Both the Severna Park and Broadneck wrestling programs can be proud of their overall showings from their tri-meet with Southern at Severna Park High School on January 8.
The Bruins, who graduated a huge swath of their lineup from last year’s roster of state contenders, came away with a pair of team victories, defeating Southern 45-33 and the host Falcons 48-27.
Severna Park held its own against Broadneck and got an exciting win over Southern, coming from behind to defeat the Bulldogs 37-36.
Both teams are young and lack experience, but the Falcons and Bruins also have talented wrestlers fortifying their lineups, both with similar goals of building throughout the season and excelling in the postseason tournaments.
“The goal is just to get better every day,” said Severna Park coach Trevor Bryden. “A lot of different skill sets and levels of experience. So for the guys who have never wrestled and the guys we have really high hopes for, the goal is to get better every day.”
Broadneck coach Reid Bloomfield was happy to see his young lineup wrestle hard and sweep the meet.
“We’re a really young team, so any win is a good win,” said Bloomfield. “We’re starting eight underclassmen and had a couple first-year kids in the lineup. So for those guys to come out here in a good environment and experience success, come away with two wins, we’re really proud of that.”
The Bruins began the night with a powerful display against Southern, accepting points on a few forfeits and getting victories from Ben Durkin (a third-round pin at 120 lbs), Cayden Groah (minor decision at 132), Jacob Miller (minor decision at 138), Dylan Ruppert (third-round pin at 152), Giavon Meiklejohn (second-round pin at 170) and J’Marion Simms (first-round pin at 285).
The host Falcons then faced Southern and immediately went into an 18-0 hole after a forfeit and two pins. Jack Chadwick got Severna Park on the board with a minor decision a 132. Bohdan Andrulis racked up points in his match at 152 to earn a 17-3 major decision. Carson Gotimer kept the Falcons’ momentum going with a first-round pin of his opponent at 182. With Severna Park leading 31-30 and a forfeit looming in the 106-lbs weight class, Severna Park’s Patrick Ellis needed to pin his opponent in the heavyweight bout in order to secure a team victory for the Falcons.
Ellis and Southern’s heavyweight were tied 2-2 in the second round when Ellis opportunistically seized on an overly aggressive play for points and caught his opponent for a match-clinching pin.
“I had the single leg on him; he was really fighting hard against it, but he threw himself over too early and put too much weight forward,” said Ellis. “It goes into technique and being cautious. He put too much weight forward. He really wanted the points, and that helped me throw him over, and I was able to trap him.”
Ellis, who said he achieved a match-clinching pin once before in his wrestling career, in middle school, noted he has a somewhat counterintuitive mindset in his bouts.
“Honestly, I have probably the worst mentality,” Ellis said. “I always think that I’m going to lose. The reason I think that is that it always helps me think that I have to be as cautious as possible. If you’re always on your highest point of awareness and striving to make sure everything you do has no error, then it really opens up and you have the ability to win the matches. You’re focused on, ‘How can I get to them without them doing things to me?’ It is about speed, it is about strength, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is technique.”
The exciting finish set the stage for Severna Park and Broadneck to clash. Severna Park forfeited at 120 to begin the match. Broadneck’s Rylan Woodward led Severna Park’s Dean King 12-4 in the second round of their match at 126 when he managed to seal six points with a pin. Chadwick and Groah squared off at 132 and grappled through nearly three rounds of low-scoring wrestling before Groah managed to pin Chadwick for an 18-0 Broadneck lead. The Bruins’ Jacob Miller pinned Matt Thompson in the second round at 138 to up the lead to 24-0. Broadneck’s Dylan Ruppert and Severna Park’s Colin Shadowens delivered an intriguing battle at 145 — Shadowens was wrestling for the first time this season after recovering from an injury during football season, and despite lacking conditioning, he managed to go the distance with Ruppert, avoid a pin and drop a minor decision, 9-4. Both wrestlers could be contenders for the county at 145.
At 152, Andrulis secured a 2-0 night with an impressive first-round takedown throw of Broadneck’s Tyler Johnson and a subsequent pin. That got Severna Park its first points as the Falcons trailed, 27-6.
Meiklejohn came out firing in his match with Aiden Milewski at 160, pinning Milewski after 23 seconds. The 170 match was a grind, a 2-0 minor decision by Broadneck’s Colin Thompson over Severna Park’s Camden Webb.
Gotimer displayed his prowess in his 182 match against Broadneck’s Nathan Jones, executing a range of takedowns and holds to stack up points against Jones. Gotimer led 13-2 in the third round when he pinned Jones to, like Andrulis, go 2-0 on the day.
Broadneck surrendered forfeits at 195 and 220, with Caleb Robinson and Ty Broadway, respectively, accepting the wins for Severna Park. Ellis also made it a 2-0 night when he secured a 3-1 decision over Simms in the heavyweight battle.
Severna Park surrendered a forfeit at 106. At 113, Broadneck’s Will Donohoe pinned the Falcons’ Andrew Trull to conclude the match.
Broadway, who accepted forfeits against both Southern and Broadneck, ran his season record to 23-0 and figures to be one of the top contenders for the county at 220 as well as a player in the region and state tournaments.
A junior, Broadway suffered an injury that kept him out of most of the football season, but he came into wrestling season healthy, and he said his coaches have been key to his success.
“Listening to coach,” said Broadway. “I feel that if I listen to coach, anything can happen, anything is possible. He really pushes me and has high expectations for me, and I have high expectations for myself.”
He said the Falcons can make some noise as a team in the coming weeks, and no matter what, they’ll be wrestling hard.
“I have faith in my team, win or lose,” Broadway said. “I just want them to wrestle hard and give 120% on the mat, because once it’s over, it’s over.”
Meiklejohn, a county contender for Broadneck at 170 lbs who hopes to qualify for states, spoke confidently about the Bruins’ prospects for continued success over the rest of the season.
“For the team, [tonight] gave us a lot of confidence,” said Meiklejohn, a junior. “We came out and beat the team we were supposed to beat, Severna Park, our rival. Then Southern, they thought they were going to come out here and destroy us, and we took it to them, too. For the rest of the season, we just want to come out here and show all the teams that Broadneck is tough and we can stick it to every team there is.
“Whether we win or lose, we want to make them walk off the mat wanting to never wrestle Broadneck again.”