Georgetown Prep’s High School junior Kyonte Hamilton blanked his first three rivals by a combined score of 43-0 and defeated his last three opponents by decision for the 220-pound title at the Dec. 20-22 Beast of The East Tournament at The Bob Carpenter Center at The University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
In his championship match, the Rutgers University commit earned a 5-1 win over senior Ethan Hatcher of Brecksville High School of Broadview Heights, Ohio.
Hamilton sandwiched technical falls of 15- and 16-0 around a 12-0 major decision before avenging an earlier loss with his 9-4 semifinal win over Blair Academy sophomore Noah Pettigrew and defeating Hatcher, who was runner-up at the December 13-14 Walsh Jesuit High School Iron Man Tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
He was the lone Marylander to win a crown in the event that included three-time private schools champion Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore and powerful McDonogh School of Owings Mills. Hamilton improved his record on the season to 15-1 with six pins and three technical falls, and his career mark to 105-11 with “around 60 pins and 30 tech falls,” according to the Little Hoyas’ grappler.
“As far as Maryland, I love to represent my home state like that even if I was the only one to make it,” said Hamilton, who was a two-time private school state tournament runner-up and a two-time Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC) titles. “It feels amazing to win a tournament this big my junior year, but it feels even better knowing I have another year to do it again. I took fourth at National Preps last year. I’m expecting to do a lot better at states and preps this year.”
Hamilton also improved on last year’s runner-up finish at The Beast of The East to Blair Academy’s Owen Trephan, who won by injury default.
“I didn’t compete at Beast my freshman year. (In) my sophomore year, I was just here to wrestle,” said Hamilton of last year’s Beast of The East performance. “I was the 10th seed last year and just wanting to place, but I ended up upsetting some big names and making the finals, where I was injured.”
The triumph occurred a week after Hamilton had lost, 6-5, to Pettigrew in the championship quarterfinals of the Iron Man event. Pettigrew ended up placing in sixth at the Iron Man, including losses in his next three bouts to eventual champion, Braxton Amos of Parkersburg South High in West Virginia.
“I lost to Pettigrew that time from a rookie mistake with the resulting score being 6-5,” said Hamilton, who won in the consolation finals at Iron Man. “I won the Ray Oliver [at McDonogh], the first tournament of the year. Last weekend, I took third at Iron Man. Last week [against Pettigrew] should’ve been my match, too, but this time I had to prove it was mine. This weekend I had to win Beast.”
Blair Academy (239.5 points) was Beast of The East champion, followed by Brecksville (175), with Bullis School freshman Meyer Shapiro (126) placing fifth. A winner of the season-opening McDonogh Tournament, Shapiro won nine of 11 bouts at The Beast of The East, improving his record to 15-2 on the year. He pinned three opponents and beat two others by major decision.
“He came to Bullis this fall with some very noteworthy middle school accomplishments,” Bullis assistant Chris Brown said. “He’s showing everybody that he’s ready for the next level of competition. He’s only a ninth grader, but he has the skill set and work ethic of much older wrestlers. To win nine matches at Beast is quite an impressive feat for any wrestler, but for a ninth grader, it’s phenomenal.”
Bullis finished 23rd, with its six wrestlers going a combined 24-10 in “one of the toughest high school tournaments in the country,” said Brown.