Private schools state champion Brady Daniel (220) of Good Counsel won five of six matches, pinning one opponent along the way toward finishing third at The December 29-30 PowerAde Tournament at Canon-McMillan High in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
State champion teammate Bailey Thomas (152) placed sixth in the event as a follow up to their effort at the December 17-18 Beast Of The East Tournament at The University of Delaware where Daniel was third and Thomas, seventh.
After failing to place at last year’s PowerAde, Daniel pinned his first-round opponent in 3:04 and won by decision in his second, 5-1, before winning an overtime battle against Joe Soreco of New Jersey’s DePaul Catholic High in the quarter-finals.
Daniel lost his semifinal, 3-2, to eventual champion Noah Adams of West Virginia’s Independence High before winning a pair of consolation bouts by scores of 3-2 and 3-1 – the latter over Soreco for third place.
“The first match with Soreco was at the end of the day, one of the last matches of the night and I was exhausted. In the last 10 seconds, I stood up, he dropped down to a leg and I was out front and able to get out for an escape to win,” said Daniel.
“Against Adams, I was taking most of the shots in the third period but I ran out of time. I watched his finals match, and they both wrestled different styles. I think I match up well with the guy from the other side of the bracket.”
Daniel won five of six matches at The Beast Of The East, improving on his previous year’s fifth place effort. Daniel was eighth and Thomas seventh at December 9-10 The Walsh Jesuit Iron Man Tournament.
“Brady had a great tournament and seemed to get better as the tournament went on. The match against the No. 1 seed and the No. 2 ranked in the nation [Adams] was a very close match that was a battle to the end. Brady created a few scrambles in the third period and was close to opening him up but couldn’t finish,” said Good Counsel coach Skylar Saar.
“Brady has actually had to wrestle that guy [Soreco] three times in the last two tournaments, having the best match against him in the third-place match. He opened up a lot more and proved that he was the dominant wrestler. Brady was able to place at all three big tournaments this year after only placing in one last year. I think this has given him a lot of confidence to see that he is right there with the best guys in the country.”
Daniel and Thomas 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.