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Congrats to the Coach of the Year!

Early in the 2023-2024 High School Wrestling Season, Gilman appeared to be a solid team, but with guys not in the right spots of the lineup and other teams firing on all cylinders, it did not seem like they were destined to end the season sitting atop Legacy Wrestling’s Team Rankings, but that is exactly what happened.

Overcoming that early adversity and toppling perennial power Mt. St. Joseph at every turn has earned Gilman coach Bryn Holmes the nod as one of Legacy Wrestling’s Coaches of the Year.

A third-place finish at the season opening Ray Oliver Tournament hosted by McDonogh, confirmed that No. 2 St. Mary’s Ryken was going to be one of the state’s top teams as they won the team race with MIAA power Archbishop Spalding (No. 6) finishing in second.

A trip to the incredibly difficult Walsh Ironman in Ohio was next for the Greyhounds, who took four wrestlers there and sent the rest to Pennsylvania’s Penn Manor Holiday Tournament.

At the Ironman, two of the four reached the podium in the seventh position, freshman Liam McGettigan (106) and junior Emmitt Sherlock (165). Sherlock was already in Scorebook Live’s National Rankings, but McGettigan’s performance there allowed him to enter the discussion. They would end the year with Emmitt in the No. 10 position at 165 and McGettigan sitting at No. 17.

Tyson Sherlock and Gabriel Smith did not place at Ironman, but neither picked up any ugly losses and performed solidly with Tyson doing enough to reaffirm his Honorable Mention standing in the SB Live National Rankings.

The Greyhounds took a mostly full squad to the Beast of the East, which is considered one of the five most difficult in-season high school tournaments (Doc Buchanan, PowerAde, and Escape the Rock being the other three).

Interestingly, similar to Ironman, McGettigan and Emmitt Sherlock finished in the same position of the podium – fourth. Tyson Sherlock joined them on the awards stand at this affair in sixth.

Over the Christmas Break, Gilman hosted the Adam Janet Tournament for the second year in a row. There were no Maryland teams in attendance that could challenge them, and they cruised to the team title over Delaware’s Caesar Rodney by 60.5 points. No. 17 Calvert Hall was third.

A trip to the Bissell Invitational at Pennsylvania’s Hill School awaited the Greyhounds when they returned from the holiday. They finished second to Massachusetts’ Northfield Mount Hermon.

As the lineup was starting to fall into place, Gilman took one on the chin at their Haswell M Franklin ’50 Gilman Duals when Connecticut’s Green Farms Academy beat them 51-10 in the finals. GFA is ranked 32nd in the country by Mat Scouts. At these duals they posted a big win of their own over No. 7 Landon, 58-15.

On January 17th, the Greyhounds were given the opportunity to unseat Mt. St. Joe in a dual meet at their place. The Gaels were fresh off a second place showing at the War on the Shore where they placed ahead of St. Mary’s Ryken to secure their No. 1 ranking in the state.

A few lineup moves and a fired up squad greeted St. Joe and things started snowballing quickly, even with No. 1 Carter Nogle, who was out with the flu, the Gaels were destined to fall on this night as they passed the torch to Gilman to the tune of a 43-22 score.

A week later at Loyola Blakefield, Gilman put their No. 1 ranking on the line for the first time and withheld an early run from the Dons to secure the 39-34 win.

A day later a shot to put the Ray Oliver tournament finish behind them presented itself with a showdown versus Spalding. The Cavaliers hit their peak in early January when they put a scare into St. Joe, but injuries and other misfortunes started to unravel their mojo and Gilman added to that misery with a 47-27 victory.

Calvert Hall (62-12) and No. 14 St. Frances Academy (63-9) were victims of a peak Greyhound squad, and they closed the dual meet season by defeating No. 39 McDonogh, 66-12. This was a win that really signified the changes in the MIAA and state Hierarchy.

When Holmes, a McDonogh graduate, who was a big part of the Eagles’ success in their heyday, came to Gilman, McDonogh was still dominating, and the Greyhounds were an afterthought in the state. The win over McDonogh clinched Gilman’s first MIAA Dual Meet title since the changeover from the old MSA League.

The firsts kept coming for the Greyhounds as they put the MIAA Tournament crown in the books, outpointing St. Joe 249-215. Loyola was third and Spalding fourth. Seven Greyhounds reached the finals and eleven of fourteen placed. Three were champions – The Sherlocks (Emmitt and Tyson) and McGettigan. Runners-up were John Jurkovic (150), Arthur Konschak (157), Nick Haughey (175), and Smith (190).

The Maryland Independent Schools State Tournament gave Gilman the chance to beat St. Mary’s Ryken and finish the year in the No. 1 position and that is what played out as they won the team race over the Knights, 257.5-222.5. Loyola was third, St. Joe fourth, and Spalding fifth.

Two of their MIAA Champs claimed state crowns – McGettigan and Emmitt Sherlock, and Smith turned the tide on the Gaels’ Austin Lewis, beating him at the most important time of the year.

Placing second for Gilman were Tyson Sherlock and Jurkovic. Again, eleven of their fourteen wrestlers earned hardware, with none lower than fifth.

Tyson Sherlock and Jurkovic were second. Zach Glory (132) was third at 132. Placing fourth were JD Vassar (113), Haughey, and Sebastian Chaney (215). Buck Franklin (138) and Konschak were fifth.

Ten of the eleven made the trip to Lehigh University for the National Prep Tournament where Gilman was the highest finishing Maryland team with a seventh place showing. Ryken was eighth and Spalding was ninth.

Half of their grapplers became prep All-Americans as Emmitt Sherlock led the way with a second-place finish. McGettigan was third, Jurkovic was fifth, with Tyson Sherlock and Smith placing sixth.

The elite eleven who placed at the states also litter the Legacy Wrestling Maryland Rankings. Gilman saw three grapplers end the year in the top spot of their weight classes – McGettigan, Emmitt Sherlock, and Smith. Tyson Sherlock finished in the No. 2 position behind fellow National Honorable Mention entry Evan Boblits of St. Mary’s Ryken, who was anointed as one of Legacy Wrestling’s Middleweight Wrestlers of the Year.

Jurkovic finished the year ranked third at 150. Glory is ranked seventh at 132. Haughey and Konschak are ranked ninth in their respective weights. Vassar is No. 10 at 113. Chaney comes in at thirteen at 215 and Franklin is No. 23 at 138lbs.

The Gilman gig is the only one that Holmes has known since graduating from the University of Maryland. Holmes was an assistant in 2010/2011 and took over the reigns the following year. His 13th year as Head Coach was obviously his best given all they accomplished. This season built on last year’s momentum in what was previously Holmes’ greatest year at the helm with a second-place finish at the MIAA tournament and placing fifth at the state tournament.

Holmes has coached football, wrestling and lacrosse at a variety of levels over the last 14 years. In addition to his wrestling duties, Holmes is currently the Associate Athletic Director at Gilman and Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach.

“As a player of any sport, you have a lot of influential coaches that shaped your experience and helped make you into the person you are today,” Holmes remarked. “So being a coach is a pretty important role in my eyes. I have had a bunch of great coaches throughout the years, but a few that really helped me become the coach I am today are Pete Welch (McDonogh Wrestling), Jake Reed (McDonogh Lacrosse) and Brooks Matthews (Gilman Lacrosse). Either through the experience of playing for the first two or coaching with Brooks, I picked a lot of things that I thought would make you a good coach. “

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