St. Mary's Ryken takes Patriot Classic wrestling tournament
Published by The Maryland Independent on January 9, 2019
By Andy States
Blake Jury loves to wrestle. So when the St. Mary's Ryken junior saw that he'd be receiving a first-round bye at the Patriot Classic tournament at Northern High School this past Friday and Saturday, it didn't exactly make him happy.
Walking straight from his quarterfinal match to the finals after his semifinal opponent did nothing to satisfy, either. But Jury's first-period pin in the 126-pound final did, as did the Knights' overall showing as the team boasted four individual champions for the tournament.
"I was a little upset I had a first-round bye. I love matches, any type of wrestling I can get," said Jury, who transferred to St. Mary's Ryken this year after winning the Class 4A-3A 113-pound champion as a sophomore wrestling for Huntingtown last winter. "Then I wrestled a match and then the second match a kid missed weight so I got another forfeit coming in. But we wrestled pretty solid and the weights before and after me are wrestling solid. We just showed up to get some mat time wrestling."
With four champions and another two reaching the finals, the Knights were able to claim the tournament's team championship, accumulating 229 points to nip runner-up Sherwood of Montgomery County which had 222.5. Broadneck of Anne Arundel County came in third with 214, while the host Patriots finished fourth in the first tournament in their new gymnasium with 143. Lackey rounded out the top five at 137.5.
St. Mary's Ryken won three straight championships from 120 pounds to 132, with Evan Eldridge (120) and Alex Figueiras (132) sandwiching Jury's triumph at 126. All three came by fall — 10 of the 14 championship matches ended with pins — with Jury's taking just 20 seconds. Trent Greer delivered the team's fourth title, winning the 170-pound crown with a 2-1 decision against Cameron Stuart of Lackey. Chris Albo (106) and Gunnar Brodfuehrer (160) were runners-up in their respective classes for the Knights.
Transferring to a private school for this year, Jury has had the opportunity to wrestle a wider assortment of matches against different competition.
"It's going well," he said. "It's definitely a little bit of a different level of competition. I'm excited to see that. I want all the tough matches I can get. The team is nice, new coaching staff is good. I can't complain."
The finals opened with Broadneck's Will Donahoe winning by fall late in the second period of the 106-pound bout. Donahoe's championship was the first of three claimed by the Bruins, with Kyle Keller (152) and Vinny Vacciponti (195) also reaching the top of the podium.
Sherwood boasted a pair of champions, with Chris Sanchez (145) and Adam Pfeiffer (182) each winning by first-period fall in their respective championship matches.
Wilfred Vergara of Great Mills claimed the title at 113 with a 4-2 decision against Sherwood's Brandon Holda. Calvert's Matt Davis pinned Broadneck's Michael Garlington for the 138-pound championship, while Chopticon's Greg Griffith pinned Brodfuehrer in the late stages of the second period to take the top spot in the 160-pound bracket.
"It was a great match," Davis said of his encounter with Garlington for the 138-pound crown. "I just trust my training, work hard every day. Go out there ready to wrestle, and I feel like I did that pretty well. ... It's been a great season, definitely. I'm really looking forward to the postseason. I'm just trying to get to the top of the podium this year. That's the goal."
Rounding out the tournament's champions, Surrattsville's Thomas Hedgepath won a 3-2 decision over DuVal's Walis Elsayed in the final at 220, while Eleanor Roosevelt's Christian Bryant closed out the tournament with a 3-1 decision against DuVal's Elijah Fontem in the heavyweight championship match.