- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Thursday night was the last home gathering for the seniors on the Thomas Stone wrestling team as it took on the Huntingtown Hurricanes.
After eight seniors were honored before the match, including the team’s statistician, Stone knew it would be in for a battle on the mat.
Though the Cougars trailed by just six points after the first six bouts, Huntingtown would reel off seven wins in the last eight bouts to collect a 50-18 victory to cap of its regular season.
The Hurricanes (18-3, 10-2 SMAC) bounced back from a 31-30 loss to county rival Northern on a dramatic pin in a tri-meet with host McDonough last Tuesday.
They clinched the second seed in the Class 4A-3A South Region dual meet championships, which will take place tonight at North Point. Huntingtown will take on third-seeded La Plata in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. It will be a rematch of a Jan. 19 contest that saw the Hurricanes beat the Warriors, 43-31.
The winner moves on to the championship match scheduled for 7:30 tonight against the winner of the other match pitting top-seed North Point and fourth-seeded Parkdale from Prince George’s County.
“We had to put the Northern match behind us, we wrestled a very good Stone team, and we have six days to get ready for regional duals,” Huntingtown head coach Kevin Gilligan said. “Our goal is not just to compete at duals, our goal is to go in and win.
Stone (16-7, 7-5) lost its second straight SMAC contest Saturday morning to cap off its regular season, as Calvert won 44-28 at Huntingtown to make up a Jan. 17 postponement.
“Huntingtown is a tough team and now we are going to focus on the SMAC tournament that is coming up,” Stone head coach Michael Kositzke said. ”
With Huntingtown holding an 18-12 lead, sophomore Dominic Sita started the streak for the visitors with a thrilling 6-4 comeback victory in the final seconds of the third period over Stone senior Chris Jagen in the 138-pound weight class.
Sita was trailing 4-2 in the third period before rallying back for the win.
“I got caught on my back and I wasn’t trying to do that, but once I got to my feet, I took a quick shot toward the end and was able to win it,” Sita said. “We did what we had to do tonight and now the focus is to beat La Plata in duals and win it all. Our team has a lot of heart and everyone is working hard in the room.”
“Dominic was in full control of that match and made a mistake, but he didn’t stop wrestling,” Gilligan said. “He got a couple points and a key takedown. The kid is only a sophomore and is still learning, but he’s been wrestling well for us.”
After Huntingtown senior Perry Burgess’ first-period pin at 145, junior Colt Constantino (152) earned a 4-0 win over Stone’s Ryan Sharp and senior Colton Rowe muscled his way to a 9-0 victory at 160 to give the Hurricanes a 34-12 lead.
Hurricanes first-year wrestler Collin Officer clinched the team’s victory with a 14-5 win at 170 over Cougars senior Hunter Rolfs.
“I just know what I needed to do for team,” said Officer, a junior. “This is awesome I so excited for regional duals.”
At 182, Stone senior Garrett Lineberger kept his perfect record this season intact after pinning Tristan Ramberg in the second period.
Huntingtown’s Mike Wilkerson, a transfer from DeMatha, won by forfeit 195 and Zach Walker earned six points after his pin in the final bout over Stone’s Sebastian Martinez at 220.
Dalonte Holland (285), Aidan Dobbins (106), and Jacob Wood (113) all collected pins to give the Hurricanes the early 18-0 lead.
Stone responded as senior John Evans (120) won a 10-6 decision, and Tanner Saluter (126), the all-time winner in the Stone program with a 119-23 career record, pinned Matt Clark late in the first period
In a wild finish at 132, senior Cody Jameson earned a 4-2 victory in triple overtime over Brett Skinner.
“I had to win tonight, I didn’t want to have any regrets, this was my last home match,” Jameson said. “The fans went crazy when I won; they supported us all night and it was exciting.”
“Cody pulled it out and he did what he had to do to win on senior night,” Kositzke added.
Lineberger joins the 100 club
On Thursday night, following in his father Joe’s footsteps, Lineberger reached a special milestone in his last home match with the Cougars, claiming his 100th victory in front of family, friends, teammates and coaching staff.
The win improved his season’s record to 30-0 and career record to 100-4. On Saturday versus Calvert, he defeated Sean Kinney by a 17-1 technical fall 10 seconds into the second period to add to his win total.
“It’s great to have that type of exceptional talent on your team,” Kositzke said. “Garrett has been wrestling for 10, 15 years and really dedicates himself. He wrestles at a different level.”
Lineberger, the defending 170-pound SMAC, 4A-3A South Region, and state champion, was happy and a little emotional at the same time on joining the 100 club with his father, a 145-pound state champion in 1981 at Potomac in Prince George’s County
“It was pretty cool to do this on senior night,” he said. “I would like to thank my dad for pushing me, having me lift weights and drive me everywhere to become a better wrestler. If it wasn’t for him I couldn’t have done it. I was a little teary-eyed and the referee even gave me the flip coin after the match.”
In Lineberger’s last 68 matches, 64 of them he’s won by bonus points.
“I didn’t know that a lot of my friends were going to come out, I had people from other schools in the county that came to support me,” Lineberger said, who has not lost a match since his sophomore season in the 152-pound state championship versus former La Plata product Josh Llopez, who is now a junior at St. Mary’s Ryken.
Now that winning 100 wins is behind him, Lineberger has other expectations.
“My goal is to win the SMAC tournament, regions and states like I did last year,” he added.