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Blair Garrett

The young guns have begun to click under new head coach Dan Engelstad.

The Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team has picked up its first two wins of the season in back-to-back victories against Wilson College and American University, bringing the team back on track after a rocky start.

The wins are Engelstad’s first as the bench boss for The Mount, and after navigating the waters of its toughest stretch of the season by facing some of the nation’s top teams on the road, the squad has come out the other side stronger and ready for more challenges.

With The Mount sporting an entire roster of underclassmen, the team was expecting to deal with struggles playing as a complete team, but the progress thus far has been apparent, and the Moutaineers are poised for a strong second half of the season.

“If you look at where we started,  from the summer to where we are now, just the improvement has been considerable,” Engelstad said. “We’re competing at a higher level.” 

Fortunately for Mount St. Mary’s, their first in-conference game does not come until the new year, giving the team more valuable time to cultivate the chemistry and consistency needed to compete in crucial games against the league’s toughest opponents.

Consistency has been a major point of focus for the team, heading into the most important part of the season. The ability to create a lead and continue to push the pace through the second half has been emphasized through the locker room and looks to be a key factor in the success of this young team.

“The biggest struggle we’re having is putting it together for a full 40 minutes, and that’s something with the youth,” Engelstad said. “We’re trying to close our gaps and big runs from the opponent.”

With the team securing some momentum from the team’s recent resurgence, there seems to be a sense of excitement throughout the group for what is to come.  

“Our season is broken down into three seasons,” Engelstad said. “You have non-conference, conference games, and playoffs, so the fact that we’ve battled against some really high level opponents bodes well for us going into the games where the competition isn’t as strong as we’ve faced.”

The road difficulties and strength of schedule during the early weeks of the season may end up playing right into the hands of The Mount, allowing Engelstad’s squad to head into conference matchups carrying confidence and a level of experience competing against world-class talent. “We feel like we’re battle tested,” he said.

Individual performances have given the team waves of momentum, but as The Mount turns the page into 2019, developing that effort and experience into closing out games with a vicegrip on the lead will prove that the hard work, day in and day out, is finally paying off.

“There’s a lot of optimism in our group in what we can accomplish in the league,” Engelstad said. “We just know that if we’re going to do anything, we’ve got to keep getting better every day, every practice and every game, and there’s a great opportunity to keep improving.”

Sophomore Jalen Gibbs scored a career-high 30 points in the team’s first win of the season over Wilson College.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Before the Catoctin High Varsity Girls Basketball game on Thursday, December 20, 2018, the gymnasium was more crowded than usual as alumni girls basketball players attended a special ceremony to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary.

Other sports will hold similar events, some during their senior night games. The following are Catoctin High School’s Senior and Alumni Nights for winter 2019 sporing events: Swimming—January 7; Wrestling—January 8 (alumni night) and February 6 (senior night); Unified Bocce—January 24; Boys Basketball—February 8 (senior night) and February 12 (alumni night); Girls Basketball—February 15 (senior night); and Indoor Track—February 8.

Any former players and coaches are invited back for Alumni Nights.

Blair Garrett

From hometown day job to high-flying national wrestler, Bill Bain of Thurmont has made a name for himself in the wrestling scene.

Bain has performed in various local shows, but he just recently made his biggest splash in the wrestling scene to-date, taking his talents to Monday Night Raw. Bain’s appearance on Raw put him in the spotlight of one of the hottest topics the show has ever seen.

The week before, former Olympian and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle had returned to set himself up to the championship match by defeating the acting WWE General Manager, Baron Corbin. Angle had survived the 10-man battle royale to face against Corbin, overthrowing the GM to be the last man standing in a golden conquistador outfit.

Bain took over the following week, sporting the very same golden conquistador outfit, staring down a two vs. one against some stiff competition.

“Kurt Angle tricked them by putting me under the mask, and I ended up having the match against the Authors of Pain,” Bain said.

After Bain’s identity was revealed, Kurt Angle himself appeared, Angle slamming Corbin once more.

“It was about two minutes long, but still in front of about fifteen thousand people, and it’s gotten eight million views online and five million people watching,” Bain said. “It’s my biggest exposure in wrestling so far.”

Bain’s recent success stems from many hours spent performing in wrestling gigs all around the east coast.

“I got involved in wrestling sixteen years ago because I was a fan growing up,” Bain said. “I did smaller, independent shows all over the east coast, and then in 2009 is when WWE contacted me for some opportunities to work with them.”

