When he took the mat for his 106-pound bout to conclude a long night of wrestling on Thursday night, Lackey’s Parris Blake was determined to finish the night on a positive note.
For Blake, that meant not just winning his bout, but winning by at least a major decision to get his team clear of the Chopticon Braves, who led the Chargers 34-31 going into the final match.
Blake accomplished his mission, winning 11-0 to lift Lackey to a 35-34 victory over the Braves.
“I just didn’t want to let down my team,” Blake said. “I wanted to give it my all to make sure we got the win.”
Lackey’s win closed a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference tri-match, hosted by the Chargers, that also included Leonardtown. The Raiders left Lackey’s gym the owners of two wins, dominating Lackey 56-11 to open the night before dispatching Chopticon 54-18.
At night’s end, Blake salvaged a win for the hosts, bringing home a dramatic win for Lackey (2-13 overall). Opening the dual, Earlie Harris delivered a 14-3 major decision for the Chargers at 113 pounds. In between the two major decisions, Lackey got a pin from Jacob Ham (160) and a decision courtesy of Temilolu Dapo-Adeyemo at 182. Jeremy McBain (126), Kenneth Baker (145) and Michael Wood (220) all picked up forfeit wins for the hosts, as well.
“That was fun,” said Brandon Paulin, in his first season at the Chargers’ helm. His team’s next scheduled SMAC match is at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at home versus Huntingtown. “Those young guys really stepped it up for us. We sent Jonathan [Alcala] out there at heavy and he got pinned, but he was gutting it out. Mike [Wood] went out there and got the forfeit which was great. Parris in the last match did what we needed him to do to secure that victory. All up and down I think it was a good effort.”
“It was a good night, a long night, but the team pulled through in the end,” added Ham, who won an individual championship at the Patriot Classic tournament at Northern High School the previous week. “Parris Blake put up a great match to put it away.”
Chopticon (4-3) had a wrestler miss weight and then lost another to injury in its opening dual against Leonardtown, creating just too much of a hole for the team to overcome.
Josh Rimm (152), Garry Gorham (195) and Quincy Quade (285) each won by fall against Lackey. Greg Griffith (170) earned a win by major decision, while Trey Kratko (120) and Landon Roberts (138) each took decisions. Austin Kirby also had his hand raised via a forfeit at 132.
The Braves’ next scheduled match is at home versus Howard County’s River Hill at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
“They wrestled hard. I’m proud of the way our kids wrestled,” Chopticon head coach Dane Kramer said of his team during the tri-match with Lackey and Leonardtown. “We won a couple of matches we didn’t think we were going to win, but losing those two kind of killed us.”
In the night’s opener, Leonardtown won 11 of 14 matches in defeating Lackey, with seven of the victories coming by fall starting with Joe Stanalonis in the heavyweight bout. Sean Vosburgh (126), Brian Bieshelt (138), Finn Eskeland (145), Travis Chism (152), Aidan Gamble (195) and Scott Price (220) all followed suit. Matthew Oh (113) and Trey Cialone (132) both won by major decision, while Brandon Oh (120) and M.J. Cox (182) picked up decisions for the Raiders.
Leonardtown enjoyed similar success against Chopticon, taking 10 of the 14 bouts. The Raiders won the first seven matches of the dual to open up a 39-0 edge.
Blake Simonds (106), Matthew Oh (113), Vosburgh, Brandon Oh (126), Cialona (132), Bieshelt (138) and Eskeland (145) were all winners in those first seven bouts, while Gannon Brooks (160), Price (220) and Stanalonis (285) rounded out the Raiders’ victors.
Leonardtown (19-4) is next scheduled to be at Patuxent at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21.