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Delmar White Stands on Top

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Delmar White starred as a junior defensive end last month on the Archbishop Spalding football team, registering five sacks and recovering a fumble as the Cavaliers won their second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title.

But after the season, the 6-foot-2, three-sport athlete had to make a relatively rapid transition into wrestling, where he is ranked No. 3 overall as a 285-pounder in the Legacy Wrestling Maryland High School Rankings.

“I had to cut about 15 pounds in about a week because I still had that football weight on me,” said White, who plays first base in baseball. “I only had a week and a half of practice before our first tournament, so I spent a lot of time drilling and going hard every day except for Sundays.”

The hard work paid off for White, whose 4-0 record comprised falls in 55 and 54 seconds, a 5-0 semifinal victory, and a 5-1 title bout decision for the championship of his weight class at last Saturday’s 50th Raymond Oliver Tournament at McDonogh.

White paced the Cavaliers (197.5 points) to a runner-up finish to St. Mary’s Ryken (228.5) of Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County, being joined on the championship podium by junior Sean Garretson (126).

A returning Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament runner-up, Garretson was also a third-place state finisher at the Maryland Independent Schools State Tournament and placed seventh at the National Preps Tournament.

Finishing second at McDonogh for the Cavaliers were junior Henry Gessford (120), senior Vincent Paolucci (132), sophomore Zane Leitzel (138), and senior Charlie Gessford (150).

Henry Gessford was a MIAA tournament runner-up who placed fourth at states, Paolucci, a MIAA runner-up who was second at states, Leitzel, a MIAA runner-up who was third at states, and Charlie Gessford, an MIAA runner-up who was fourth at states.

“It feels great to have had a great football season, but it feels even better to have that momentum transition into wrestling and I’m really thankful for it,” White said. “I was able to win my first tournament at the school and my teammates were able to perform really well overall. This is a good sign for the remainder of the season.”

That’s certainly true for White, particularly after a wrestling season that ended badly for him in February while competing at Chesapeake-Anne Arundel County.

As a 285-pound sophomore at Chesapeake last season, White was an Anne Arundel County champion who went 37-0 before suffering a season-ending injury in advance of the Class 4A-3A South Regional and Class 4A-3A state tournaments.

White was ranked No. 3 in Class 4A-3A and No. 5 overall before the injury, having beaten eventual Class 4A-3A South Regional and Class 4A-3A state champion RJ Duncan of Old Mill, 1-0, in the county finals.

Duncan finished at 20-2, with both losses being to White, who, as a freshman, placed third at counties, second at regions, and sixth at states.

“We wrestled Chesapeake in a dual meet when Delmar was a freshman and he lost, 1-0, to my senior starter,” said coach Mike Laidley, who is in his 22nd year coaching the Cavaliers.

“I was like, ‘Wow, this kid is massive.’ With his parents, Delmar went through the process, reached out to the school, did the interviews and came to us in the summer. He’s a three-sport athlete and he was a stud on the football team. Delmar’s a monster.”

White proved that on Saturday, blanking DeMatha senior Jordan Williams, 5-0, in the semifinals, and defeating Delaware Military Academy junior Cael DeNigris, 5-1, for the crown.

“It’s a blessing for me to be attending Archbishop Spalding. The coaches and the school treat me really well there,” White said. “As for my conditioning, I’m feeling good enough to go hard for three periods, so I’m in shape. But when we start to get into the really big, much more difficult tournaments, I’ll need to be able to go even harder.”

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