October’s performance was not Bain’s first stint with the WWE. The Thurmont-based wrestler faced off against Vladimir Kozlov in 2009, starting just the beginning of his rise to fame in the wrestling community.

Although Bain has performed with the WWE before, each time is special in its own way.

“There’s definitely a big difference walking out in front of ten or twelve thousand people,” Bain said. “My friends and family have showed the video to plenty of people.”

Bain’s Monday Night Raw appearance was short and sweet, but hopefully not the last we’ll see of the new conquistador.

The identity of “El Conquistador” was revealed on Monday Night Raw to be Thurmont’s Bill Bain.

Courtesy Photo

Blair Garrett

The young guns are finding their groove for the Mount St. Mary’s Men’s Basketball team.

The Mount has gotten off to a rocky start during the early stretch of road games, but the season is still young, and the team has been navigating its way through the toughest part of its season.

Finding rhythm with a new team, a new system, and a new coach is never easy, but the learning process so far has forced the playmakers of The Mount to expedite the feeling-out process and begin learning just how to play Mount St. Mary’s basketball.

With the team being entirely comprised of underclassmen, adjustments and team chemistry have to be made and created on the fly, allowing little time to learn systems and strategies necessary to build a competitive team.

But under first year head coach Dan Engelstad, the team is coming along just fine, despite what its record may say.

Seven of the Mount’s first eight games have them hitting the road to face off against quality opponents like Maryland and North Carolina State, but the team made its home debut November 21 against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.

The Mountaineers’ first half was electric, clawing back to force multiple lead changes and working plays down low to their big forwards for easy scores. The team’s offensive rebounding was causing relentless pressure, and second and third chances for the team’s point scorers to capitalize.

Mount forward Nana Opoku was creating havoc down low, snagging everything that came his way, helping Mount St. Mary’s cultivate a 31-27 lead at halftime. Opoku finished the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds, just missing out on completing the double-double.

North Carolina A&T came out guns blazing in the second half, though, storming off on a 22-7 run to take a lead they would not give back up for the rest of the game.

The Mount had no quit to their game, with freshman guard Vado Morse punishing the Aggies from beyond the arc, hitting 80 percent of his threes to add to his team-leading 17 points. Sophomore guard Jalen Gibbs also had a strong game, sinking 15 points of his own and beginning to develop a strong 1-2 punch with Morse.

Despite Morse’s second-half streak, the Aggies’ offense continued rolling, cruising to a 74-60 victory and sending the Mount to 0-5 on the season.

Even with the home loss, the team has stretches where the offense looks dominant and the defense is tenacious. The key to getting that first win is the consistency to sustain that pressure for the entirety of the game.

As the season progresses on, The Mount will be looking for the home-town crowd to provide the energy that ignited their first-half spark against NC A&T. The team’s next home match tips off Saturday, December 8, against Lehigh University.

The Mount’s strong first half defense held North Carolina A&T to just 28 points in the first frame.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Blair Garrett

The road to the NCAA Tournament is paved by overcoming challenges, game after game.

Whether it’s a heated rivalry game or a shootout against a top team, each opponent must be approached with a game plan for success.

With the 2018-19 NCAA Men’s basketball season fast approaching, the Mount St. Mary’s team has just a few days left to fine tune its offensive and defensive strategies before the start of its climb back to the team’s ultimate goal: competing for a national title.

“A big key to this season is going to be how we handle the tough times and the adversity,” said Head Coach Dan Engelstad. “Every season, you’re going to hit it, and with our schedule, we’re going to play some really tough teams early, and how our team stays the course is going to be a really big factor for us.”

With a new head coach and a team entirely made up of freshmen and sophomores, there is plenty of room for growth as the season progresses. But what this Mount St. Mary’s squad may lack in experience, they make up for in explosiveness, tenacity, and a solid game plan.

“We are young, but we have some really nice talent,” Engelstad said. “We think we’re going to be able to play fast, play up-tempo, get after you on the defensive end.”

Just two seasons ago, the Mount made the leap that every Division I basketball team hopes for: playing for a national title. Mount St. Mary’s entered the dance as a 16 seed and faced off against No. 1 seeded, Villanova University, keeping up a competitive first half before eventually falling to the Wildcats.

While the team’s tournament did not have a fairytale ending, it did prove that Mount St. Mary’s was not out of place competing at the highest level, and that competitive level is something the Mount is going to have to replicate this coming season to make a deep run into the post-season.

