COLLEGE PARK, Md. — If it wasn’t official before, it is now: North Hagerstown’s Brendon Colbert is a freshman phenom.
Colbert went 2-0 Friday in the Class 2A-1A 112-pound weight class at the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament to advance to Saturday’s championship semifinals at the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House.
He also secured a coveted top-six place on the podium and will become Washington County’s first freshman placewinner since Williamsport’s Mike McGill finished third at 103 in 2002.
“Now I just want to place as high as I can,” said Colbert, who was one of four county wrestlers to earn spots in the 2A-1A semis.
Williamsport’s Kemper Baker (140 pounds) and Zach Shoemaker (145) and Boonsboro’s Bucky Miller (189) also each went 2-0 Friday.
After pinning his first-round opponent in 31 seconds, Colbert held off Patuxent junior Zack Pilkington 11-10 in the quarterfinals. Pilkington was the state runner-up at 103 last year.
“I just went out and believed in myself,” said Colbert, who took a 9-2 lead into the third period and then survived Pilkington’s late rally. “I knew in my head I could beat him.”
Colbert (34-1) will face Owings Mills’ unbeaten Warren Mack (35-0) in the semifinals, while Oakland Mills’ Tony Farace (39-0), a two-time state champ, looms on the other side of the bracket.
“Farace is pretty tough, and everyone thinks no one can beat him,” Colbert said. “But I’m not really worried about that right now. I just want to take it match by match. I’m just worried about the next one. I just want to get to the finals.”
Baker, a senior, began the state tourney 2-0 for the third straight year. As a sophomore, he went on to win the title at 119, while last year he finished a disappointing fifth at 125.
“I definitely want to prove that last year was a fluke and that I deserve to be in the finals again, wrestling for a championship,” Baker said.
Shoemaker, a junior, was the county’s top finisher last season at states, placing fourth at 145.
“This year, I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot more confident, having been here last year,” said Shoemaker, who pinned both of his opponents Friday. “I want to walk away with everything. That’s my goal. As soon as I walked in here today and saw the mats, I decided I wasn’t losing.”
Miller placed fourth at last weekend’s West region tourney to earn his first berth at states. And the Boonsboro senior showed he wasn’t just happy to be here.
“I wanted to place,” said Miller, who pinned Sparrows Point’s James Krug in the first period of the quarterfinals to secure his spot on the podium. “I want top three.”
Williamsport’s Bryan Davis (103), North’s Duncan Yeisley (119) and Kenneth Burrs (160) and Boonsboro’s Jon Best (160) each went 1-1 to survive the first day.
North’s Mike Tobery went 0-2 at 103 and was eliminated.
Tobery, who finished fifth in the West region to earn alternate status for states, became the county’s 10th qualifier when Manchester Valley’s Chris McAleer, the West region runner-up, withdrew due to illness.
In Class 4A-3A, South Hagerstown’s Aaron Rowland lost his opening match at 285. In Class 4A-3A, South Hagerstown’s Aaron Rowland went 0-2 and was eliminated at 285.
Maryland State Tournament
at College Park
Washington County results
103 — Joe Juergens (Rising Sun) p. Mike Tobery (North Hagerstown) 3:57; Bryan Davis (Williamsport) d. Colton Smith (Kent Island) 8-6.
112 — Brendon Colbert (North Hagerstown) p. Paul McBride (Carver Vo-Tech) :31.
119 — Ian Hochuli (Marriotts Ridge) p. Duncan Yeisley (North Hagerstown) 1:59.
140 — Kemper Baker (Williamsport) t.f. Raven Brooks (Hammond) 17-2.
145 — Zach Shoemaker (Williamsport) p. Msema Msackyi (Elkton) 4:38.
160 — Charles Walls (Glenelg) d. Jon Best (Boonsboro) 9-3; Kenneth Burrs (North Hagerstown) m.d. Arvand Moaddab (Rockville) 17-7.
189 — Bucky Miller (Boonsboro) d. A.J. Armiger (Calvert) 5-2.
285 — Keevon Prather (Crossland) p. Aaron Rowland (South Hagerstown) 5:52.
103 — Zach Hensley (Oakland Mills) p. Davis, 2:54.
112 — Colbert d. Zack Pilkington (Patuxent) 11-10.
140 — Baker d. Brenan McAllister (Parkside) 5-2.
145 — Shoemaker p. Bryan Overton (Hammond) :57.
160 — Volz (Joppatowne) d. Burrs, 9-2.
189 — Miller p. James Krug (Sparrows Point) 1:05.
Consolation first round
103 — Jason Escobar (Owings Mills) d. Tobery, 6-3.
119 — Yeisley d. Cody Lewis (Sparrows Point) 7-1.
160 — Best d. Gary Clark (New Town) 2-1.
285 — Marcus Webster (Aberdeen) p. Rowland, 2:02