Wheaton’s Clark Glory won a battle of 126-pound seniors, 10-4, over Blair’s Nauman Funyas in the title match of the Jan. 6-7 Falcon Invitational at Winters Mill High in Carroll County.
Glory pinned twice and won a pair of major decisions among his eight victories during the weekend, which culminated with his first-ever high school tournament championship and ran this season’s record to 15-3.
“It feels great, and it sounds awesome to be called a champion,” said Glory, who paced the Knights to 10th place behind sixth-place Blair in a 14-team event won by Marriotts Ridge of Howard County. “This shows my potential for improvement and to do better as the season goes along.”
Kamal Khan (113) placed third and Armon Nettey (106) sixth for the Knights, whose head coach, Kolawole Marville, is assisted by Wheaton graduate Xavier Howard.
As a freshman and sophomore, Howard was third in the Class 2A- 2A South Regional tournament at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively. As a 132-pound junior, Howard was county runner-up, third at the regional championship and fifth at the state championship. As a 138-pound senior, Howard earned county and regional titles and finished fourth at states.
“Xavier’s a huge inspiration and plays a big role in my life,” said Glory. “He motivates me, and I look up to him by what he did last year and as a brother and a wrestler.”
Glory finished second at the December 9-10 Magruder tournament, an improvement on his third-place finish of a year ago but a disappointment nevertheless following a 5-2 loss to Derek Shockey of Virginia’s Woodgrove High.
“It’s really rewarding to come back and take first place after losing in the finals of that first tournament,” said Glory, who won 24 matches and finished sixth at counties at 113 pounds, splitting county tournament bouts with Springrook’s graduated sixth-place state finisher Letrell Harris.
“This year I’ve had to wrestle some of the best guys in the county and the top guys in the state, but I think it’s paying off and making me better in the end. I’ve watched film of my losses, and it’s shown me what I’m doing well and what I still need to go back and work on.”
Glory’s only other setbacks were by 10-1 against Damascus sophomore Johnny McLaughlin, a county and regional champion who finished third at states at 113, and 7- 0 to Churchill’s Jack Connolly, a county and regional runner-up who finished fourth at states. Glory wrestled Connolly up at 132 pounds.
“Clark has become a very smart wrestler,” said Knights’ coach Kolawole Marville. “Everything he’s doing is more deliberate, smooth and efficient. He’s not rushing or forcing moves.”
Others besides Funyas who placed for Blazers were Ryan Holland (138, third), Aqueni Wilson (145, fourth) and Leo West (182, fourth), Rudy Ngougni (220, fifth) and Ryan Handel (113, sixth).
Good Counsel finished third in the Hub Cup won by host North Hagerstown ahead of runner-up Urbana of Frederick County, with private schools state champions Brady Daniel (220) and Bailey Thomas (152) winning titles. Daniel won the event for the second straight year, and Thomas improved on a runnerup effort of a season ago.
Daniel pinned all three opponents, with Thomas winning by technical fall, pin, major decision and, in the title bout, 8-0, over Urbana’s fourth-place Class 4A-3A state finisher Jake Makosy.
The Falcons’ duo was joined on The Hub Cup podium by teammate Jalen Lea (285), who pinned all three opponents to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish. Good Counsel’s Cord Richardson (120) was third as was Quince Orchard wrestler Alec Falconer (145), with Falconer’s teammate, Alejandro Lopez (132) taking fourth.
Daniel was third and Thomas sixth at the Dec. 29-30 Powerade Tournament at Canon-McMillan High in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Daniel third and Thomas, seventh at the Dec. 17-18 Beast Of The East Tournament at The University of Delaware. Daniel was eighth and Thomas seventh at December 9-10 The Walsh Jesuit Iron Man Tournament.
Last season, Daniel and Thomas were among the six individual state title winners who paced last year’s Falcons to their second private schools crown, with Daniel later placing a team-high third at the following weekend’s National Preps Tournament.
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.