The entire team, from the players to the coaches, know the season begins even before the team’s first game. “What we bring [to practice] every day is going to be directly reflective of what happens on the court,” Engelstad said.

Experts and league officials are not carrying high expectations this season for Mount St. Mary’s, but embracing the underdog storyline is something Engelstad and the team can get behind. “I like having a chip on our shoulder and something to prove, and we’re trying to instill that with our young guys. We like that.”

Finding that rhythm early is going to be key for the Mount as it enters potentially the toughest stretch of the season. Engelstad’s group begins seven of its first eight games of the season on the road, but he is ecstatic to return as a coach in his home state.

“This was a dream opportunity for me, being from Maryland. This place has been so special for me.”

The Bethesda native looks to start his team’s season strong, making his Mount St. Mary’s debut as head coach in Raleigh, North Carolina, against NCAA tournament hopefuls, North Carolina State University on November 6.

The Mount St. Mary’s Basketball Team makes every practice count, fine tuning its offensive and defensive strategies, ready for a successful season ahead.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) offers kindergarten through U19 boys and girls teams. All team/league information, tryout/evaluation dates and times, and player fees are listed on the CYA Basketball website. Please register online at

Coaches wanted! If you are interested in coaching, please contact Jason Smith at Curriculum provided.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Catoctin High School (CHS), the football and cheerleading teams are pleased to announce that at the October 26, 2018, game, they will be inviting their past players and members to walk out at half-time and be recognized by graduation year as honored alumni of CHS programs. They are excited to invite the community to join in the celebration of the school’s sports history, as well as watching this year’s Cougars beat Clear Spring on their march to playoffs 2018. Go, Cougars!

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local non-profit marching corps, will again host its free beginner baton twirling course. The course is an excellent way to sample the sport of baton twirling without any costs whatsoever.

The class is geared for participants who have never twirled a baton and are five years old or older. If interest warrants, a second Tiny Tot class may be held for those who are between the ages of three and five years old.

Classes will be held at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym on Monday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Classes are 45 minutes in length and completely free!  Participants borrow batons for class time at no charge. The course begins on Monday, October 1, 2018, depending on the registration received. All participants must be pre-registered.

The four-week baton twirling course will highlight basic twirling and marching. The course is held as a way to draw attention to the ever-growing sport of baton twirling as a recognized sport, which may one day become an Olympic sport.

The free twirling course is offered by Catoctin-Ettes, who has been a local street parade and competition marching corps since 1972. Teachers for the course are fully qualified, experienced coaches and aides.

For more information or registration, contact Donna Landsperger at or 240-405-2604.

Stephanie Kennedy of Thurmont was awarded a $1,250 National Rifle Association (NRA) Scholarship at the 2018 AIM Grand National Championship, held this summer in Sparta, Illinois.

Kennedy is a criminal justice major at Mount Saint Mary’s University and a member of the Thurmont Top Shots. She also placed third in Class C Doubles Trapshooting in the junior-gold division at the competition.

For the third consecutive year, the Thurmont Top Shots, representing the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Cub (TCSC) and American Legion Post 168, were awarded the American Legion Champion Squad in the singles trapshooting event at the 2018 AIM Grand National Championship. The championship was held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois, from July 27 through July 30. Team members participating in the event included Will Sears, Blake Seonarain, Neall Kemp, Stephanie Kennedy, Josh Runion, Nathaniel Neuland, and Kyle Snowden (missing Shane Biser).

For information on how to join the TCSC Top Shots shooting program, contact Coach Dan Neuland at

Tristan Rice, of Sabillasville, is a sixteen-year-old junior at Catoctin High School and an HVACR/Plumbing student at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center. This busy student is also a dedicated athlete who throws the shot put during the school year for the Track and Field Team at Catoctin, and works out several times a week at Anytime Fitness in Thurmont, honing his powerlifting skills and increasing his strength.

Tristan recently set two national powerlifting records and an unofficial world record. His national records include a 502.6 lb. squat and a 510.4 lb. deadlift recorded in the USPA 16-17 Year Old 275 LB Weight Class and his world record was in the IPL 15-19 Year Old 275 LB Weight Class. The Records were set August 18, 2018, at CrossFit Frederick during the Maryland Drug Tested State Championship meet.

Tristan is traveling to Las Vegas for the IPF Drug Tested World Championship where he will officially compete for two world records in the squat and deadlift.

