No one could handle Good Counsel’s wrestlers on the local stage this season. The Falcons cruised to their fourth straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title, then dominated the Maryland Independent Schools state meet with six first-place finishers.
Good Counsel put forth another strong showing at National Preps on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to earn more hardware. Five Falcons produced top-five finishes in Bethlehem, Pa., helping Good Counsel grab fourth place at the prestigious national event.
Top-ranked Blair (N.J.) and Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) finished first and second, respectively, while Malvern (Pa.) placed third. Good Counsel, which placed third in 2013, had hoped to reclaim that third-place spot but fell 83 points short.
“It was an incredible season,” Good Counsel Coach Skylar Saar said. “Winning a state title, having six state champs, wrestling in all those tough tourname nts and having a bunch of placers was big. At National Preps we wanted to do a little bit better, but things happen that way. The kids wrestled tough. ”
Brady Daniel emerged as the Falcons’ top finisher Saturday with a third-place finish at 220 pounds. The Good Counsel junior, seeded fifth, executed a takedown with under 30 seconds left to claim a 3-1 decision over Dymir Davis-Carruth of Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.).
It marked the best national finish for Daniel, who took fifth at the Beast of the East tournament in December. Daniel, also a standout linebacker on the football team, transferred to Good Counsel last summer from River Hill and is receiving recruiting interest in both sports.
“Everyday I came into practice it was just a whole other level,” Daniel said. “We were always pushing each other, and we knew what we were able to come out here and do.”
Garrett Neff (160 pounds) and Kevin Snyder (195) earned fourth-place finishes for Good Counsel, while Kevin Budock (145) and Bailey Thomas (152) took fifth. Budock, a three-time National Preps runner-up, held a late 1-0 lead in his semifinal match but lost on a reversal with two seconds remaining.
St. John’s finished in 11th place, just half-a-point away from its first top-10 National Preps finish in school history, according to Coach Karl Danso. Gavin Stoddard, the Cadets’ 113-pounder, earned the award for most pins in the least amount of time with four falls in a span of 4 minutes 4 seconds. St. Mary’s Ryken sophomore King Sandoval beat Stoddard in the third-place match. St. John’s sophomore Malcolm Robinson suffered his first loss since Jan. 16 on a controversial takedown call in the 126-pound quarterfinals and ended up placing fourth.
St. Mary’s Ryken and Spalding tied for 22nd place, while Gonzaga finished 24th. Spalding freshman P.J. Truntich placed fourth in the 106 weight class. Gonzaga senior William MacDonald took fourth at 152, and sophomore Nathan Thacker was sixth at 120.
Georgetown Prep junior Ethan Krause claimed fifth place with a 3-1 decision over McDonogh’s Quinn Devaney in a rematch of the previous weekend’s 138-pound MIS state final. St. Vincent Pallotti senior Mansur Abdul-Malik beat the McCallie School's River Henry, 3-2, to claim third place in the heavyweight category.