Three days after beating then-No. 1 DeMatha, the St. Stephen's/St. Agnes wrestling team won the 10-team Sidwell Friends Invitational last weekend in Northwest. The Saints placed seven wrestlers in the finals and had four champions: sophomore Matt Horton (130), junior John Campbell (189) and seniors Jay Kent (135) and Santos Rivera (215).
"I can't remember the last time we won a tournament," said St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Coach Harry Murphy, who began coaching at the Alexandria private school in 1992. "I'm real happy with the way the kids wrestled."
St. Stephen's/St. Agnes went 12-3 last season and placed second in the IAC. This season, the Saints are 9-0 in dual meets and are ranked 10th.
"We've come a long way in the last seven years," said Murphy, who had six boys on the team his first season and now has 23. "We were terrible our first couple of years but we hung in there and got better every year. . . . This is the first year we've had a full lineup and we're starting to see results."
The Saints will host No. 3 Robinson, Madison, Oakton, Yorktown and O'Connell at the St. Stephen's/St. Agnes Holiday tournament, which begins Wednesday.
Damascus will attempt to defend its title at the ninth annual Damascus Holiday tournament, Dec. 28-29. Fourteen of last year's tournament finalists went on to make their respective state finals, and 10 won titles. This year's 26-team field appears even stronger with the presence of 2A/1A champion Franklin (Baltimore County).
Max Meltzer (Bullis, 103), Wayne Boward (Williamsport, 135), T.J. Salb (Damascus, 145) and Robert Scott (Oakland Mills) will attempt to defend their titles. The most interesting weight class might be 135, which includes Matt Palmer (Bullis, 49-1 last year) and state champions Tim Lowe (Einstein) and Jamie Russial (Caesar Rodney in Delaware). . . . The Arundel Holiday tournament, Dec. 29-30 at Arundel High, will feature several strong teams from the area, including No. 5 River Hill, which improved to 5-0 this week behind Brandon Lauer, who has won all nine of his matches this season by pins.
The host Wildcats are 3-0 heading into the break, after their 45-19 victory over Westlake earlier in the week.