Glen Burnie’s wrestling team was always going to have a tough time coming out with a dual win at Chesapeake on January 15, as the Gophers entered the match looking at forfeits in four weight classes.
Once on the mat, the going got even tougher.
The Cougars delivered a near-complete performance, outwrestling the Gophers for a 61-12 win and showing the prowess that has carried them to strong results throughout the season.
Chesapeake head coach Randy Curtin, whose Cougars have stacked up wins individually and as a team this season, saw another quality outing against Glen Burnie. The Cougars previously posted team wins at the Hammond and Frederick tournaments and a big win over previously undefeated Annapolis, and they’re looking to qualify for the regional duals for the second straight season.
Chesapeake is 22-4 overall including tournaments and 6-3 in duals, including 5-3 in county, with close losses to perennial county contenders South River and Old Mill.
“We are pushing to qualify for the regional duals and hopefully compete and do well in that,” said Curtin. “Then when the county tournament comes around, we’re hoping to be right there in the mix at the top of the county tournament. I think we will have multiple guys going to county finals.”
Against Glen Burnie, Chesapeake took a 12-0 lead right off the bat by accepting forfeits in the 132-lbs and 138-lbs weight classes. Aiden Yost moved to 28-6 on the season at 132, and Owen Schmidt improved to 29-5 at 138 for the Cougars.
At 145, Bryce Carleton took a 2-0 lead on a first-round takedown of Glen Burnie’s Caleb Williamson, and Carleton showed stamina by methodically winnowing time away for a 2-1 decision.
Jacob Rosenbloom was next on the mat for Chesapeake at 152, and he scored a pair of first-round takedowns for an early 4-0 lead on Glen Burnie’s Brennen Schultz. Rosenbloom led 7-2 in the second round when he left himself vulnerable and Schultz nearly turned him over for a pin, but Rosenbloom wriggled free and got back to his feet. A sweeping leg takedown by Rosenbloom in the third round secured an 11-5 decision over Schultz.
In the 160 bout between Chesapeake’s Victor Listorti and Glen Burnie’s Glen Anderson, the sound of the referee’s starting whistle hadn’t finished echoing through the gym when Listorti was already shooting at Anderson for a takedown and a 2-0 lead.
“Basically, I just go after them early and try to put them out early,” said Listorti of his aggressive plan of attack.
Anderson defended admirably, but Listorti led 8-2 late in the second round when he managed to put Anderson on his back for a pin.
Listorti, a county champion at 160 last season, improved to 32-2 this season and won his 98th career match. A junior, Listorti was a 1,000-yard rusher and top tackler as a safety on the Chesapeake football team this fall, and he’s also a key member of the lacrosse team. He’s hoping his teammates can continue to prop him up as he prepares for counties and a possible showdown with Arundel’s Trevor Gagnon, who has dealt Listorti both his losses this season.
“Everyone pushes each other in practice to get ready for the matches and get our endurance up,” said Listorti. “My goal personally is to come back and beat Trevor Gagnon from Arundel and win the county championship. For the team, we want to go to regional duals, hopefully win that, and then go to states.”
With Chesapeake leading 24-0, DJ Hoover kept the Cougars’ momentum going at 170. He led Glen Burnie’s Mateo Savoy 2-0 after one round and got an escape and a takedown to go up 5-0 in the second round. Hoover added a late takedown to claim a 9-3 decision and improve to 30-4 on the season.
Just a third-year wrestler, Hoover went from 9-14 as a 152-lbs freshman to 39-9 at 160 last season to now 30-4 at 170 this year. He said his discipline and training have been keys to success.
“Definitely staying in shape, making sure you’re eating right and all-around being healthy, and just working hard,” said Hoover, who said he took to wrestling as a freshman for the camaraderie and to challenge himself. “I think it’s just everyone being together, pushing each other to get better. I like to work hard and see what I can do,” Hoover said.
Chesapeake’s Dion Ambrose accepted a forfeit at 182. The Cougars’ Chandler Booker wrestled Greg Chaves at 195 and secured a second-round pin for a 39-0 Chesapeake lead.
Gabe Debow got Glen Burnie on the board with a pin of Jimmy Hedges at 220. Anthony Bonilla gave the Gophers their remaining points at 285 in a competitive match with Chesapeake’s Ron McDuffie. Bonilla led 2-1 in the third round when he was able to take advantage of up starting position to pin McDuffie and get Glen Burnie six points. Chesapeake led 39-12.
From there it was all Cougars. Freshman Dylan Ritter executed an array of takedowns to score an 11-2 major decision over Charles Easton at 106. Ritter improved to 29-5 on the season.
“I want to get the first takedown, shoot quick and get him down quick, and after that I control the match,” said Ritter. “I definitely want to place very well in counties, hopefully a finalist, and I want to do really well at regions and hopefully make states.”
Dawson Hoover accepted a forfeit at 113. At 120, Chesapeake’s Aaron Golden was aggressive in building a lead over Ethan Bergman through three minutes, and after a pair of reversals, Goldman led 8-4 midway through the second round when he pinned Bergman.
The Cougars’ Chase Listorti wasted no time in his 126 bout with Kevin Blair. Listorti immediately shot, hoisted Blair fully off the mat and slammed him down. Listorti had Blair pinned by the 1-minute mark.
“I haven’t taken a lot of shots recently, so coach said to take a shot,” said the younger Listorti, a sophomore. “I took a shot and picked him up and tried to get a half or some kind of pinning combination. I guess I’ve got to start doing that more.”
In closing out the dual for a 61-12 Chesapeake win, Listorti improved to 29-5 overall. He is one of several Cougars who figure to contend for the county and be competitive for the region and state qualification. He said the Cougars’ dedicated practice and commitment to sound technique will separate them from the competition as the season moves to its final stages.
“With a lot of wrestlers, it’s easy to gauge them on the first few seconds, just with how they tie up with you, or if they run at you and try to hurt you. But mostly it’s just trying to keep a clear head, work moves you know and work moves we’ve drilled in the room nonstop for hours, and really it’s just not giving up and having heart to finish your moves,” Listorti said.
“It doesn’t matter how strong they are — if you’re technical and keep a clear head, you’ll win that match.”