Good Counsel’s Bailey Thomas required a pair of reversals, the second for an 8-6 overtime victory in his 152-pound title bout with Mason Reiniche of Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the February 24-25 National Preps Tournament at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Thomas trailed, 6-4, when his initial maneuver tied the bout with one second left in regulation, and the senior executed a similar move in the third and final overtime period to secure the win.
“There were maybe five seconds left in the third period. I did a Granby roll into a Peterson roll to tie the match. That definitely gave me momentum,” said Thomas.
“In the ultimate ride out, I stood up to get out, and he kind of stayed down on the leg. That’s when I got a reversal to win it.”
A four-time private schools state finalist, Thomas reached the championship match on a pair of pins and two each in decisions, with one of his triumphs being a 9-2 quarterfinal rout of Dominick Reyes of Loyola of Baltimore.
Thomas was the lone Maryland champion in a tournament won by New Jersey state power Blair Academy and including Baltimore area-powers such as private schools state champion Mount St. Joseph, McDonogh and St. Paul’s.
“I definitely thought there would be other (Maryland) champions,” said Thomas. “But I guess it didn’t work out that way. I just had the mindset of trusting the process, going out there and scoring points. This feels pretty cool.”
Thomas’ performance improved on last year’s fifth-place finish at National Preps and came a week after winning his second straight state title, 10-0, over Reyes.
Joining Thomas in the finals was state champion teammate, Brady Daniel (220), a third-place finisher at last year’s National Preps who lost his title bout, 10-0, to Blair Academy’s Chase Singletary.
“The past two days were grueling with tough competition, wrestling one match at a time,” said Daniel, a senior who made the finals on two pins, a major decision and a decision.
“To make it to the finals was awesome. I was able to compete and wrestle tough, but I didn’t get the result I wanted. Still, being able to place higher than I did last year was an improvement for me.”
When the Falcons won the 18-team Melee on The Metro at Gonzaga, two weeks ago, Thomas, Daniel and 285-pound teammate Jalen Lea won titles. A week prior to that, Daniel and Thomas earned Washington Catholic Athletic Conference crowns, with Thomas earning Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Last year, Thomas and Daniel were among the Falcons’ six individual champions who guided their program to their second private schools states title under coach Skyar Sarr.
As a 182-pound sophomore at River Hill, Daniel beat four seniors on the way to winning the Class 4A-3A state title. Each of last year’s five private school place winners behind Daniel were seniors.
Placing third for the second straight year was Duke University-bound, two-time private schools champion Ethan Krause (145) of Georgetown Prep, who amassed a pair of pins, a major decision and two decisions.
Krause lost his semifinal bout, 3-2, to eventual runner-up Josh Wyland of Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Seminary, who improved his record to, 2-1, against Krause. Wyland lost his title bout, 1-0, to Philip Conigliaro of Massachusetts’ Belmont Hill.
“Obviously, I wish I could have won,” said Krause. “Me and Wyland and Conigliaro are so close in terms of talent level that I knew it was going to be us in the top three. I just didn’t know what order.”
Krause’s third place bout was a rematch of his past two state title matches and yielded a similar result as he won, 5-1, over University of Maryland-bout Quinn Devaney of McDonogh.
Krause handled Devaney, 5-2, a week ago, making Devaney a state runner-up for the third straight year, and beat him, 3-2, in last year’s 138-pound private schools final after missing that event as a sophomore due to a concussion.
“I feel that I finished a strong season by ending my high school career on a high note,” said Krause, who was fifth at last year’s National Preps and seventh at the National High School Coaches’ Association tournament in April.
“This year has been great, taking third at Beast Of The East and Escape The Rock, and then earning All-American at Lehigh. I am at peace knowing that I worked my butt off all season and that I left it all on the mat this weekend.”
Other County area place winners were Thomas Gates (285, third) of Georgetown Prep, Luke Kowalski (106, sixth) of St. John’s, Aryemis Brown (160, seventh) of Bullis, and Brendon Gallagher (138, eighth) of Landon.