No more fast food By MICHAEL REID
The Huntingtown wrestling team is well on its way to potentially contending for regular season and postseason honors, but head coach Kevin Gilligan is staying focused on the task at hand and that includes the health of his team.
In fact, Gilligan is so focused on his team’s improvement that despite a 50-28 win over visiting Calvert on Tuesday, Gilligan barked to his players to get away from a couple of pizza boxes that were floating around the gymnasium.
“We wrestled OK in places,” said Gilligan, whose team faced off with Owings Mills of Baltimore County on Thursday evening, which finished too late for inclusion in this edition. “We’ve got a very young team, but it’s a young team that has won 12 dual [matches] so far this season. Our schedule is tough and we’ve still got a lot of regular season to do. We’re wrestling good teams and in tough tournaments and we’re winning matches and we’re being successful but in terms of where we want to go, we still have a long way to go. It’s Jan. 8, it’s definitely not February or March yet.”
The Hurricanes (10-2, 4-1 SMAC) won the match thanks to a five straight wins from 113 to 138 pounds. Huntingtown was also the beneficiary three forfeits from a youthful Calvert squad.
One of the forfeits was picked up by Huntingtown 170-pounder Colton Rowe, who recently set a school record for most career wins.
“I think the kids fought hard,” said Calvert head coach Mike Free, whose team was coming off a fourth-place finish at last weekend’s Patriot Classic at Northern. “Of course I would have liked a better outcome, but we just have holes and sickness right now, not that it would have changed the outcome. Giving up [forfeit] points is hard because you don’t know how those [bouts] will shake down, but they have the bodies and we don’t.”
The match — which started with Huntingtown’s Dalonte Holland forfeit win at 285 — was tied at 6 following Kyle Hicks’ second period pin at 106 over Aidan Dobbin, who was a late fill-in.
“He’s young but he’s beaten some good kids this year,” Gilligan said of Dobbin, “and he’s going to keep getting better.”
Huntingtown pulled away as Jacob Wood (113), Ryan Lumsden (120) and Dominic Sita (138) each won by fall, Matt Clark earned a forfeit win at 126 and Brett Skinner earned a 7-2 win at 132.
The Cavaliers (4-10, 2-4) earned four wins over the final seven bout, including Sean Kinney’s 89-second pin of Jeremy Kent at 195.
“I worked on a lot of takedowns at practice yesterday, so I came out aggressive and I tried not to waste too much time on the mat,” Kinney said. “I came in with a duck under and took the two [points] and went on top from there, then I did some backpoint moves. I came in thinking I was going to wrestle 182, so it was a little different getting bumped up. It was a bit of a change, but I just tried not to tie up too much because he might be a little stronger than me, so I just stuck to the legs.”
The last bout of the night saw Huntingtown’s Zach Walker rally from a 2-0 first period deficit and score four answered points before earning a pin over Mark Fowler with 31 seconds left at 220.
“I just felt like I was more conditioned so I was just going to wrestle my match and I sort of slipped into a cheap head lock,” said Walker, who earned a 5-4 win over Fowler in a 2012 summer league match. “I just wanted to get in there and wrestle my match.”
Just three of 11 contested matches went to the third period and five ended in first-period pins.
“We’re a little below the standards I would have set,” Free admitted. “I want to contend for a SMAC title this year and I think we have the talent to do it, we just have to get over that hump. We have to get healthy and we have to want to win. We just have some young kids.”
All his wrestling wins are now in a Rowe
Colton Rowe became Huntingtown’s career leader in wrestling wins on Saturday when he won three of four bouts during the Iron Horse Duals held last Saturday at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air.
Rowe set the record when he won his 113th victory with a major decision over his Stephen Decatur opponent.
The previous record was 112 set by Daniel Justice, who graduated in 2008.
“It’s awesome,” Rowe said after earning a forfeit win at 170 pounds over Calvert on Tuesday night for his 115th win. “I knew it was in sight last year when I was close to getting 100, but I never really thought of getting it until last week when I started looking for it and figuring it out. I knew [that bout was] it, but I wasn’t really focused on that, I was more focused on the match itself.”
Rowe was hoping to add to his win total on Tuesday with a match against either Sean Kinney or Connor Sesso, but the Cavaliers elected not to contest the 170-pound weight class.
“You know what, I hate to say it, but [Sesso and Kinney], they wanted to wrestle tonight,” Rowe said. “I guess [the Calvert coaches] had a different game plan.”
Rowe won 27 bouts his freshman year and added 30 more wins his sophomore year. He had 40 last season. He is currently 18-5 this year and credited his success to hard work and determination.
“He’s done a nice job,” Huntingtown head coach Kevin Gilligan said. “He’s got an ultimate goal and it’s nice when you get an individual accomplishment, but he’s got an ultimate goal [of winning a state title]. He’s wrestled some really tough kids this year and he’s had success.”
Rowe, who has placed at both tournaments he’s competed in this year, said holding the record is exciting.
“It’s surreal because I never really thought of myself as beating the school record,” he said.