Private schools state champions Brady Daniel (220) of Good Counsel and Ethan Krause (145) of Georgetown Prep placed third and Daniel’s state titlist teammate Bailey Thomas (152) finished seventh at last weekend’s Beast Of The East Tournament at The University of Delaware.
Daniel won five of six matches to improve on last year’s fifth place effort at The Beast, falling in his semifinal, 5-2, to eventual runner-up Jeffrey Allen of Amherst County, and winning his third-place bout, 6- 3, over Bryan Wallace of Clark County.
“I had lost to Allen in overtime at The Iron Man Tournament just last week, and I came out and felt pretty good going into the rematch,” said Daniel, a senior who finished eighth as Thomas finished seventh at the previous weekend’s Walsh Jesuit Iron Man Tournament.
“When it was 3-2 late in the match with Allen, I felt like I had wrestled pretty well, but I didn’t get the result that I wanted. Still, after that, I was able to re-focus, win my next match and finish on a winning note. It was a long two days, but I’m happy with how I finished.”
Allen had placed fourth at The Iron Man Tournament and has committed to wrestle for Virginia Tech.
Daniel and Thomas, meanwhile, were among the six individual state title-winners who paced last year’s Falcons to their second private schools crown. Daniel later finished a team-high third at the following weekend’s National Preps Tournament, where the Falcons ended the year by placing fourth.
Last year, Daniel won tournament titles at The Hub Cup at North Hagerstown High, The War On The Shore at Stephen Decatur in Berlin, Maryland, the Melee on The Metro event at Gonzaga, and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships, all of which the Falcons won as a team.
As a 182-pound sophomore at River Hill, Daniel beat four seniors on the way to winning the Class 4A- 3A state. Daniel has a chance to surpass the achievements of his older brother, Cory, who was a two-time state champion who went undefeated over his final two seasons at River Hill.
“I definitely feel like I’m a stronger and more powerful 220- pound wrestler than I was at this weight last year,” said Daniel, whose initial win at The Beast was by 47-second fall. “I was able to maintain 218 pounds throughout the football season when I played, and I’m built better this year at this weight than I was last year.”
A Duke University-bound senior, Krause won six of seven bouts, falling, 3-2, in his semifinal to eventual runner-up Josh Wyland of Benedictine College, and bouncing back for a 3-1 decision over Jake Hinkson of North Allegheny for third place.
Krause is 19-1 on the year, having won an earlier meeting against Wyland, who fell, 5-4, in the finals to Phil Conigliaro of Belmont Hill.
“I had beaten him previously, but the match was pretty tight. I wasn’t really being as dynamic or moving too much, offensively, as I had in previous bouts,” said Krause. “But when you lose that like, you learn, and in my last two consolation matches I really picked up my footwork and that helped me.”
A fifth-place finisher at last year’s National Preps, Krause won his Beast Of The East quarterfinal, 3-2, over University of Maryland-bound Quinn Devaney of McDonogh, improving to 3-0 against Devaney.
Krause had also earned a 3-2 victory over Devaney in the finals of last year’s private schools state tournament, making the McDonogh wrestler a runner-up for the second consecutive year.
“It didn’t matter that Devaney was seeded fourth and I was seeded fifth,” said Krause, who finished seventh at 138 pounds in last April’s National High School Coaches’ Association tournament.
“That didn’t affect me because different tournaments have different seeding criteria. Last year, I went 2-2 in this tournament, but I knew I was going to end up wrestling him at some point anyway.”
The state’s No. 1-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds last season, as he is this season at 145, Krause won this year’s season-opening Ray Oliver Invitational tournament in Owings Mills before pinning each of nine opponents during the following weekend’s Armed Forces Duals at North Hagerstown High School.
Krause is attempting to lead the Little Hoyas to their 13th straight Interstate Athletic Conference title, an event in which he earned Outstanding Wrestler honors after pinning all three opponents.
“I really think this was a good week of wrestling for me,” said Krause, who will look to defend his title at The December 29-30 Mount Mat Madness Invitational at Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore. “I really feel that I’ve been improving every match, and I’m looking forward to the next competition.”