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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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Damascus state champ Purkey back to pinning ways, continues Hornets’ win streak

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20180128 Churchill vs Damascus Wrestle 19Paul Purkey of Damascus takes on Churchill's Andrew Welch. Purkey would take the win in the 195-pound weight class.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK   POTOMAC — State champion Paul Purkey of Damascus embraced last month’s challenge against three-time state champion Aaron Brooks of North Hagerstown, even though he was pinned in their 195-pound bout.

“I was excited to wrestle Brooks,” said Purkey, a University of Maryland-bound county and regional champion last year at 182 pounds who earned a private schools state title as a Good Counsel sophomore.

“I was telling the coaches that if he didn’t bump up, I’d have wanted an exhibition. I wanted the competition. It can only help me to get better. It keeps me humble and motivated to know that there can also be someone better.”

Purkey returned to his pinning ways during Saturday’s tri-meet victories over host Churchill, 47-15, and Quince Orchard, 72-9, helping the 15-time county champion Swarmin’ Hornets (19-0) to run their dual meet winning streak to 146 consecutive matches.

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Ryan Lawrence, John Allan Furgeson pace Swarmin’ Hornets with centennial victories

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Ryan Lawrence of Damacus scores a 3-1 finals win against Joey Dunn of Sidwell Friends in the 152lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKRyan Lawrence of Damacus scores a 3-1 finals win against Joey Dunn of Sidwell Friends in the 152lb weight class. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  With five title winners and 12 wrestlers placing within the top four of their weight classes, the Damascus wrestling team featured victories by State champions Ryan Lawrence (152) and Paul Purkey (195) as well as fellow senior John Allan Furgeson (160) en route to winning the Swarmin' Hornets' own 13-team holiday tournament last week.

Other champions crowned at the end of the two day event – which took place on Dec. 27 and 28 – were freshman Michael Emerick (106) and junior Elijah Baisden (285), with junior Johnny McLaughlin (132) and seniors Josh Creegan (145) and Ben Lokos (182) placing second, sophomores Timothy Furgeson (170) and Aiden Bell (220) finishing third, and freshman Nick Biava (120) and sophomore Vito Vahasdizke (126), fourth.

The event was a dual meet format on Wednesday which yielded results toward seeding Thursday’s bracketed tournament.

Lawrence improved his record to 19-0 on Thursday by earning a 3-1 championship decision over two-time Mid-Atlantic Conference champion Joey Dunn of Sidwell Friends. Lawrence's win over Dunn was the second in two days, with a 3-2 decision during Wednesday's dual meet earning him his 100th career victory. After Thursday, his win count rose to 108.

“This is probably the fourth or fifth time that I’ve wrestled him in the past few years,” said Lawrence, a two-time county and regional title winner who was third at states as a sophomore.

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Damascus gains redemption and third state title

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Damascus completed a weekend of redemption during the March 3-4 Class 4A-3A state tournament at The Show Place Arena, where three of its six state place winners overcame setbacks from a week earlier to lead the Swarmin’ Hornets to their third straight and sixth overall state title in Upper Marlboro of Prince George’s County.

Led by Penn State-bound senior Scottie Obendorfer (132), who avenged an earlier loss to win his second crown in three years, the Swarmin’ Hornets (123.5 points) overcame runner-up Urbana (99 points) of Frederick County.

A state champion as a sophomore who was runner-up last year, Obendorfer had lost his regional title bout, 6-1, to Walter Johnson’s J.D. FitzPatrick after having beaten him in both the county finals and an earlier dual meet. On Saturday, however, Obendorfer won, 5-4, after having reached the finals on a technical fall and two decisions.

“I believed God had a plan for Scottie, an that losing the regional final was a great lesson for him not to take anything for granted. Of course there is disappointment,” said coach John Furgeson. “But how you respond defines character and the person you become. Scottie was so focused this weekend and ready to wrestle. He zeroed in on what he had to do to overcome that obstacle.”

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Purkey now known for more than just his pinning abilities after tournament

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Although Paul Purkey is known for his pinning abilities, the Damascus junior was having trouble finishing off Westminster’s Garrett Vandervalk in their 182-pound Class 4A-3A state title bout at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

But when the time came, Purkey pounced for the pin, registering his team-high 37th fall of the year in 3 minutes, 22 seconds.

“It was a nearside cradle,” said Purkey, who improved to 47-1. “The cradles are normally there if I wait for them. So when I saw the opportunity, I went for it.”

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Damascus crowns three and sends 11 to states

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Damascus crowned three champions and qualified 11 wrestlers for Friday and Saturday’s Class 4A-3A state tournament, winning last Saturday’s Class 4A-3A West Regional Tournament at Sherwood during an event that featured several upsets for and against the Swarmin’ Hornets among other surprises.

The Swarmin’ Hornets received titles from sophomore Johnny McLaughlin (120) and county champion juniors Ryan Lawrence (145) and Paul Purkey (182), with runners-up in the county champion Furgeson siblings, junior John Allan (152) and freshman Tim (160), as well as Penn State-bound senior four-time county titlist Scottie Obendorfer (132) and county runners-up Elijah Baisden (195) and Mike Bradshaw (220), a sophomore and senior.

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Obendorfer edges FitzPatrick for fourth county title

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Scottie Obendorfer won his fourth straight Montgomery County tournament crown at Gaithersburg High School on Saturday and improved to 41-0, but the 132-pound senior’s victory in the event was more difficult than ever.

Obendorfer won finals back-to-back over Richard Montgomery’s David Silverberg by technical fall as a freshman, and then by 9-3 decision as a sophomore before routing Churchill’s Jack Connolly 13-4 as a junior.

But not only was that Obendorfer’s second time wrestling Walter Johnson senior J.D. FitzPatrick – having won 8-4 in an earlier dual meet – but he faced a veteran who dropped from 138 pounds, where he’s placed third at counties after being second as a sophomore, second are regions after being third a year earlier, and third at states after having finished sixth.

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Damascus wins 127th straight, fifth straight state duals title

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When Damascus’ wrestling season ended in 2016, the Swarmin’ Hornets had placed six wrestlers within the top four of their weight classes – with five of being underclassmen – to win their second straight and fifth overall Class 4A-3A state tournament.

That effort came three weeks after their having earned an unprecedented fifth straight state dual-meet championship and two from earning their 14th county tournament crown.

“We ended last season knowing we had a lot coming back,” said Mikey Bradshaw, who placed fourth in the region as a junior nearly a year ago. “We figured we’d have a stacked lineup and a good shot at winning it again this year.”

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Damascus adds to win streak

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Freshman Timothy Furgeson pinned his 160-pound Quince Orchard opponent and rose to 170 for a 1-0 upset of Northwest senior Khalil Owens as Damascus improved its winning streak to 123 consecutive dual meets at Northwest on February 4.

The Swarmin’ Hornets (21-0) swept the host Jaguars (53-21) and the visiting Cougars (51-24), with the former defeating the latter, 45-19.

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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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