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Damascus wrestlers McLaughlin, Lawrence earn first, second state crowns

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Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence defeated Sparrows Point’s Skyler Minutelli in the 145lb Class 2A/1A final match in the State Wrestling Championships. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence defeated Sparrows Point’s Skyler Minutelli in the 145lb Class 2A/1A final match in the State Wrestling Championships. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  UPPER MARLBORO — Junior Johnny McLaughlin and senior Ryan Lawrence of Damascus had diverging perspectives after winning respective 126- and 145-pound Class 2A-1A state titles in Monday’s season-ending tournament at The Show Place Arena.

McLaughlin (41-6), a two-time county champion, already is gearing up for next season after handling previously unbeaten junior regional champion Ryan Wagener (42-1) of Baltimore County’s Eastern Tech 7-2 for his initial championship after twice being a third-place finisher at states.

A county runner-up as a sophomore, McLaughlin was eight days removed from a 7-5 victory over the previous year’s state title-winner Travis Crawford of South Carroll for his third straight regional crown.

“‘Don’t get third again’ – that’s all I repeated to myself coming into this,” said McLaughlin. “So this feels really good after my freshman and sophomore seasons, and I wanna do the same thing again next year.”

But Lawrence (48-0) proclaimed himself “done with this sport forever” after rolling through his first round and quarterfinal opponents on pins in 37 seconds, 1:34, blanking his semifinal rival 7-0 and hammering senior regional champion Skyler Minutelli (42-4) of  Sparrows Point 11-3 for his second straight title after having placed third as a sophomore.

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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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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 boys start off with convincing victory over Poolesville

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POOLESVILLE – The Damascus varsity boys’ lacrosse team kicked the 2017 season off with a bang on Tuesday after defeating Poolesville, 12-9.

Hornets junior midfielder Ryan Lawrence and sophomore attackman Nick Mohardt both made their presence felt on opening night by breaking through Poolesville defenders for multiple goals.

Lawrence finished the evening with a game-high four goals. Mohardt wasn’t far behind as he contributed a hat trick of his own.

The score was tied up at two goals apiece by the end of the first quarter. The Hornets, however, were just getting warmed up.

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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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Ryan Lawrence leads Damascus to state title

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When Ryan Lawrence entered The Show Place Arena for the March 3-4 Class 4A-3A state tournament, the 145-pound Damascus junior had a lot on his mind.

It had been a year since Lawrence was forced to settle for a third-place finish at states after having, in his words, been “20 seconds” from reaching the finals “and then getting pinned.”

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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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