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Springbrook — Third-year wrestling junior Pierre Jean (106) was the lone champion among 13 top sixth- place winners for host Springbrook, winner of its January 18-19 Grapple at The Brook Tournament for the second straight time in the event’s 21-year history.
The Blue Devils (215.5 points) edged runner-up Cape Henlopen (209) of Delaware, and the rest of the 15-team field with runners-up in freshman Grayson Wendel (113) and seniors Sahid Antar (160) and Aimrick Nya (285), third-place Sayfore Sieh (126), Dassaeve Jean (132), Jean Mehul (145) and Edwin Peralta (152), fourth-place Matt Kilby (120), and sixth-place Jason Strattonbey (138), Anthony Gomez (170), Zay Lindsey (195) and Matt Bauer (220).
The triumph follows a non-divisional, 41-25 victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase on Jan. 16 as the Blue Devils (15-1) bounced back from a 39-24 loss to county champion Damascus on January 12.
“Pierre has come a long way from his freshman year on JV when he went 4-10, and when we went to [wrestling] camps last year, he wanted to go with us,” said coach Rob Whittles of Jean, a third-place regional finisher last season.
“Pierre beat our [projected starter] last year in wrestle-offs and ended up being a state qualifier. We were shocked at how much better he got. Then he wrestled a lot of freestyle and Greco-Roman in the offseason, and it’s starting to show up, now,” added Whittles.
A fourth-place finisher at last year’s Grapple at The Brook, Jean bounced back from consecutive losses to Silas Patton of Damascus of 11-3, and, Isaac Guttentag of B-CC of 5-4. Guttentag owns an overtime victory over Patton.
“Pierre had a couple of close losses right before the tournament, with Patton beating him by a major decision and Guttentag picking up a point to win in the last few seconds,” said Whittles. “So, he was a little down after losing to two of the better kids in the state. But I told him if he came out and wrestled well, he’d have a good shot at winning the Grapple.”
Jean did that, winning his semifinal by first-period pin before dominating Atholton’s Peter Frazier 12-2, in their title bout.
“This was a really big win for Pierre, mentally, bouncing back from the losses to Patton and Guttentag,” said Whittles. “So, he’s closing the gap on these guys, and, hopefully, this will build his confidence. If he continues to improve, good things will continue to happen.”
Sherwood (185 points) finished in a third-place tie with Orange County High of Virginia, paced by junior and senior champions Brandon Holda (113) and Chris Sanchez (145) among its 11 top sixyj-place winners.
The Warriors had runners-up in Paul Christenson (132), Yusef Higazi (170) and Adam Pfeiffer (182), with Armon Nettey (126) and Jacob Rogers (220) being fourth; Ethan Onslow (106) and Sam Ewing (138), fifth; and Brady Holda (120) and Ryan O’Neill (285), sixth.
A fourth-place county finisher last year, Brandon Holda had pins in 13 and 79 second to reach the championship bout, where he pinned Wendel in 1:43 for the title. Holda was a runner-up at the Patriot Classic at Northern earlier this month.
Sanchez earned a pair of falls before his title-bout rival Nick Barnhart of Avon Grove elected to forfeit. Sanchez won the tournament for the second straight year, having won county and regional titles last season when he finished as a Class 4A-3A state runner-up with a record of 24-1.
Higazi lost to Atholton senior Sean Billups (170), a county and regional champion who was third at states last year. The son of his coach and two-time state champion, Sidney Billups, Sean went 36-1 last season.
Christenson’s title bout loss was to Delaware state champ Anthony Caruso of Cape Henlopen, and Pfeiffer’s was to Caruso’s teammate, Chris Handlin, a state finisher who was runner-up at Springbrook to Billups last season.
Among the sixth-place winners for Clarksburg (sixth) were runner-up Alex Gonzalez (120), third-place finishers Jevon Coche (220) and Austin Smith (285), fourth-place finishers Johnny Pisano (106) and Kailer Ramm (160), and fifth place Freddy Stamper (195).
Northwest (eighth) crowned junior Siavash Sarvestani (126) among its sixth-place winners, with Yoan Olympio (170) being third, Jack Thomas (182), fifth, and Charlie Thomas (106), Josh Liebowitz (113) and John Wallmark (160) all sixth.
Sarvestani used a pin before earning consecutive 4-2 decisions over Sieh and David Pruitt of Atholton in the semifinal and final, respectively.
A fifth-place state finisher and regional runner-up last year, Pruitt was 18-0 entering last season’s 106-pound Springbrook final, which he lost, 8-3, to graduated county, regional and state champion Yonas Harris of Northwest.
Sarvestani’s losses this season are to Landon’s Axel Giron, a former state runner-up at Parkville of Prince George’s County, and, at 132 pounds, state champion Earl Blake of Linganore. Sarvestani also owns a 3-1 victory over state runner-up Michael Emerick of Damascus.
“Yonas was my former wrestling partner, so I knew it was going to be a tough match, but that if Yonas could beat him then I would have a great chance of beating him, too,” said Sarvestani, who went 43-6 and was second at counties and regionals and sixth at states at 113 last season. “But I’m a different wrestler from Yonas. I like to go at people, beat them mentally and physically and wear them down. This is motivation to keep working hard for counties, regions and states, and I think there’s a good chance I could see Pruitt at states again.”
For ninth-place Gaithersburg, junior Jaedyn Harris (170), Daniel Gonzalez (182) and Xavier Gutierrez (195) were all fourth, and Chris Morones (160) was sixth. Whitman (12th) placed Matt Lindstrom (132) fourth), and Peyton Casemento (120) placed, fifth).