Winters Mill was feeling something special Saturday at the Class 2A-1A state dual championships.
The Falcons ran off six pins against Owings Mills and had the match won with seven bouts to go. The 66-4 victory at North Point High School in Waldorf gave Winters Mill its first state dual title and only the second ever by a Carroll County school (North Carroll won in 1994).
"I knew how badly our kids wanted this," said Winters Mill coach John Lowe, whose team improved to 32-0. "We were driven after last year's loss in the finals. But I didn't expect this. This is beyond belief."
Flavio Valdez-Cortez (106 pounds), Taylor Logue (113), Joel Goode (120), Gunner Cullison (132) and Wesley Cook (145) all won with pins, and James Guercio (126) won by technical fall for the Falcons. Cody Sharkey (145) added a 3-2 overtime decision to make the score 38-0 before Owings Mills senior Adriene Hazel scored a 13-0 major decision to produce the Eagles' only points of the match.
"We had our butts handed to us," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said. "We didn't match up well, but they beat us where we thought we would win. They outmuscled us. The only way we could have beaten Winters Mill was if we had been able to switch the ankle bands [denoting which wrestler gets the points during the match]."
Things were going so well for Winters Mill that even Goode, a sophomore, subbed in for an injured starter and pinned his opponent. And senior Marshal Chang and junior Sharkey each beat a state champion. Chang beat Owings Mills' Taran Carr (6-4, at 160) and Sharkey beat Demetrius Johnson.
"It was so exciting," Goode said. "When your teammates are winning, you try to fight more and wrestle harder."
A year ago, Owings Mills and Winters Mill waged a tight battle in the semifinal round before Winters Mill advanced and finished runner up to Glenelg. During that match, the confrontation between coaches was as heated as that on the mat, but on Saturday, both Pritzker and Lowe simply enjoyed the match, as lopsided as it was.
"We're like step-brothers," Lowe said, alluding to the fact he and Pritzker were once mentored by Lowe's uncle, John Lowe Sr. "We fight over the last piece of chicken on the table."
Saturday, Winters Mill didn't leave much chicken to fight over, but Pritzker took solace in noting his team only lost two dual matches this season. The other was to Urbana, which beat River Hill for the 4A-3A title Saturday.
"We got kicked," Pritzker said. "But we've had a very good season and now we start counties, regionals and states."
Winters Mill advanced to the final with a 40-33 semifinal victory over Wicomico, while Owings Mills had to fight to the final match to put away Glenelg, 33-31.
Winters Mill 66, Owings Mills 4
106 - Valdez-Cortez (WM) p Rendelman (OM), 1:24
113 - Logue (WM) p Bekar (OM), 1:02
120 - Goode (WM) p Dardick (OM), 3:24
126 - Guerico (WM) tf Grossman (OM), 16-2
132 - Cullison (WM) p Shapiro (OM), 1:02
138 - Cook (WM) p Akmedova (OM), 2:21
145 - Sharkey (WM) d Johnson (OM), 3-2 3-OTs
152 - Hazel (OM) md Oxendine (WM), 13-0
160 - Chang (WM) d Carr (OM), 6-4
170 - Barron (WM) md El-Omari (OM), 10-0
182 - Corbin (WM) p Solomon (OM), 4:40
195 - Hightower (WM) p Shade (OM), 4:33
220 - Burndley (WM) p Barnes (OM), 2:23
285 - Utz (WM) d Carroll (OM), 4-0