St. Mary’s Ryken wrestling wins Patriot Classic title for second straight year
Published by The Enterprise on January 7, 2020 By John Niswander
With 22 high schools competing in the 27th annual Patriot Classic at Northern High School on Friday and Saturday, one team stood out above the rest.
The St. Mary’s Ryken Knights claimed seven of the 14 individual tournament brackets and captured the team title for the second consecutive year.
“The tournament was good for all talent levels and it was great to see some local schools competing against one another,” Knights head coach Phillip Brown said.
St. Mary’s Ryken claimed the team title with 273 points, which was 106 points better than runner-up Northern. Great Mills finished sixth with 112.5 points. Chopticon was seventh with 108.5, and Lackey was the only other Southern Maryland Athletic Conference school inside the top 10 with 104 points which earned the Chargers an eighth-place finish.
The Knights had wrestlers competing in the first six championship matches and prevailed in all of them.
St. Mary’s Ryken freshman Mason Buckler claimed the 106-pound championship by technical fall to start the night on Saturday and Knights junior Chris Albo followed suit with an 8-4 win over Broadneck’s Will Donohoe in the 113 championship match. Knights junior Tyriel Jefferson pinned Sherwood’s Brandon Holda in the third period to claim the title at 120.
“My wrestlers performed about as expected and am very pleased with them, so far,” Brown said. “Hopefully, we will be invited back next year.”
At 126, Knights sophomore Evan Eldridge continued the winning for his team with a first-period pin over Great Mills junior Wilfred Vergara.
The 132 championship was a battle of two seniors at their respective schools, and St. Mary’s Ryken’s Blake Jury was able to defeat Fynn Yankanich of Northern, 17-5, to claim the title. Rodney Jefferson claimed the sixth win in a row for the Knights as the junior defeated Northern sophomore Owen Andriani, 5-2.
Patriots senior Kaleb Dolina was the third Northern wrestler in a row to compete in a championship match and was the first to capture a championship on the night with a victory over Laurel junior Chris Arevalo.
“I think this is a really great tournament and was run really well and went smoothly. There were a lot of great wrestlers that participated,” Dolina said. “Having a good tournament like this will definitely boost the confidence for me for the rest of the year, but our goals are ultimately to be SMAC, regional and state champs.”
Lackey senior Jacob Ham claimed the only championship by any Charles County wrestler at the tournament with a 9-7 win at 160 over Broadneck’s Giavon Meiklejohn.
Chopticon had two wrestlers compete in championship matches. Junior Greg Griffith pinned Walt Whitman senior Sebastian Turkewitz in the first period to claim the 170 championship.
“This is my second year coming to the tournament. We didn’t come here my freshman year, and this is my second team winning [a bracket],” Griffith said. “Some of our boys had never wrestled before, and to come out here and do good, it makes me so proud of them.”
Braves senior Garry Gorham fell in the 195 championship after being pinned in the first period by Sherwood senior Adam Pfeiffer.
“My buddy Garry was in the [195-pound] final, and he got caught, but he was out there in his second year and fought his butt off. I am proud of everybody,” Griffith said. “At this tournament, I beat a kid from Northern and that is going to help my confidence and ranking with SMAC. This tournament will help us feel better heading into regionals and states and everything.”
The Knights had wrestlers competing in the final two brackets of the night. Sophomore Kaylen Perez fell 8-2 in the 220 championship, but sophomore Terrence McCauley won the 285 championship with a third-period pin over DuVal senior Elijah Fontem.
Westlake sophomore Miles Anderson placed third at 113 and Patuxent junior Chase James was third at 138. McDonough senior Jamear Stephenson placed fourth in the 285 bracket and Calvert’s Matt Davis and Kade Meredith each finished sixth at 152 and 170, respectively.
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