Nearly a year after dethroning Landon as Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) champion, St. Stephens & St Agnes High School, in Alexandria, Virginia, in February, the Bullis School commenced the 2019 wrestling season with a statement-making performance at the Ray Oliver Invitational Tournament at The McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland from Dec. 6-7.
The Bulldogs (173 points) crowned three title winners among seven finalists to finish fourth overall in the event behind team champion and Delaware power Smyrna (244), Baltimore-based McDonogh (228, second) and Caravel Academy of Deleware (186.5, third).
“We were very pleased with our performance this past weekend at Ray Oliver,” said Bullis Head Coach Ali Elias. “When you can put seven wrestlers in the finals, that speaks to the strength of your lineup.”
Freshman Meyer Shapiro (126), junior Damon McGee (138) and junior Gene Quodala (145) won titles, sophomore Tallion Elliott (106), junior NaSir Wilkinson (120), senior Austin Brown (195) and junior Terrell Jackson (285) finished second, and senior Isaac Ruderman (160), fourth.
Shapiro earned his crown with a 10-4 decision over Ethan Gray of Caravel Academy, McGee, with a 4-1 victory over McDonogh’s Matt Lawrence, and Quodala, an 8-7 triumph over Smyrna’s Joseph Natarcola.
Elliott dropped a 12-8 title bout decision to Smyrna’s Gabe Giampietro, Wilkinson lost, 10-0, to McDonogh’s private schools state champion Cooper Flynn, Brown fell, 6-0, to McDonogh’s Jack Wimmer, and Jackson was defeated by a fall to McDonogh’s Garrett P. Kappes.
“We crowned three champions who have all been training very hard throughout the summer with new Bullis assistant coach Jon Morrison at Capital Wrestling Club,” said Assistant Coach Chris Brown who is also Austin’s father. “We look forward to rising individual and team rankings for the rest of this season. Our team goal is to win the Maryland Independent Schools State Championships and be a top 10 National Prep team.”
In other wrestling results, the host Colonels finished third in the Magruder Mad Mats Tournament behind Pennsylvania’s Conestoga and C. Milton Wright of Harford County.
Finishing within the top four for Magruder High School were seniors Colton Houldsworth (138) and Kaeleb Jones (152) as runners-up, senior Josh Thomas (145) taking third, and Wilson Navarette (120) and junior Bryce Houldsworth (126), both fourth.
Individual champions from the county included seniors Navid Ighani (145) and Jaedyn Harris (182) of Gaithersburg, with senior Trojans’ teammate Shamyr Douglas (152) being third, and seniors Chris Marones (170) and Edwin Galo (285), both fourth.
For Walter Johnson, sophomore Ari Kefer (113) and senior Cole Holland (195) were second, sophomore Damon Termini (126), third, and sophomore Garrett Brown (132) and senior Matt Flynn (182), both fourth.
Senior Brandon Roberts (285) of Good Counsel was the county’s other title winner, with senior Conor Ott (160) finishing second, and senior teammate Peter Slear (170) and junior Alex Merrifield (182) being third.
Junior Nicholas McCarthy (170) of Richard Montgomery was second, sophomore teammate Chad Boyd (220) was third, and junior Justin Steele (152) and senior Freddie Martinez (160) were fourth.
Einstein’s Franklin Cortez (120) was third, and teammate Wesley Condon (195), fourth, with Kennedy junior Griffin Gonzalez (113) finishing third.