POOLESVILLE — Poolesville earned a non-divisional victory via criteria over visiting Northwest after the match ended in a 36-36 tie on January 16.
“It was 36-36 after the 113 match ended, and each of us [both teams] had seven wins, so it came down to the technical fall criteria,” said coach Tim Tao, whose Falcons improved to 6-2.
“We had four pins and they had two pins, plus two forfeits. The next criteria after that was the most technical falls, and we had one and they had none. We lost to Clarksburg the same way, and our other loss was a close one with B-CC,” he added.
The decisive technical fall was owned by freshman Kevin Fultz (132), who placed second at junior league states last year, but the evening’s final bout at 113 was what pulled the Falcons even with the Jaguars.
Down, 36-33, with one bout remaining, the Falcons got a dramatic 7-6 victory from freshman Michael Sofelkanik (113), a 106-pound regular “who placed eighth at [junior league] states last year,” said Tao. “It was the 113 match, so I bumped my 106 up to wrestle. They were tied 6-6, and Michael took the shot and got a single leg. The Northwest wrestler, from the edge of the center circle, jumped back and turned his hips and jumped all the way out of bounds, so the ref called f”leeing the mat” and gave us one point,” said Tao.
“It was a great effort by Michael. He’s our freshmen 106, and he started the season around 98.8 pounds. I think he weighed in at 102 [for the match,] but he barely weighs 102 though,” added Tao. “I knew the Northwest 106 [Charlie Thomas] was pretty tough, so we figured we had a better chance bumping up to 113 and giving the forfeit at 106. We don’t have a 113, so either way we would give up six.”
The Falcons received pins from seniors Alex Carbonell (120) and Sam Hull (145), and juniors Colin Savage (152) and Xavier Kresslein (170), who, with Fultz, represent “The Falcons’ Fantastic Five.”
Carbonell, Fultz, Hull, Savage and Kresslein have a combined record on the year of 148-6 for the Falcons, who also received a pin from Damion Ainsworth (285).
Carbonell and Savage went 37-1 and 33-5 a year ago, with both being third at states a week after finishing third and second at regions, respectively.
A fourth-place county finisher as a sophomore, Savage was, as a freshman, third at counties and a regional champ and placed fifth at states.
Carbonell was a county champion as a junior, after being second as a sophomore, when he was also a regional runner-up and sixth-place finisher at states.
Kresslein won 33 matches and was county runner-up and third at regions at 160, and Hull won 28 bouts and was fifth at counties last season.
The Jaguars received pins from Jung In (138) and Dylan Brakob (220), and major decisions from Siavash Sarvestani (126), Sean Ahmadpour (160) and Jack Thomas (195).
Sarvestani was second at counties and regions and fifth at states at 113 pounds last season, with a record of 43-6.
In another non-divisional matchup on January 16, Springbrook (15-1) overwhelmed visiting Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 41-25, to rebound from a 39-24 loss to county champion Damascus on January 12.
Consecutive pins by freshman Grayson Wendel (120) and Matt Kilby (126), who rose from 113 and 120 pounds, closed out the dominant victory for a Blue Devils squad that led 29-0 after the first six bouts.
“Both of them [Wendel and Kilby] were bumped up a weight class and got pins after giving up the first takedown,” said coach Rob Whittles, whose Blue Devils led, 41-9, after Wendel and Kilby left the mat. “After Grayson’s pin, B-CC still could have won if they pinned out in the last five matches. Kilby’s pin locked it up. They both stepped up, big time.”
Wendel gained a measure of redemption after being pinned in a pivotal bout by Damascus’s Joe McKneely in what had figured to be a 50-50 matchup.
“For the Damascus match, there was a lot of hype going into it, and I wrestled a really good 113-pounder, and I don’t think I wrestled my best match against him. But it is what it is, and I had to put that match behind us,” said Wendel, a multi-time state place-winner as a junior leaguer.
“I knew we had a very tough match with B-CC coming up, and I was able to focus on that match,” added Wendel. “I wrestled another very good kid, I was able to get the pin, and I was able to contribute to a very good win against a good B-CC team. It felt great to be able to get back on track and to wrestle the way I know that I can.”
Also pinning for the Blue Devils were junior varsity county champion Anthony Gomez (182), Ethan Stratton (195) and senior Aimrick Nya (285), with a technical fall from senior Sahid Antar (170), and decisions from Edwin Piralta (160) and Matt Bauer (220).
Gomez is 21-0, and Nya, 20-1 after having placed third at counties last season. Antar is 17-1 after being third at counties, second at regions and fifth at states.
“Falling to Damascus was a tough one because it was really close and we had a really good chance at beating them, but that’s why we practice hard every day so that we can bounce back,” said Antar, whose Blue Devils were shut out, 67-0, at Damascus last season.
“We knew we could have done better and that it was just one loss, so we didn’t let that affect us, moving forward, against B-CC,” Antar added. “We’re doing well so far, but there is obviously more work to be done for us as a team.”
Pinning for the Barons was Jeovannie Martinez (152), with other victories coming from the Guttenberg siblings, freshman Isaac (106), sophomore Drew (145) and senior Eli (132), and Fabio Martinez (138).
Isaac earned a 5-4 decision over junior Pierre Jean, who was third at regions last year at 106. Eli won, 5-0, over junior Sayfore Sieh, who slipped to 20-2 after being fifth at counties and third in the region, and Drew, 11-3, won over senior regional qualifier Jean Mehul. Fabio Martinez ground out a 3-2 decision over senior Dassaeve Jean, another regional qualifier.
The Blue Devils forfeited to junior Christian Simpson (113), a county runner-up and fourth-place regional finisher.
In yet another tight matchup on January 16, visiting Sherwood came from behind to beat overcame Clarksburg, 38-29.
The host Jaguars led, 29-27, with two bouts, as the Warriors’ junior varsity county champ Armon Nettey (126) received a forfeit, and senior Paul Christianson (132), who was fifth at counties and third at regions, closed out the victory with a technical fall.
Pinning for the Warriors were junior Brandon Holda (113) and senior Yusuf Higazi (170), with forfeits going to senior Chris Sanchez (145) and junior Adam Pfeiffer (182), and a decision to senior Sam Ewing (138).
For the Jaguars, senior Austin Smith (285) and Santiago Burke-Carrero (195) earned falls; Kyle Smith (152) and senior Jevon Coche (220) earned major decisions; and Johnny Pisano (106), Alex Gonzalez (113) and Kailer Ramm (160) earned decisions.
A sophomore, Gonzalez won, 2-0 over the Warriors’ junior Brady Holda, a junior varsity county runner-up last season.