NORTH EAST — North East’s wrestling team honored its seniors in style with its sixth win of the year on Friday night.
Kameron Schank, R.J. Boyd, Blaydon Blake and Cory O’Connell were the four seniors honored during the Indians’ dual match win against Perryville. Boyd, Blake and Schank all picked up victories on the night to help defeat the Panthers 45-27.
Blake highlighted the performance of the three seniors with a second period victory over Perryville’s Lee McConnell at 152-pounds. Blake’s victory by fall put the Indians up by six points and came as Blake battled his way back from a near pin by McConnell.
After picking up the victory, the four-year wrestler for the Indians flexed to the crowd to celebrate his senior night win. Blake said the North East gymnasium atmosphere was electric.
“It was crazy, I got my whole family there in the stands,” Blake said. “It was a big night for me.”
North East Head Coach Mark Mossa credited Blake for being one of the senior leaders on the team. Blake serves as a team captain for the Indians.
“He shows up every single day ready to work,” Mossa said. “He motivates the guys and he is one of the hardest working guys I have in the room.”
Schank immediately followed Blake at 160-pounds and picked up a victory by fall in one minute and 25 seconds over Perryville’s Dradin Coffey. In early January, Schank was awarded a banner for picking up 50-career wins as an Indian at Havre De Grace’s Tomahawk Duals wrestling tournament.
The North East senior said he was unable to achieve his goal of 100-career wins after COVID shortened the middle part of his high school wrestling career. Nonetheless, Schank was proud of his senior night pin.
“I really treated it like any other night,” Schank said. “Come out here and do my thing, grind hard in practice and catch dubs.”
Mossa credited Schank for his ability to move down in weight classes. Mossa said since Schank moved down to 160, he has yet to lose a match.
“[Kameron] missed his sophomore year cause of COVID, so he is having to catch himself up a little bit on the wins,” Mossa said. “I was glad I could give him his 50 banner.”
Alongside Schank, sophomore Mason Boyd earned his 50th career win at the two-day Havre De Grace wrestling tournament and also received a banner.
R.J. Boyd, Mason’s older brother, said he watched his younger brother on the mat throughout his childhood.
“I wrestled with him all throughout childhood,” R.J. Boyd said. “It was great to see that, I was proud of him.”
Mason Boyd lost by decision against Perryville’s Kyler Brown at 132-pounds. R.J. Boyd, however, was able to come out on top at 170-pounds in his senior night bout. R.J. Boyd won by fall over Bohdan Hamson in one minute and 51 seconds.
R.J. Boyd said this season is his first year back on the mat after taking time away from competition.
“I had been training every day, been working hard all week, all year,” R.J. Boyd said. “It’s been tough, but I’ve been working through it, doing good, getting some pins and I ended off today’s match pretty good.”
Four other North East wrestlers picked up wins over Perryville at 113-pounds, 120-pounds, 138-pounds and 182-pounds. The Indians also picked up a win by forfeit at 285-pounds. Three Perryville wrestlers picked up victories at 145-pounds, 195-pounds and 220-pounds. The Panthers won by forfeit at 126-pounds.
Perryville will visit Aberdeen on Tuesday. The Indians will be back on the mat on Wednesday against Rising Sun.
With the senior night festivities, each North East senior received a poster, hung up behind the North East bench. Blake believes the four posters represent a brotherhood.
“Cory stepped up in a major way, just from it being his first year and being a dominant force on the mat. R.J. hasn’t wrestled since he was in sixth grade, stepping up at 170 and doing his thing,” Blake said. “Me and [Kameron] have been in the program for four years and are finally getting our recognition. I love all of these boys.”