The Damascus High School wrestling team lost twice at the Warrior Duals at La Plata High in Charles County on Dec. 14, ending the longest winning streak ever at 182 competitions in Maryland wrestling history. The streak was also the third-longest, all-time, according to the National Federation of High Schools wrestling history book.
The Swarmin’ Hornets went 26-0 last year, defeating Howard County’s Glenelg for the Class 2A state dual meet championship. It was their 178th consecutive win and their seventh straight state duals crown following back-to-back 25-0 seasons under Head Coach John Furgeson.
The Swarmin’ Hornets, also six-time state tournament champions, were 4-0 before losing, 40-33, to Virginia power Great Bridge High School. Two rounds later, they fell to South River High School of Anne Arundel County, 37-30, making the Seahawks the first Maryland program to defeat Damascus since Wootton in the 2012 regional duals.
Only Brandon of Florida (459 straight from 1974-to-2008) and Weaver of Alabama (221 from 1991-to-1999) had put together long erstreaks than the Swarmin’ Hornets, who are 7-2 overall after finishing 6-2 in the tournament.
“Man, what an awesome run. It was exciting and fun; Won some huge matches. The streak was awesome, and a lot of people put in a lot of hard work to accomplish that feat. I am totally blessed to be a part of it, and I could never have imagined it would go this long,” said Furgeson, whose Swarmin’ Hornets earned their eighth straight and 17th overall county tournament crown last season.
Swarmin’ Hornets senior state champion Timothy Furgeson went 8-0 with four pins competing at 195 and 220 pounds. Furgeson, son of the coach, is 9-0 overall.
An outside linebacker, defensive end, tight end and wide receiver on the Swarmin’ Hornets’ Class 3A state championship football team, Furgeson will play that sport at Villanova.
Senior third-place state finisher Aiden Beall (182) is also 9-0 overall, having gone 8-0 at the tournament with four pins. Junior state runner-up Michael Emerick (138) and junior Sam O’Brian (220) are each at 8-1 overall with four pins, having both gone 7-1 in the event, and junior Colton DeValle (126) is 7-2 overall with two pins, having finished at 6-2 at the duals.
“We lost to a great team at a tough tournament,” Furgeson said. “Our overall goal is to get our team ready for the postseason. We did that this past weekend. We learned a lot about who we are and where we need to improve. God teaches you a lot in life and puts you in situations to make you better. We will get better by the end of the year. That is our focus, and we still keep pushing our kids to be their best.”
The Seahawks went 8-0 in the LaPlata Duals after having finished as Class 4A state dual meet runners-up to Springbrook at North Point High in Charles County in February.
“I’m proud of my guys. They wrestled hard the whole weekend. Our Damascus lineup consisted of one freshman, seven sophomores, four juniors and two seniors,” Seahawks Head Coach John Klessinger said. “We have potential in the room. We just need to keep learning, improving and working. We make a lot of ‘rookie’ mistakes. However, my kids work pretty hard and listen. We need to keep learning and improving.”
The Swarmin’ Hornets led, 30-25, with one bout remaining before Emerick lost by an illegal slam in the first period against Austin Johnson, making it, 31-30, Seahawks. Joab Patino clinched the victory with a 38-second pin.
“Austin was unable to continue. He will be out two to four weeks with a bruised rib and lung. My kid, Joab, went out and won by fall to win the dual for us at the end,” said Klessinger. “It is not the way you want to win a big match, but the flip side we wrestled hard in 13 other matches and put ourselves in position to win the dual with close wins and losses and bonus points at a few weights.”
Also pinning was the Seahawks’ Moni Dove (113), Lonnell Owens-Pabon (170) and Racheil Coney (285), with major decisions from fourth-place state finisher Isaac Barber (132) and Michael Byers (152).
The Swarmin’ Hornets received a pin from Furgeson, Steele Lechner (106) and Shyler Clark (125) and decisions from O’Brian and Seth Holt (160).