- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
After suffering back-to-back nail-biting SMAC dual losses to North Point and La Plata, the Northern wrestling team looked to get back on the winning track in Tuesday’s senior night match versus visiting Thomas Stone.
Jacob Horn, one of six seniors, did just that with his 50-second pin on Stone junior Ahmed Mohamed in the opening 182-pound bout, sparking the Patriots to the eventual 44-25 victory.
“It always feels good to get a win and I was able to get the team rolling and give us the 6-0 lead with a fall,” Horn said. “This win over Thomas Stone gave us a huge confidence boost, and it was fun that the seniors got to wrestle under the lights.”
Northern (15-3, 5-2 SMAC) collected eight victories out of 14 bouts, with five of them coming by way of pin. Five of the six seniors won their respective bouts and had a combined three pins in those bouts.
“This is very rewarding for the seniors to win their last home match,” said Northern head coach Matt Smith, whose team traveled to Chopticon on Thursday night, a match that finished too late for inclusion into this edition. “We had lost a couple of close matches coming in and we rebounded tonight by getting pins and fighting hard. We are still not at our full potential; we still have a lot of work to do.”
Thomas Stone head coach Michael Kositzke, whose team took on host Lackey and North Point in a tri-meet on Thursday evening, which also finished too late for inclusion into this edition, mentioned that his team did not come to wrestle and said that they did not step up versus a tough team in the Patriots.
“They just wanted it more than we did and beat us,” Kositzke said, “We have to continue to get better and finish out the regular season strong before we get to the SMAC tournament [Feb. 15]. We need wrestlers to step up individually and be ready to wrestle every time they step on the mat.”
Northern took a 30-4 lead through the first six bouts, thanks to the strength of pins from Horn, senior Cliff Armentrout (285), sophomore Brendan Coughlin (106) and senior Brant Leadbeter (113), the top-ranked state wrestler in his weight class. Sophomore Scott Cross earned a win by forfeit at 220 during that span.
At 195, Cougars senior Garrett Lineberger, last year’s defending state champion at 170 and currently the top-ranked wrestler in the state in his weight class, according to the Maryland State Wrestling Association, picked up a 12-4 win by major decision over Northern junior Kyle LaMond.
After the match, Lineberger wasn’t happy with just getting a major. He wanted to get a pin for six points for his team.
“We knew Northern was going to be a tough match, and right now we just have too many holes in our lineup,” Lineberger said. “We just have to step it up, I felt like I let the team down. I didn’t get the points that I needed I wanted to get the pin and I didn’t get it. We just have to keep working hard and get ready for our next match.”
The Cougars cut the Patriots lead to 30-16, thanks to a win by decision from senior John Evans (120), a second-period pin from Tanner Saluter (126) and a 6-0 decision victory by senior Cody Jameson at 132.
Northern senior Andrew Pasqualle defeated Chris Jagen in a 6-2 decision at 138 and Jackson Drum added a pin at 145 for the Patriots.
The Cougars won the last two of three bouts, as sophomore Ryan Sharp (152) earned a pin and junior Wesley Fowler eked out a 6-4 win over Jackson Horn.
Senior Eric Hoffman (160) the third-ranked wrestler in the state in his weight class, picked up a 17-0 win by technical fall over Stone’s Hunter Rolfs.
“I thought we wrestled well, it felt good to win on senior night,” said Hoffman, who has been sick since last Thursday. “Jacob Horn set the tone for us and for the most part we did good staying off our backs. I felt good as soon as I broke a sweat and got my muscles working on the mat. We still have to critique some things and we will be fine.”
After taking on Chopticon on Thursday night, Northern has two more regular season matches left, The Patriots will travel take on host McDonough and Huntingtown in a tri-meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday and cap things off with host Lackey two days later at 6:30 p.m.
Stone fell to 14-4, 5-2 on the season with the loss to Northern, with its other loss coming at the hands of La Plata, 37-32 on Dec. 11.
The Cougars will have two more regular season matches next week, at Patuxent on Tuesday and a home match versus Huntingtown on Thursday. Both matches are scheduled for 6:30 p.m.