Tristan explained that, “Powerlifting is something that I’ve done in football and shot put and I decided to pursue this summer while working as a full-time plumber.”

“After seeing what the records were, I decided to start powerlifting and see what limits I could push myself to. I work very hard in this and want to go to the world championship and do my very best.”

Tristan’s parents, Penny and Russell Rice are very proud of him. They indicated that this is something Tristan has done on his own and he is very passionate about it. “It was great watching him train for this and watching his numbers climb week by week,” Penny said, “Sometimes he’d go to the gym at 11 o’clock at night just to get his workout in.”

Bryant Defends Title, Repeats as Champion • Schildt Replaces Green as Head Coach

The 2017-18 wrestling season was a unique one for Cougar wrestlers and for fans of Frederick County wrestling. Unique because it marked the first time in a decade without long-time Catoctin Coach Ryan Green, sitting matside and barking commands at his wrestlers. Green, who debuted in 2006 as Catoctin’s head wrestling coach, ended his ten year tenure last season with a 144 and 99 record,  making him the most-successful wrestling coach in the school’s history. Green and his dedicated staff, Coaches Rich Gialanella, Garrett Baer, George O’Brien, Brad Maze, Tyler White, and Tracy Eureka, turned out numerous county and regional champions, including one four-time county champ. Green’s athletes, always known for their aggressive, straightforward, and punishing styles, were recognized and honored with the prestigious Fred Burgee Outstanding Wrestler Award at the Frederick County championships three times in ten years, and his squad won the county title in 2014. During his term, he has coached twenty-four individual state medal winners and seven of the nine state champions representing Catoctin High School (CHS).

Although Green is no longer at the helm, his coaching style will be easily recognized through the new head coach, Colin Schildt. Coach Schildt was a stand-out wrestler at Catoctin, one of the most successful that the school has ever produced, a three-time county champion, two-time regional champion, four-time state qualifier, two-time medalist, and finalist during his senior year, boasting a career record of 143 wins and 23 losses. Always a leader in the wrestling room, it’s only fitting that the former Green-trained, Kutztown University wrestler lead Catoctin’s lineup. Schildt and his assistant, Bill Orr, also a decorated high school wrestler and possessing collegiate experience at Clemson University, would lead a thin, but scrappy team in their inaugural season. Much like the previous season, the coaches struggled to fill weight classes, and as a result forfeited 18 points in each team contest. As a unit, the Cougars posted a 249-103 record, winning over 70 percent of their individual matches and winning half of their fourteen regular season dual meets. They went 14 and 15 overall, and were named to the “others to watch” category as a tournament team by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, while remaining unranked overall or as a dual meet team. Seven of the team’s eleven participants would qualify for the regional tournament, four would earn state qualification honors, three would become state place-winners, and one would successfully defend his state title, becoming only the second Catoctin wrestler to win multiple state tournament crowns.

Although there would be no team placement in each of the two dual meet tournaments, individual accomplishments were plentiful. At the Bauerlein Duals, two wrestlers, including the 145-pounder Wyatt Payne and senior-heavyweight Dennis Pittinger, would dominate the competition and remain undefeated in five bouts. Seniors Zachary Bryant (113 pounds), Ethan Fuss (126 pounds), and RJ Monoghan (182 pounds), would each suffer only a single loss in the tournament. At Catoctin’s debut appearance at the Westminster Duals, three senior athletes, Zachary Bryant, 160-pound Joshua Small, and RJ Monoghan would prevail in each of their nine bouts to remain unbeaten. Fuss would lose only one match in the tournament. At the 2018 Hub Cup, still regarded as one of the toughest tournaments in Western Maryland, five Catoctin wrestlers advanced to the medal rounds and the squad placed fifth in a field of fourteen teams. RJ Monoghan and senior Nolan Brightshue (138 pounds) each placed fifth. Travis Fields, the 145-pound sophomore, placed fourth; Ethan Fuss wrestled back to third after a second-round loss; Joshua Small and Dennis Pittinger would place second after losing in finals; and Zachary Bryant would become Catoctin’s lone Hub Cup champion.

