Each year, more than 11,000 wrestlers from 34 district tournaments and representing 17 states set their sights on the Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association (MAWA) Eastern National Championship in Salisbury, Maryland. Wrestlers must place in the top three at a district tournament, then place in the top four at one of four regional tournaments. Just getting to the MAWA Nationals is a huge accomplishment, where sixteen of the top wrestlers from each weight class will battle to become All-Americans.
MAWA District place winners were: First Place—Bantam 60 Colby Keilholtz, Advanced 110 Garrett Buckley, Advanced 135 Kevin Simmel, Advanced 140 Charlie Perella, Advanced 145 Patrick Guilday, Elite 160 Colin Schildt; Second Place—Junior 70 pounder Ethan Fuss and Junior 91 pounder Josh Small.
MAWA Regional place winners were: Third Place—Patrick Guilday; Fourth Place—Kevin Simmel and Colby Keilholtz..
MAWA All-Americans: Kevin Simmel, a freshman Frederick County Wrestling Championship place-winner and MPSSAA 1A-2A West Regional qualifier, coasted through the prelims on the first day of competition. Simmel won his first two matches by outscoring his opponents 14 to 2 before pinning them both. On the second day, Simmel lost his next two matches despite scoring five points in each bout. He managed to secure a fifth place finish, the second highest place finish for any Catoctin wrestler. Simmel had a regular high school record of 26 wins and 14 losses and was ranked as high as 25th in the state.
Patrick Guilday, a sophmore Frederick County Champion, 1A-2A West Regional place-winner and Maryland State wrestling Championship qualifier, won his first match by shutting out his opponent 6 to 0. Guilday lost his next match 16 to 2 to the eventual 3rd place finisher. Knowing that another loss would eliminate him from the tournament, a re-focused Guilday edged out an overtime victory against a very talented West Virginia rival. Guilday would lose his next two matches on the second day but managed to secure an 8th place finish. Guilday’s high school record was 32 wins and 12 losses, and he is currently ranked 17th in the state. He also took third place at the MSWA Greco-Roman State qualifier in Harford, Maryland, and third place at the Battle of Gettysburg folkstyle tournament.
Guilday and Simmel became only the fourth and fifth Catoctin wrestlers to place at MAWA Nationals, joining the ranks of three other All-Americans: Seth Chilson 2007, Josh Small 2010, and Charlie Perella 2011.