to the individuals. Everybody has different problems and challenges, but the guys are starting to realize what they need to do to win."

The match turned out to be business as usual for the Falcons, and a learning experience for the youthful Lions, who dropped their dual-meet record to 8-23.

"You can always take things away from losses," said first-year Liberty wrestling coach Logan Yox, who previously worked as an assistant at Westminster. "If not, then you are not growing as a team. We will turn this into a positive."

Winters Mills (13-5 overall, 4-1 county) took the first seven bouts and jumped out to a lightening-quick 24-0 lead thanks to Colby Unkhart (120, 25-9), Logan Konold (126, 10-15), Bailey Konold (132, 19-9) and Nico Vagnier (132, 23-8) getting forfeits.

Sophomore Trevor Fawley (145) of Winters Mill followed the streak of forfeits by pinning Max Ellis in 24 seconds to make it 30-0.

Then, the Falcons' Troy Blessing (152, 28-4) had the closest match of the night and edged Jake Griffin, 8-7.

The Falcon scored the winning point on an escape with 42 seconds remaining in the final period, but Griffin (21-4) had fought back from a first-period deficit of 5-0.

"I knew it was a good enough lead that I could cruise a little bit," Blessing said. "I became a little too comfortable and I was lucky to pull it out there at the end."

After Winters Mill's Josh Burndley (160, 16-12) scored a 6-3 decision over freshman McClain Butler, Liberty finally won its first match when junior Evan Biden (170, 17-1) pinned Casey Rowe (17-11) in 1:11.

"He doesn't try to do any fancy moves anymore," Yox said of Biden. "He used to be one of those guys. Now, he just has solid fundamentals."

Winters Mill prevailed in the last six bouts and got pins in four of them.

The Falcons' Hunter Lowe (182, 24-4) wore down Noah Wienclawski (19-12), 9-4, and Zach King (113, 17-11) topped freshman Logan Custred (20-10) by the same score.

In between, Alex Miller (195, 23-9,), Blake Billings (220), Kyle Shanholtz (285, 24-10) and Hunter Merson (106, 25-8) all recorded pins.


"We are in the hunt for a post-season berth for the regional duals," Lowe said. "We have an uphill battle. We are going to have to win out. But I think it's good to set that type of goal for your team."

120: Colby Unkhart (WM) forfeit.

126: Logan Konold (WM) forfeit.

132: Bailey Konold (WM) forfeit.

138: Nico Vagnier (WM) forfeit.

145: Trevor Fawley (WM) pin Max Ellis 2:43.

152: Troy Blessing (WM) dec. Jake Griffin 8-7.

160: Josh Burndley (WM) dec. McClain Butler 6-3.

170: Evan Bliden (L) pin Casey Rowe (WM) 1:11.

182: Hunter Lowe (WM) dec. Noah Wienclawski 9-4.

195: Alex Miller (WM) pin Sean Connolly pin 0:42.

220: Blake Billings (WM) pin Ryan Brown 1:07.

285: Kyle Shanholtz (WM) pin Braden Puller 3:25.

106: Hunter Merson (WM) pin Jacob Gaskin 3:48.

113: Zach King (WM) dec. Logan Custred 9-4.

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