Frederick County continues to be the authority on wrestling in the state of Maryland. Year after year, Frederick County wrestlers continue to raise the bar and achieve an unparallelled success that simply overshadows other programs statewide. With only ten public high schools representing the county, the number of state champions and place-winners that are consistently produced by these ten schools every winter is astounding. Last year alone, Frederick County claimed eight of the twenty-eight state champions, and placed twenty-two of the thirty-four wrestlers that qualified. This year, Frederick County wrestlers accounted for five of the fourteen state champions and seventeen place-winners. Even more impressive, over the past ten years, Frederick County has produced forty state champions and one hundred seventy-one medalists, a testament to the widely-held notion that the Frederick County tournament is often regarded as more competitive than the regional or state contests. Catoctin placed fifth as a team at the 2018 Frederick County wrestling championships, advanced seven wrestlers to the medal rounds, and celebrated three county champs. Zachary Bryant pinned his way through the tourney, becoming a two-time county champ. RJ Monoghan and Dennis Pittinger captured their first county titles, winning by decision in finals. Travis Fields, Wyatt Payne, and Joshua Small each wrestled back to collect third-place medals after losing in semi-finals. Ethan Fuss, the 2016 County champ, saw no action due to a concussion. Although Matthew Linker, the 220-pound sophomore, earned fourth-place honors, he did not qualify to advance to the regional meet. He ends the season with 6 wins and 7 losses and has a career total of 14-25. Nick Veronie, the 132-pound freshman, was eliminated from the contest after two losses, but saw significant varsity action during the year. He won several dual meet matches, as well as bouts at Bauerlien and Westminster, finishing his first season with 8 wins and 20 losses. Nolan Brightshue, the 138-pound senior, failed to advance to regionals after two losses. He was 5-3 in regular season duals, won three matches at Bauerlien Duals, was 6-3 at Westminster, and 4-2 at the Hub Cup, placing fifth. He finishes the year with 18 wins and 12 losses and his career with a 43-35 record. Ryan Orr had his work cut out for him as a 170-pound freshman. He won 50 percent of his matches, including a victory at the Frederick County tournament, and concluded his first year of high school wrestling with a 5-5 tally.

The Cougars captured a fifth-place team finish at the 1A-2A West Regional tournament by advancing four of seven qualifiers to the medal rounds, including a third-place finisher, three finalists, and one regional champion. The field expanded to twenty-three teams, up from seventeen teams last year after a state-wide restructuring. The addition of six teams, including the robust squads of Oakdale and Poolesville and the all-powerful Damascus line-up, made the mighty West, statistically Maryland’s best region for wrestling, an even stronger and more dominant force. For the past three years, nearly half, 41 percent, of all place-winners at the state championships represented the Western region, 103 of 252. This year, the trend continues. Over 40 percent, 35 of the 84 place-winners hailed from the West, including almost half of the finalists, 13 of 28, and just under half of the state champions with 6 of 14. In two weight classes, both finalists represented the West, and in one bracket the West was home to the top three medalists. Zachary Bryant remained unbeaten in the contest by winning two consecutive bouts by fall after a first-round bye. He successfully defended his regional crown, becoming a two-time 1A-2A West champ, and secured the number one seed at states with a 9-1 decision in finals. Ethan Fuss dropped a close decision out of the gate, but fought back to third place with back-to-back pins and a tight victory in a rematch of his earlier loss. Joshua Small fought his way to finals with a first-round bye and two victories by decision only to be uncharacteristically caught and put on his back in the second period of his finals match by the eventual state runner-up. Dennis Pittinger suffered a similar fate. He pinned his initial opponent after a bye in the first round, won by decision in semi’s, and was pinned in the second period of his finals match, again, by the future state runner-up.

Travis Fields came up short at the regional tournament for the second time in as many years. After a victory by fall in his first bout, Fields was eliminated with back-to-back losses. However, the 145-pound sophomore won over 70 percent of his matches, an improvement of over 10 percent from his freshman year,  including eight regular season dual meet victories, two wins at the Bauerlein Duals, and six triumphant bouts at the Westminster Duals. He went 3-2 at the Hub Cup for a fourth-place finish and 3-1 at the Frederick County tournament, earning a third-place medal. Fields ends his season with a 23-11 record and a career mark of 45-27.

Wyatt Payne, the 152-pound junior, was eliminated after a close loss by decision in the pigtail rounds in his second showing at regionals. His progress was interrupted mid-season by an injury that kept him from participating in the Westminster Duals and the Hub Cup, but he claimed a 4-4  tab in regular season dual meets matches, posted a perfect, 5-0 record at the Bauerlien Duals, and went 3-1 at the Frederick  County championships, collecting a third-place medal. The Frederick News Post Honorable Mention rounded out his junior season with a 11-6 record and bumps his career record to 54-34.

