One thing wrestling coaches dislike about their sport: forfeits.
Count longtime Broadneck wrestling coach Reid Bloomfield among them.
It’s been a big problem during his five years on the job. He simply lacked wrestlers in several of the 14 weight classes. He’d have to forfeit points and sometimes a lot of them in matches.
“We have had very, very good teams,” Bloomfield explained. “We also have had three or four holes where we were giving away forfeits. The difference between this year and the other teams is that we are now solid throughout the lineup. We are not spotting teams 18 points, which has sometimes been the case in the past.”
In other words, the Bruins aren’t forfeiting points anymore.
This season has shaped up as one of Bloomfield’s best. The team started the season with a sparkling 16-1 dual-meet record and was a No.1 seed in the 4A East state tournament. The Bruins beat Annapolis 39-34 on February 9 before losing to eventual champion South River, 38-30, in the region finals. The individual tournament looms on the March schedule.
The Bruins’ best previous season under the coach came during his rookie campaign in 2018 when the Bruins went 11-2.
“From top to bottom, it’s the most complete team I’ve had,” Bloomfield said. “This is what you work for. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s been something we have been building toward for years.”
The overwhelming strength of Broadneck’s lineup lies in its string of seniors. It starts with Liam DeBaugh, the team’s most accomplished grappler, at 160 pounds, and finishes up with Calieb Collazo at 295. In between, there’s Max DeMella (170), Jake Chambers (182), Dax Avila (195) and Walker Young (220).
Sophomores Luka Podkrajac (106), Cam Williams (113), Brandon Whyte-Taylor (120) and Peyton Miller (152) and seniors Peter Saroch (126), Justin Henschen (132), and Ben Durkin (138), Rylan Woodward (145) and Peyton Miller (152) complete the lineup.
“It means there’s pressure on us to win and work harder in the wrestling room because we have a target on our back,” said Avila, referring to the seniors at the end of the lineup. “It raises us to a higher standard because we have a full lineup and are capable of winning things.”
DeBaugh wins as much as any Broadneck wrestler. He finished first in the county and region at 126 pounds last year and placed second in the Class 3A state tournament while going 37-8.
“From last year to this year, I think he is more serious about wrestling,” Avila said. “He has put in a ton of work to gain a lot of weight. He’s still doing as well as he was last year. That’s very impressive.”