Four Locals Win Co-Ed Wrestling County Championships


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Nathan Kohler had been playing from behind for almost the entirety of his 175-pound Anne Arundel County Public Schools wrestling championship bout with Chesapeake’s Keanu Furbush. Furbush was up 4-0 and looked in total control. Even when Kohler escaped early in the third period, Furbush looked content to circle and keep the Severna Park senior at bay.

But wrestling is a sport where momentum can change in a split-second with one perfectly timed move or one slight mistake. Kohler sensed his opportunity and pounced, and almost before anyone processed what had just happened, Furbush was on his back and Kohler was the county champion.

“I knew I needed something big. I just stayed composed, trusted myself, and when I saw an opening for it, I took it,” Kohler said. “I got into a position where it’s usually worse for the guy on bottom, but I practice that all the time and I know how to get out of it, and I was able to get him onto his back from that position.”

Kohler was Severna Park’s only county champion and one of two to reach the finals. Severna Park’s Michael Queen surrendered a late reversal and dropped a 6-5 decision to Chesapeake’s Michael Greenstreet at 126 pounds.

Three Broadneck wrestlers also claimed individual county titles on Saturday: Branden Whyte-Taylor (120 pounds), Linx Lawless (144) and Austin Combs (165). Teammates Peyton Miller lost for just the second time all season when he was pinned in the first round of the 150-pound final by North County’s Kairyn Hall.

Lawless was facing an unfamiliar opponent in Meade’s Cavell Morris. But Lawless eased into the match and took control midway through, never looking in danger as he ultimately won by pin midway through the final period.

“I’d never wrestled him before, so I spent the first period kind of feeling him out and went from there,” said Lawless. “I kind of fell into the pin. I don’t really chase pins unless I need them, like in duals or when I’m behind. I focus on what I need to do to win the match.”

Combs remained perfect on the season by winning a 6-3 decision over Crofton’s Jacob Speed in a matchup of contrasting styles, Combs focusing on two-leg shots and Speed going for big throws.

He cemented the win with an unorthodox takedown that looked smooth to the spectators, but he admitted afterward that it was anything but conventional. Nevertheless, the senior closed out his last home appearance with yet another win.

“I knew he was going for something big in the last 30 seconds, and I felt him setting it up. I made a mental error in baiting him into going for it, because I thought I could easily roll over the top of it, but it turned into a little more of a sticky situation than I thought,” said Combs, who successfully completed the roll to pad his lead and ride out the win. “I didn’t really think about it being the end until the last few seconds, and that’s when I started to realize there was something special about this one.”

Whyte-Taylor gave the host school three county championships when the Broadneck junior made quick work of Chesapeake’s Brayden Roberts, pinning him late in the first period.

“It’s a good opponent, so I knew I had to be patient,” Whyte-Taylor said. “I wrestled him earlier and I beat him by decision, and being at home was a big motivation to do well.”

The top four finishers in each weight class automatically advance to this week’s region meet at Old Mill High School, with others eligible to potentially quality on points accumulated over the season.

Other automatic qualifiers from Saturday included Broadneck’s Jack Joseph (fourth at 106) and Miguel Caban (fourth at 113), and Severna Park’s Andrew Bonk (fourth at 120) and Brett Gleisner (fourth at 215).

Broadneck finished fourth in the team standings, with Severna Park ninth.


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