RJ Monoghan qualified for his first appearance at the state tournament last season as a junior. This year, the 182-pound senior would not be so fortunate. After a first-round bye, he advanced by way of a very close decision in quarter’s only to suffer a one-point loss in semi’s, the match that would have propelled him to states had he won. Monoghan was ousted from the competition after being pinned during wrestle-backs. Although his hopes of making the bracket in the state tournament would not materialize, his senior year was far from uneventful. He lost only two regular season dual meets with a record of 12-2, had an exceptional showing at the Bauerlien Duals with a 4-1 total, and swept the opposition with a perfect 9-0 run at the Westminster Duals. He finished fifth at the Hub Cup and claimed a Frederick County title en route to a 31-7 season record. He was honored with a second team All-area  nomination by the Frederick News Post and sports a career record of 91 wins and 50 losses, just shy of the 100 win mark.

Catoctin was able to nab another top-ten team placement, finishing 9th,  among one hundred seven 1A-2A public high school wrestling programs, up from ninety-nine schools last year after redistricting. The Cougars propelled three of its four qualifiers to the medal rounds during the Maryland state wrestling championships, held for the third year at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. And for the seventh time in as many years, the team celebrated yet another individual state wrestling title, boosting the total to nine (Shane Tiffany 1995, Seth Chilson 2010, Tim Nordan and Charlie Perella 2013, Wayne Wivel and Charlie Perella 2014, Charlie Perella 2015,  Zachary Bryant 2017, and Bryant again in 2018).

Dennis Pittinger, the 285-pound senior, would make monumental gains during his high school career. As a 182-pounr freshman, Pittinger faced the obstacle of being in a weight class often dominated by seniors. He won 22 of 45 matches, a winning percentage of 48 percent. After a brief absence during his junior year, Pitinger returned to CHS and posted some spectacular stats, including a state tournament bid where he pinned his first opponent in just under four minutes. A loss in quarter’s pushed him to the wrestle-backs where he, again, won by pin. He was poised to celebrate a spot on the podium and secure a state medal with one more victory. Unfortunately, he lost by a single point to the eventual third-place winner and was bumped from the contest. His impressive season included a perfect 14-0 regular season dual meet record, a flawless 5-0 Bauerlien Duals total, and a 6-3 showing at the Westminster Duals. He fought his way to the final round of the Hub Cup, placing second, and blanked the competition at the Frederick County championships en route to his first county title. He placed second in the regional tournament and qualified for his second appearance at states. The Frederick News Post All-area 1st team nominee is ranked number eighteen in the state by the MSWA  and racked up a winning percentage of 88 percent with a season record of 33-7. He wraps up his high school career with a commendable 81-32 total.

Ethan Fuss, the 126-pound senior, made his third appearance at the state tournament. No stranger to the big stage and the advanced competition, he placed fourth as a sophomore. Fuss looked promising with a 10-2 victory in prelim’s, but dropped a tough, low-scoring, 5-2 match in quarter-finals. After winning two consecutive matches in the lower bracket, including one by pin, which guaranteed advancement to the medal rounds, something strange happened. During the match that would have thrust him to wrestle for third place had he won, Fuss was unexpectedly and unjustifiably disqualified from the tournament, leaving the fans confused and in disbelief. The referee had clearly lost control of the match, evident by his failed attempts to slow the wild pace of the match and gain control of the contestants. Fuss has always been a physical wrestler, bluntly unintimidated, and one to counter aggression with his own offensive charge. He displayed his eye-for-an-eye style during the bout, and his actions were well within the legal bounds of sportsmanship. It appeared, however, that the actions of his opponent were not only bordering on illegality, but were outright malicious, and that the wrong athlete may have been punished with ejection. The impending decision to disqualify Fuss resulted in the forfeit of his final two high school matches, and he would be forced to accept a 6th place finish. With a season winning percentage of over 80 percent, Fuss still had plenty to celebrate, including an 11-3 regular season dual meet record, a 4-1 performance at the Bauerlien Duals, and a near-perfect record of 8-1 at the Westminster Duals. He fought back from an early loss at the Hub Cup to earn third-place honors and qualified for states by placing third in the region. He was nominated to the Frederick News Post’s All-area 1st team and is ranked at number fifteen by the MSWA. He finishes his senior year with a season record of 32-10 and increases his career totals to 121-41.

