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Victor Marks-Jenkins could be Perry Hall's best ever

Updated: Feb 23

Top-ranked 157-pound sophomore Victor Marks-Jenkins "will be the best wrestler to come out of Perry Hall High School," according to Matt Green, the Gators' last state champion in 2013.

"Victor's a monster," said Green at the beginning of this season. "I think he's for sure gonna win states this year."

Marks-Jenkins improved to 40-0 last weekend with a 5-0 decision over Sparrows Point senior Tanner Cooper to earn his second straight Baltimore County title before in his home gymnasium at Perry Hall.

A Class 4A-3A third-place finisher as a freshman last year, Marks-Jenkins reached the finals on falls in 39 and 87 seconds, improving his career mark to 90-1.

Marks-Jenkins could face a stiff challenge in this weekend’s regionals from Westminster's Carroll County champion senior Braden Vacca (157), who used falls in 71 and 59 seconds to reach county finals, where he improved to 43-1 after winning 11-6 decision over Century's Joey D`Orsogna.

Marks-Jenkins ended last season with a record of 50-1 with 39 pins, three technical falls and two major decisions as a 145-pound freshman, earning his first county and Class 4A-3A North Region titles before placing third at the state tournament.

Green went 31-0 as a 220-pound junior to earn his first county, Class 4A-3A North and Class 4A-3A state titles in 2012 before finishing at 45-0 at 285 pounds in 2013 for his second straight crown in all three of those tournaments.

"Comparing me to Victor is like comparing apples to oranges," Green said. "I was wrestling against the heavyweights, and I didn't have to be that much faster than them because those guys were not very fast."

Green had transferred to Perry Hall from the private school St. Paul's, where he had placed second in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament and finished third at the private schools' state tournament.

"To tell you the truth," Green said. "I was surprised that he didn't win states last year."

Just 90 seconds separated Marks-Jenkins from a berth in last season’s Class 4A-3A state championship match and potentially an undefeated season. Marks-Jenkins led, 1-0, in his semifinal match against state runner-up, Aidan Rivenburg, when the senior from North Point High of Charles County scored a reversal and three near-fall points for an eventual 5-1 victory.

Marks-Jenkins had reached their bout with a record of 48-0, having won his first-round bout, 17-1, and his semifinal, by fall in 3:31.

Marks-Jenkins was positioned on the opposite side of the state brackets from the previous year’s senior state runner-up Sam Ditmars of South River. A Naval Academy-bound wrestler, Ditmars ended up being last year's 145-pound champion, finishing with a record of 49-1 after defeating Rivenburg by injury default in the title bout.

Marks-Jenkins rebounded impressively, hammering his consolation semifinal opponent by 12-0 major decision before winning his third-place bout, 7-2, over Annapolis senior Nik Antonelli.

Antonelli had lost his state quarterfinal bout, 6-4, to Rivenburg. In addition, Antonelli had placed third at states the previous year, and had beaten Ditmars, 1-0, in the Anne Arundel County finals before falling to him, 3-1, in overtime of their Class 4A-3A East Region title bout.

Marks-Jenkins is coached by Doug Yoakum, a 1990 Perry Hall graduate and former Baltimore County champion and regional runner-up.

"Victor will have nearly 200 career victories before it's over," Yoakum said. "That may be in the mix for the top public-school kid ever."

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