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Damascus crowns seven champions, dominates for 16th county grappling title

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Undefeated Ryan Lawrence of Damascus earns the 8-6 win in the 145lb championship over Ryan Holland of Blair. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKUndefeated Ryan Lawrence of Damascus earns the 8-6 win in the 145lb championship over Ryan Holland of Blair. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  State champion Ryan Lawrence pinned twice in the first period to reach last Saturday’s 145-pound county title bout, where the Damascus senior overcame Blair’s all-time winning wrestler Ryan Holland, 8-6, for his third straight crown to lead the Swarmin’ Hornets to their seventh consecutive and 16th overall Montgomery County tournament championship at Gaithersburg.

A two-time county and regional champion who was third at states as a sophomore, Lawrence (41-0) was among seven titlists, nine wrestlers who finished within the top three of their weight classes and 10 who were within the top six for the Swarmin’ Hornets (238.5 points), who overwhelmed runner-up Churchill (148.5 points) and the rest of the 25-team field.

Winning counties for the second time were Swarmin’ Hornets’ seniors John Allan Furgeson (152), Ben Lokos (170) and state champion Paul Purkey (195), junior Johnny McLaughlin (126), and sophomore Timothy Furgeson (160), with junior Elijah Baisden (285) capturing his first.

Senior Dyllan Ramirez (132) and sophomore Aiden Beall (220) placed third, and senior Josh Creegan (138), sixth, the latter in the event’s most difficult weight class after having finished third at counties, fourth at regions and sixth at states as a junior.

Other repeat champions were seniors Yonas Harris (106) of Northwest, C.J. Cramma (120) of Magruder, Gabe McAndrew (182) of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and John-Luke Iglesias (220) of Whitman, with junior Alex Carbonell (113) of Poolesville, senior Bryan Huynh (132) of Blair, and junior Chris Sanchez (138) earning their first crowns.

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Damascus handles Glenelg for second straight year, earns sixth straight duals crown

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Damascus Swarmin HornetsGlenelg came up empty for matching its trio of Howard County champions against their Damascus counterparts during Saturday’s Class 2A state duals at North Point High in Charles County, a factor critical to a definitive 49-16 victory for the Swarmin’ Hornets.

Senior John Allan Furgeson (160), sophomore Tim Furgeson (170) and senior Ben Lokos (182), all county champions, ground out tough decisions over state runner-up Max Sotka, Jacob Jones and fourth-place state finisher Sam Alsheimer as the Swarmin’ Hornets completed their second consecutive 25-0 dual meet season with their 152nd win in a row and their program’s unprecedented sixth straight state duals championship.

“We definitely knew the strength in their lineup was right there,” said Lokos, who missed all of last year due to a knee injury but won a county championship as a sophomore before finishing third at regions and states.

“It was really great seeing John Allan win. Then, to see Timmy beat his guy really pumped me up. After I won, we knew it was over and they were demoralized. That was the nail was in the coffin, so to speak.”

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Still undefeated, Churchill’s Tranquill pins Damascus’ Lokos

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Churchill's Fio Tranquill gets the fall against Damascus’ Ben Lokos to remain unbeaten this season in the 182-pound weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKChurchill's Fio Tranquill gets the fall against Damascus’ Ben Lokos to remain unbeaten this season in the 182-pound weight class.   PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POTOMAC — As a freshman three years ago, Fio Tranquill’s football season at Churchill was cut short and a wrestling tryout negated by a severe bout with Lyme disease.

Now a senior third-year wrestler for the Churchill Bulldogs, Tranquill’s having the time of his life, improving to a mark of 28-0 with a pair of pins during Saturday’s 47-15 tri-meet loss to the visiting 15-time county champion Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets and a 56-22 victory over Quince Orchard, loser by 72-9 to Damascus.

Tranquill scored an upset fall in 5:24 over 182-pound Swarmin’ Hornets’ senior Ben Lokos, who missed all of last year due to an injury but as a sophomore was county champ before finishing third at regions and states.

Lokos led 2-0 early in a wild match that featured five lead changes before Tranquill reversed the Damascus grappler to his back for the pin, overcoming a 7-6 deficit. Tranquill led only 7-5 before pinning the Cougars’ Ryan Jones in 4:24.

“I wasn’t sure I would win, but in the end, I heard my coaches screaming to head-hunt. I saw his head, grabbed it, pulled him over and that was it,” said Tranquill, who was third at counties and regions last year.

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Swarmin' Hornets continue to dominate in wrestling duals

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Damascus junior Ryan Lawrence and his teammates felt the stares as they entered the venue at LaPlata High in Charles County for last weekend’s Warriors’ Duals. 

It’s a look Lawrence expects to experience throughout the season as his Swarmin’ Hornets pursue their third straight and sixth overall Class 4A-3A state tournament crown, an unprecedented sixth straight state dual meet championship and their 15th county tournament title.

“Yeah, we feel like everyone is watching us,” said Lawrence, a 152-pound returning county and regional champion who finished third at states last season. “They’re hoping that we mess up and lose, but we embrace that as motivation to keep on winning.”

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Damascus picks up wrestler from Falcons

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Junior Paul Purkey, winner of a 182-pound private schools state title at Good Counsel last season, transferred to Damascus and will compete for the Swarmin’ Hornets starting Dec. 10.

One of the title-winning Falcons’ six state champions and the only non-senior to reach the finals, Purkey overcame three upperclassmen, including a senior who had beaten him three times during his ninth-grade year, on the way to earning Outstanding Wrestler honors at states. 

“I’m excited to start my first wrestling season with Damascus High School,” said Purkey. “It’s going to be great to be a part of this program, have some fun wrestling and working hard with my friends.”

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Atkins’ 3 TDs help Damascus clobber Whitman

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DAMASCUS – Another football Friday at the Swarmin’ Hornets Nest ended the way most Friday nights end for the Damascus varsity football team: a hard-nosed running game plus a swarming defense equaled a dominant victory.

The tried-and-true formula worked against Whitman (4-3) as the undefeated Hornets (7-0) soared to a 42-6 homecoming win behind senior running back Elijah Atkins.

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