Walter Johnson’s third-place state finisher J.D. FitzPatrick (138) earned the Mad Mats Tournament Outstanding Wrestler honor at Magruder this weekend, pinning three opponents and winning his quarterfinal, 14-5.
FitzPatrick trailed his semifinal, 2-0, before decking Virginia’s fifth-place state finisher, Joshua Garber of James River, in 5:53.
FitzPatrick won his title bout in 5:21 over Bullis’ Marcelo Motta, an IAC champion who finished sixth at last year’s private schools state tournament.
“I was excited to wrestle Marcelo in the finals because I know how hard he works and he’s a great wrestler who I have a lot of respect for. I was fortunate to come out on top, but I’m just thankful to be able to compete against a great wrestler like him,” said FitzPatrick, a senior.
“I was really impressed with how WJ did as a whole this weekend. Getting fourth and missing third by a point was a great way to start the season. We had a lot of guys step up and I’m excited for how this team will do this season with the work guys are putting in.”
Walter Johnson’s Andrew Masison (113), Jacob Bernstein (126) and Jose Rivas (132) placed third behind FitzPatrick.
Last year, he placed third in the county after being second as a sophomore. He ended up second in the region after having been third a year earlier.
Landon’s IAC runner-up Brendon Gallagher (145) dominated the event for the second straight year, with the junior’s twin brother, Brett (160) and Jelani Machen (170) finishing second, and Lorenzo Lopez (120, third).
Gallagher nailed down pins in 46, 65 and 87 seconds to reach the title bout, where he scored 11 near-fall points during a 17-2 technical fall victory over Evan Walker of Canestoga.
Gallagher won last year’s crown at 138 pounds, pinning three opponents, including a 64-second semifinal fall over FitzPatrick.
“It felt good to know that all the hard work I’ve been putting in at practice is paying off, and that the moves I’ve spent the last few weeks perfecting are working,” said Gallagher, who was third at the previous weekend’s McDonogh tournament.
“After this victory, I’m more confident that I’ll be able to win bigger tournaments, and beat better opponents. Starting the season off with a good win like this is great, but I know that I need to continue to work harder every day.”
Good Counsel’s state champs Bailey Thomas (152) and Brady Daniel (220) competed at the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Iron Man Tournament, where they placed seventh and eighth.
But the defending WCAC titleholders were nevertheless present at Mad Mats, receiving a championship from Ryan Briggs (170) the score of 5-3 over Machen.
Meanwhile, St. John’s Head Coach Cam Watkins continued his winning streak at his alma mater Magruder as his Cadets won the Mad Mats Tournament.
The Cadets produced six champions, a runner-up and a third place finisher Saturday.
Among their 11 wrestlers who placed within the top six of their weight classes, the Cadets’ 255.5 points overwhelmed runner-up Woodgrove (195 points) in the 22-team field.
Luke Kowalski (106), Gavin Stoddard (120), Aidan Rocha (132), Jack Cassidy (152), Zach Wentz (182), and Brian Hennessy (220) all won championships, with Tim Costello (113) being second, and Jalen Dickerson (285), third.
“It was really huge to come back to a school that I graduated from after growing up right down the street from it. I thought we were able to dominate,” said Watkins, whose champions alone totaled 16 pins and a technical fall. “I told the guys going into Day Two that even though we were ahead and probably going to win the tournament that we needed to keep improving and scoring bonus points where we could.”
Watkins graduated from Margruder in 2005. He captured Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles as a freshman and sophomore at DeMatha, also being first and second at the private schools state tournaments as well as third and second at National Preps.
As a junior at McDonogh of Owings Mills, Watkins won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament, finished second at private states and third at National Preps.
Watkins began his final high school year at Magruder by winning Outstanding Wrestler honors as well along with the distinction of pinning the most opponents in the least amount of time at Mad Mats.
One of the Cadets’ nine seniors, Cassidy pinned all four opponents, including Good Counsel’s Avery Miller in just 33 seconds of their title bout.
“Coach was really pumped to win this tournament. He talked about it all week,” said Cassidy, a Silver Spring resident whose Cadets want to challenge defending WCAC champion Good Counsel. “I don’t think we’ve reached our expectations, yet, and our highest goal is to beat Good Counsel and win that WCAC championship.”
Stoddard, Wentz and Hennessy were nearly as dominant as Cassidy, with Stoddard’s 8-7 semifinal victory being his lone decision to go with falls in 29-, 42- and 33-seconds, the latter in the finals against Woodgrove’s Jarrett Tardiff.
Wentz pinned three opponents before overcoming Good Counsel’s Drew Brenowitz, 10-5, in the finals, and Hennessy won his title match, 3-1, against Canestoga’s Kade LaMarre after having decked his previous three opponents.
In other title bouts, the Cadets’ Kowalski edged Clay Rankin of Canestoga, 7-4, and Rocha blanked Tardiff’s teammate, Yadel Schabel, 15-0.
“We want to get a little better every time out, and everybody from top to bottom wrestled well,” said Watkins. “The WCAC hasn’t been won by St. John’s since 1979, and they’ve only done it once. A tournament like this is very similar to the WCAC tournament in terms of how tough it is. We can use this as a steppingstone.”
Magruder’s Colton Houldsworth (113) won his title on a decision and three pins, the latter in just 1:41 of his championship bout with Costello.
Winning for Bullis was IAC champion Aryemis Brown (160), who was a week removed from earning Outstanding Wrestler honors with four pins in the Admiral Holloway Tournament at St. James in Hagerstown.
A third-place private schools finisher who improved to 9-0 with one forfeit, Brown’s first-round 14-second fall was the tournament’s swiftest, and with others in 28- and 67-seconds, earned him the award for the most falls in the least amount of time at Mad Mats.
“It has been an amazing start to the season with not having to exceed the first period except in one championship match,” said Brown, a senior. “In my final year of high school, I am aiming to achieve a story-book ending filled with a continued winning and pinning streak and tournament accolades.”
Finishing second was Wheaton’s Clark Glory (126), an improvement on his third place from a year ago.