Joshua Small, the uniquely calm 160-pound senior and already the owner of a pair of state championship medals, has had plenty of post-season wrestling experience. The four-time state qualifier came away empty handed as a freshman, but finished in fifth place his sophomore year and earned a third-place medal last year as a junior.  Employing a no-frills, practical, and deliberate wrestling methodology, he would add yet another piece of hardware to his collection. This year, Small came out efficient and strong, pinning his first opponent in under two minutes. He was forced into the consolation bracket after a close, 3-1 loss by decision in quarter’s, but then cranked out three consecutive victories, one by pin, another by major decision, and a third by injury default, that would advance him to the third-place round. Unfortunately, he would settle for fourth after a hard-fought 9-4 defeat, but was able to stand on the podium at states, unrattled, for the third time in his high school career. Small’s senior year was nothing short of extraordinary. He posted a perfect, 14-0 regular season dual meet record that included a seven-second pin, the fastest of the season, against Walkersville. He went 3-2 at the Bauerlien Duals and swept the competition with an undefeated showing at the Westminster Duals. He was a finalist at the Hub Cup and wrestled back to place third at the Frederick County tournament after a loss in semi’s. Also a finalist in the regional tournament and placing fourth at states, Small would put together a superb 37-7 season record, winning almost 90 percent of his matches. The Frederick News Post All-area 1st team selection is ranked number twelve in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, and he tops off a exceptional high school career record of 130 wins and 46 losses.

Zachary Bryant, the defending state champion, held the number one seed for the second year coming into the state championships. The exciting and daring four-time qualifier came away with a pair of fourth-place medals, representing his freshman and sophomore year, and celebrated his first state title as a junior. The persistent 113-pounder made quick work of his first opponent by pinning him in just twenty-two seconds. Another pin in quarter’s and a hard-fought, 4-2 decision in semi’s afforded Bryant the opportunity to repeat his previous success in finals. He did just that. Winning a 6-3 decision against an opponent that he had been victorious against twice before in the season, the unrelenting Bryant was crowned Maryland’s 1A-2A, 113-pound state champion for the second time in as many years, and Catoctin High School’s 9th individual state champ. His distinguished season included an unbeaten 14-0 record during regular season dual meets, a 9-0 tally at the Westminster Duals, 1st place honors at the Hub Cup, the county championship, the regional championship, and, of course, the state tournament. His only loss of the year came at the Bauerlien Duals, early in the stretch, where he posted a 4-1 record. He had a winning percentage of 97 percent, and was honored with a first team bid to the Frederick News Post’s All-area team. Bryant is ranked third in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. He finished the season with a near-immaculate 38-1 record and a career total of 143 wins and 18 losses, tying Coach Schildt’s 143 career wins and firmly in third place for all-time wins at Catoctin High School.

Zachary Bryant (center), 113 pound state champion.


The Brent Stitely Memorial Golf Tournament was held on April 28, 2018, at Maple Run Golf Course in Thurmont to benefit The American Cancer Society of Frederick County.  One hundred golfers participated, raising over $6,000 to help fund education and patient-support programs, such as The Hope Lodge, Roads to Recovery, and a free “Cancer Hotline,” staffed by medical professionals for cancer patients and caregivers.

The tournament concluded with an awards ceremony and lunch, catered by Mountaingate Restaurant, at The American Legion Post 168 in Thurmont. Relay For Life team “FunRaisers” hosted the tournament as part of their annual fundraising effort, and participated in the Frederick County Relay held at Banner School in Frederick for the twenty-first year to honor the memory of their son, brother, and friend, Brent Stitely, who lost his battle with Ewings Sarcoma in 1997 at the age of thirteen.  This year’s Relay Event, held at Banner School on Friday and Saturday May 11-12, raised nearly $250,000, with team “FunRaisers” providing over $19,000 of that total.  Tournament organizers wish to thank all of our sponsors and players for their generous support.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2018, the Cougars placed first in the Monocacy Division of the Ninth Annual Frederick County Unified Track and Field Championship.

Athletes represented ten area high schools for the event. Catoctin was in the Monocacy division with Frederick, Governor Thomas Johnson, Oakdale, and a combined team of Brunswick and Linganore. CHS had seventeen team members of the eighty athletes that competed. In the Monocacy Division, Cougars gave all of their heart and hustled to bring home the gold.