Spalding wins Maryland Independent State Wrestling Tournament for first time

By Andy Marso
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 20, 2011; 1:10 AM

Spalding continued a season of triumph by winning the Maryland Independent State Wrestling Tournament for the first time Saturday at McDonogh School, but it wasn't easy.

The Cavaliers were 33-0 in duals, won all but one of their tournaments and were ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. But they were challenged by McDonogh before outscoring the hosts 268.5-248.5 at the top of the 30-team field.

"They definitely made it interesting," Spalding Coach Mike Laidley said. "Two of their kids who weren't expected to be in the finals wrestled well and got in. . . . But this is the first [state championship] in school history for us."

Charlie Lynch led the way for Spalding with a dominant performance in his final state meet. The senior went 5-0 with five pins in 29 seconds, 1 minute 8 seconds, 3:08, 1:26 and 3:41 to win the 145-pound championship. With 30 points, he outscored 10 teams by himself.

Lynch pinned highly regarded Mount St. Joseph senior Brady Massaro in the final.

"I knew Brady Massero was a great wrestler and that if I didn't give it my all it's a match that could have gone either way," Lynch said. "I tried to be very offensive and not give him any space to breathe. I hooked his leg and caught him on his back in the second period and at that point I didn't let him go."

Lynch will go into the season-ending National Preps tournament Thursday at Lehigh University with a 55-0 record.

Spalding also got championships from junior Will Switzer at 140 pounds and senior K.K. Smith at 189.

Switzer had an even tougher road than Lynch. He had to go through St. Paul's Pete Galli, who handed him one of his two losses on the season. When Switzer beat the top-seeded Galli, 8-3, in the championship, Lynch said it gave the whole team a lift.

"Last year Will lost to him in the MIAAs and state and this year he lost to him again in the MIAA final," Lynch said. "So to finally see him get a little payback and beat the guy was great."

Smith pinned his first four opponents and then beat McDonogh junior Kevin Marvel by major decision, 14-5, in the championship. He pushed his record to 42-1.

"We really worked hard as a team all season to win it," Smith said. "We knew we had a bull's-eye on our back. You know, being the No. 1 team, everybody's trying to beat us."

Senior Cole Gallagher (112 pounds) and junior Devaunje Smith (171) both reached the finals but lost. Brady Gaynor suffered a possible concussion during his 135-pound semifinal match with Good Counsel's Shane Arechiga and had to injury default. Laidley said he was questionable for Thursday.

Good Counsel finished fourth with 179.5 points. Arechiga, a Maryland recruit who Good Counsel Coach Skylar Saar said was "wrestling as well as I've ever seen him," topped Archbishop Curley senior Brett Przywara, 9-2 in the 135-pound championship. It was the third championship in three weeks for Arechiga, who also won at WCACs and St. Albans.

Brothers Kyle and Stephen Snyder closed out the tournament with back-to-back championships for the Falcons. Stephen, a senior, topped McDonogh junior Roman Braglio, 6-4, in the 285-pound championship right after Kyle, a freshman, stayed undefeated with a 3-0 win against DeMatha's Dylan Devine at 215.

Devine led DeMatha to ninth place. Of his eight losses this season, six have come against Kyle Snyder.

Georgetown Prep finished just behind Good Counsel with 179.0 points and McNamara was tops in the "B" division with 44.5 points.

McNamara freshman Alfred Bannister, who is 53-3 overall, defeated Georgetown Prep sophomore Daniel Sanchez, 3-2, for the 125-pound title in the closest match of the finals. Bannister is 48-0 at 125 pounds this season.

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