Landon wrestler edges friend and Magruder wrestling foe, ties series at 3-3

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Cramma vs. Giron at Mad Mats TournamentMagruder's C.J. Cramma faces off once more against friend and wrestling rival Landon's Axel Giron, who was the victor in the match at the Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder High School. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  DERWOOD — As C.J. Cramma pursues this year’s 120-pound 4A-3A state title after having placed third at states last season, Landon junior Axel Giron will be among the Magruder senior’s greatest supporters.

That’s due, in part, to Giron scoring a double-leg takedown of Cramma in the final seconds to secure a 5-4 victory in Saturday’s finals of Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder, a feat which evened his series mark to three wins each against Cramma, whom he won't have to wrestle for the remainder of their high school season.

“Second period, I got the first point for a 1-0 lead, then it was 2-1 after he took me down. I escaped to make it 2-2,” said Giron, a triple-overtime winner of their summer meeting at a Landon wrestling camp.


Poolesville junior soars with fellow Falcons at Magruder’s Mad Mats Tournament

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Mad Mats Tournament 12 9 17Richard Montgomery's Antonio Pedone grapples with Landon's Matt Amitay, advancing in the 138 lb. weight class during the Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder High School on Saturday. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK DERWOOD — Poolesville junior Kieran Barney finished with a record of 8-15 last year and the 182-pounder began this, his third-ever season of wrestling, on his back.

Barney was pinned in 3:34 by Sherwood’s sophomore county and regional fourth-place finisher Adam Pfeiffer during a 38-37 dual meet victory by the Falcons on Dec. 6, and was itching to redeem himself in last Saturday’s Mad Mats Tournament at Magruder.

In the end, it was Barney planting shoulders to the mat for the Falcons at Mad Mats as he decked all three opponents, including Good Counsel senior Alwyn Taylor in 2:38 of their title bout. His triumph paced the Falcons to third place in the 19-team field behind champion St. Paul’s of Baltimore County and Stephen Decatur of Berlin in Worcester County.

“Kieran did a lot of lifting during the offseason and wrestled in a couple of tournaments here and there. He just never gives up and goes at it 100 percent,” said Poolesville head coach Tim Tao.

“He asks lots of questions like, ‘Show me this,’ and, ‘Show me that,’ and is eager to learn. I told him after his finals match at Mad Mats if he wrestled like that all year, he’s placing at counties, regions and going to states.”


Montgomery County’s high school wrestling preview

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Colonels’ C.J. Cramma aims for elusive state title, while Damascus goes for another team crown 

Magruder’s C.J. Cramma need no further inspiration than his past two meetings with Parkdale of Prince George’s County’s 4A-3A runner-up Axel Giron, who defeated the Colonels’ wrestler, 6-3, in last year’s 113-pound state semifinals, and, in triple-overtime at a summer wrestling camp at Landon High.

Giron lost his state title bout, 3-2, to repeat winner Brent Lorin of Harford County’s Bel Air, a junior like Giron, who has yet to lose a high school bout.

“We were tied 3-3 at states and Giron got back points,” said Cramma, who went 4-1 at states with two pins, a technical fall and a 9-5 decision to end the year with a mark of 41-6. “At Landon, we were tied 4-4 but went into triple-overtime and I lost on the ultimate ride-out.”


Falcons seek redemption and take aim at Cadets

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First-year Good Counsel coach Kevin Phelps will be an adversary of former pupil Cam Watkins this season after once guiding Watkins during his time as an assistant to wrestling coach Max Sartoph at Magruder High.

Watkins, who won a Class 4A-3A state title as a senior before graduating from Magruder in 2005, begins his second season at the helm for the St. John's Cadets wrestling team, who last year dethroned the Falcons as Washington Catholic Athletic Conference dual and tournament champions.


MoCo wrestlers learn value of hard work and discipline at USMC wrestling clinic

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xWrestling Clinic 1 - Sgt. Cameron McNeill U.S. Marine Sgt. Cameron McNeill from the Rockville Recruiting Substation speaks to the athletes at the USMC Sports Leadership Academy Wrestling Clinic at Magruder High School. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  

C.J. Cramma was Magruder’s best wrestler this past winter, but the Colonels’ junior lost more than he won against a visitor to his home gymnasium during a clinic on April Fools’ Day.

Competing at 113 pounds, Cramma won county and regional crowns and finished third at the Class 4A-3A state tournament to improve on the previous year’s placements of second, third and fourth in each.

But during a free clinic co-sponsored by the Marine Corps’ Sports Leadership Academy at Magruder on April 1, Cramma often partnered with Bethesda-Chevy Chase sophomore Eli Guttentag, who finished third at counties at 120 pounds a year after going 44-1 and winning county and regional titles before finishing third at states as a 106-pound freshman.


Kyle Snyder takes his second straight title

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Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder made it look easy, but it wasn’t.

The Buckeyes junior overcame a rib injury to win his final three of five matches as well as vanquish an opponent who had 38 pounds on him en route to earning his second straight NCAA title at 285 pounds on Sunday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, where the Good Counsel graduate’s crowning achievement was a 6-3 decision over Wisconsin’s Connor Medberry.

A reigning World Champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist from Woodbine, Snyder improved his record on the year to 17-0 and his collegiate winning streak to 33-0 and led his Buckeyes to a runner-up finish to Penn State, winner of its second straight crown and sixth in the past seven years under coach Cael Sanderson.

“It was a lot of fun. I love competing in that environment on the big stage in front of huge crowds. I receive tons of support from Ohio State and Buckeye Nation,” said Snyder, 21, who reached the finals on a pair of technical falls, a decision and a major decision.


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.”


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.”


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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