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A Tao was Always Going to Win: Congrats Tim!

The Tao trio’s sibling rivalry was on full display last Saturday at Magruder High, and there was nothing their brothers’ father, Freeman, and mother, Manette, could do but watch.


In victory, the Bears (3-1) rebounded from a season-opening loss to Tuscarora and improved Tim's dual meet record to 9-1 against AJ and 1-0 against Chris.

"We kinda dominated," said Tim Tao, 41. "It's just how it is when I wrestled AJ - pure dominance."

Tim's response was to AJ's pre-match boasting, when he stated, in part, that "Timothy won't wrestle me anymore because I always hurt him, and Christopher is too old and broken."

"We had five starters out, including two captains, but our backups did a great job fighting," AJ Tao said. "The gym was packed, and the fans were great. I'm glad we organized this and look forward to these in the future." In the third match, AJ, 38, guided his Colonels (2-2) to a 47-28 victory over Chris' Falcons (2-2). In doing so, AJ trimmed his losing record to 8-2 against Chris, 45. The Bears captured the evening's marquee bout as returning ninth-ranked senior Class 4A-3A state champion Cooper VanScoyoc (144) rose in weight to win a clash of unbeatens, 4-1, over Falcons' juniors Vinnie Volpe.

VanScoyoc went 10-0 as a freshman during a Covid-19-shortened season, placed second at counties and first at regions as a sophomore, and finished third at counties and regions before winning states last season.

"We were missing a guy at 157 so my coach bumped us up," said VanScoyoc, who is 3-1 after being 42-6 last season. "I got bumped up to wrestle Vinnie. He's a good wrestler and someone I wrestled with a lot last year. It was a tough match."

Others winning twice for the Bears on Saturday were junior Jake Green (138), sophomore Marty Sandy (144), senior Matt Sandy (150), sophomore Ryan Crabb (157) and junior Asa Deickman (215). Green is 3-0, Matt Sandy is 4-0, and both Deickman and Marty Sandy are 3-1.

"My 106-pound female wrestler, Charvi Bethu, has won a tournament and is a returning regional champion," Tim Tao said. "She is 3-1 on the season and on coed varsity she is 7-1 total between girls and boys."

Winning twice for the Colonels were sixth-ranked sophomore Class 4A-3A state champion Neil Sharma (126), sophomore Sava Makarov (120) and juniors Jimmy Messer (132) and Shane Kelly (190).

Makarov, Messer and Kelly pinned twice, Sharma had a pin and a technical fall. Kelly was a third-place finisher at regions last year.

"It was a tough match,” Kelly said. "We have to put the work in and keep getting better."

Volpe's record on the year is 6-1, including his major decision against the Colonels. Double-winners for the Falcons were freshman Ethan Dimmerling (113), junior Shimma Wexler (165) and senior Andrew Fraser (215), all of whom pinned twice. Wexler's record on the year is 7-0, Dimmerling is 6-1, and Fraser, 5-2.

On Monday, the Bears edged Walkersville, 39-31, but VanScoyoc lost a decision to Lions' 144-pound sophomore Rhys Ferguson, who improved to 14-0 with six pins and three technical falls.

The Lions' freshman Alexis Nichols (113) pinned her Oakdale opponent. “We bumped up Cooper again tonight against Walkersville. He is a 132-pounder, but we weighed him in at 138 and bumped him to 144 to get better competition,” Tim Tao said.

“It’s the same thing we did against Poolesville to wrestle their best, Vinnie Volpe. Cooper lost a very close one to a much bigger, stronger and faster kid from Walkersville. Cooper will probably be back down to the 132-pound class for the Damascus tournament coming up.”

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