- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Boasting a Southern Maryland-best 11th place at the elite War on the Shore wrestling tournament last weekend in Salisbury was a sign of dominant things to come for the Huntingtown Hurricanes this week. The War on the Shore, comprised of 29 talented public and private programs representing four states and Washington D.C., also included Southern Maryland powers La Plata, St. Mary’s Ryken and Thomas Stone.
Tuesday’s tri-match saw Huntingtown mount a blitzkrieg over the Lackey Chargers and host Westlake Wolverines, as the Hurricanes continue to prove they could be the biggest threat in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference to La Plata’s current dynamic run of eight straight regular season league titles.
Huntingtown (2-0 overall/SMAC) disposed of rebuilding Westlake, 71-9, and then overwhelmed an improved Lackey squad in 52-21 fashion to begin its duals schedule this season.
“It really does build my confidence, showing I can compete in the nation,” Huntingtown 113-pound sophomore Jacob Wood said of his notable fourth place at War on the Shore, falling by just a point in the third-place bout of the tournament.
Wood registered a pair of first-period pins against Lackey and Westlake.
“I feel we can beat every single team in SMAC,” he added, noting his team is scared of no opponent. “We only lost three seniors [from last year’s team]. Yeah, they were good and pretty much definite wins for us. But we filled their spots pretty good this year. I’m confident we can win SMAC.”
This week’s state rankings also showcase such confidence in Huntingtown, ranked a SMAC-best 20th, one spot ahead of La Plata.
Also coming through with a pair of wins in Tuesday’s action were Huntingtown’s Brett Skinner (132), Dominic Sita (138), Perry Burgess (145), Colt Constantino (152, 160), Colton Rowe (160, 170), Zach Walker (195, 220) and heavyweight Dalonte Holland.
Skinner, Constantino and Holland joined Wood with a pair of pins, while Rowe collected a fall and technical fall in his two bouts with Walker earning a fall and major decision on the night.
“I think we have the capability of competing against any team in SMAC,” said Holland, who headlined Huntingtown at War on the Shore with a quality third-place display. “We did lose seniors [from last year] but we’ve been working hard. Some of our [wrestlers] are working on their feet. I’ve been working on my shots this year.
“I feel what I did at War on the Shore, I was good. I was good enough to place first or second. It’s just I was getting in those really close matches and I’m learning how to finish those matches right now as the season progresses.”
Tuesday also featured the second showdown between brothers Kevin and Stephen Gilligan as the head coaches of Huntingtown and Lackey, respectively. Kevin Gilligan remains undefeated in the intriguing clash that both brothers downplayed as just another match Tuesday after each went through the pomp and circumstance of it all for the first time last year.
Huntingtown downed Lackey, 48-26, in that inaugural unofficial Gilligan bowl on the mat.
“It’s a dual meet, it’s our first two dual meets,” Kevin Gilligan simply said about there being no more excitement than usual in facing his brother’s team for the second straight year. “The excitement is always there for a dual meet, and Lackey’s improved, they’re a tough team. We have a lot of inexperience, a lot of youth. They’re growing up quickly.
“We’ll find out [if we’re better than last year’s 19-11 team that finished a fourth-place 9-3 in SMAC]. The capability is there.”
He added, “I want to beat everybody. I don’t worry about family bragging rights, to be honest. I would never rub this in or even talk to [Stephen] about it. We just want to win dual meets.”
Stephen Gilligan and his Lackey team (2-1 overall/SMAC) came away with a split at Westlake, knocking off the host squad by a 63-16 count. Westlake fell to 0-3 overall and in the SMAC with the pair of losses.
Lackey’s Brandon Paulin (120), Trayson Thomas (170), Corrice Davis (182) and Mike Laury (220) were unbeaten against Huntingtown and Westlake. Paulin and Laury produced pins in each of their bouts.
“Obviously, I’m not happy with the end result,” Stephen Gilligan said of losing to his brother’s team for a second straight year. “[My brother] does have a tough team. He’s got a lot of kids that really work their tails off year round, and it shows. I knew tonight’s match [against Huntingtown] was going to be a tough one. A couple of matches got away from us that I thought we definitely could win, but that’s the sport of wrestling. We wrestled tough tonight, but the end result is not the end result I like.
“Last year [facing my brother] was [exciting] because he was new to the conference. This year, it was just a match. I can’t worry too much about who I’m coaching against.”
Brandon Logan (106) and Marc Burnett (126) were the bright spots for Westlake Tuesday, winning each of their bouts. Logan pinned his Huntingtown and Lackey opponents.
Glenn Jones Charger Classic this weekend
The longtime annual Lackey Christmas Wrestling Tournament has been renamed after its legendary Maryland Hall of Fame coach, Glenn Jones, who remains the school’s biggest fan in retirement from a career in education.
The Glenn Jones Charger Classic takes place Friday and Saturday has been bolstered in competition from the recent past.
Stephen Gilligan, the tournament director, said the field will feature 30 teams that include marquee programs Archbishop Curley, Mt. Saint Joseph, Westfield (Va.) and a couple of Pennsylvania strong outfits.
Private schools Mt. Saint Joseph and Archbishop Curley are ranked 13th and 16th, respectively, in the state.
Also, the SMAC will be represented by Chopticon, Great Mills, McDonough, North Point and Westlake in addition to Lackey at the tournament.
“We see each other so much during the year that we try to get out [to other tournaments] and see the rest of the state,” the Lackey coach said for why there are a limited amount of SMAC teams at the Glenn Jones Charger Classic.