The Cougars are building a major rivalry with the Poolesville Falcons, based on the last several dual and triangular meets that always seem to come down to the last match. They did it again at Poolesville in a meet won by QO on the last match of the meet. Greg Holland got a technical fall, winning his match by 16 points to make the final 44-36.
The Cougars came in with several spots filled by JV grapplers due to injuries, and star Gage Neubaum had a rough match, the only one settled by decision, due to a shoulder injury. “I knew we needed the points so I just gutted it out,” he said while icing his shoulder afterward.
Coach Chris Tao said, “If we didn’t need him, I was going to rest him. Obviously, we needed him.” Neubaum’s was the only match not decided by a fall or technical fall.
Outstanding performances were given by junior Eli Bienstock, looking faster and stronger than last year, at 125 with a pin in :56, and Connor Tilton, who came from 2-5 down. He took a reversal almost directly into a pin at 1:47. Roman Tuganov slipped and fell into a 0-2 position but came back nicely for a pin at 2:36.
In the Damascus Holiday Tournament, the Cougars finished seventh with their only champion being Austin Williams at 189.
The QO wrestlers had to fight hard to win the closely contended match against the Walter Johnson Wildcats. The Cougars were able to pull out the win, and the final score was 36-31. The Cougars clinched the match win with freshman Davis Silverman securing a pin.
“Davis Silverman came through for us and got his first varsity win,” said Tao. “What a time to win.”
Dependable senior Holland won again for the Cougars, and he was the fastest to win his match with a pin. It only took Holland 47 seconds to take down his opponent. Bienstock came through yet again in a match that lasted a bit longer than usual, but he still pinned his opponent in the first round.
The Cougars split their triangular meet with Damascus and Seneca Valley, losing to Damascus, 39-33. Outstanding matches included the Turlik-Basden match that went back and forth until the last five seconds; Turlik got the winning takedown for the tight 12-11 win. Holland won another seesaw match to take the bout to 33-33 before Damascus pulled it out with a pin in the final match. Cougar winners included Williams, Tilton, Neubaum and Bienstock.
The second match of the day for the Cougars was in the bag before it started as Seneca Valley gave up 30 points in forfeits. The Cougars went on to win, 60-22. Neubam, Holland, Williams and Tilton had pins for QO.