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Lower Weight Wrestler of the Year Spotlight: Liam

Updated: Apr 3

NOTE: We will announce and spotlight our dozen wrestlers of the year, one each day until we are complete. Each had such an amazing year that we believe they deserve their day of sunshine!

Liam McGettigan

Gilman’s Liam McGettigan came into high school a highly decorated junior league wrestler, who was capable of causing noise on the national level.

The freshman kicked off the year by winning McDonogh’s Ray Oliver Tournament, while he didn’t encounter any nationally ranked grapplers there, he did take out three of Maryland’s top ranked 106-pounders.

In the finals, McGettigan beat St. Mary’s Ryken’s No. 3 Eli Gabrielson, 4-2. In the semis, he beat No. 1 at the time, Eli Chesla of Spalding and a match before teched No. 7 Phil Key (Loyola), 15-0. Chesla was injured shortly after the calendar flipped to 2024 and missed the end of the season.

The chance to crack the national rankings presented itself with a trip to the prestigious Walsh Ironman a week after Ray Oliver. The Greyhound did not wilt on the grand stage, in fact, he excelled, reaching the podium in the seventh spot.

Both of his losses were to nationally ranked wrestlers (the rankings we are using are their final rankings – not necessarily their rankings at the time of the mentioned events), No. 4 Shamus Regan (Wyoming Seminary, PA), 3-2, and Pomona, Colorado’s Ignacio Villasenor (No. 13 at 113), 5-1, but at 106, Villasenor was a top five talent.

McGettigan posted wins over two nationally ranked wrestlers and a third who has been in and out of SB Live’s National Rankings. No. 18 Allen Woo (Montini Catholic, IL) fell 8-1, Honorable Mention Brandon Bickerton (Highland, OH) was beaten by a 6-1 tally, and Timmy Mazur (St. Edward, OH) dropped a 7-2 decision to McGettigan.

Another big national test awaited the Gilman Grappler with the Beast of the East, where he finished in the No. 4 position. There he lost twice to Blair Academy’s Vincenzo Anello, 3-0 and 3-2. Anello did not finish the season, so he is no longer ranked, but at the time of the Beast, he was a top ten wrestler.

McGettigan defeated No. 16 Julian Rios (Phillips Andover, MA), 7-2, at the Beast, as well as Sam Wolford (North Lebanon, PA), Justin Farnsworth (Germantown Academy, PA), and Carter Chunko (Saucon Valley, PA). Farnsworth finished eighth at the National Prep Tournament.

Dual meet wins over Key by fall (4:20) and Mt. St. Joseph’s Joseph Cooper (No. 4 at 113), 8-5, were the next notable results for the freshman. At the Haswell M. Franklin Gilman Duals, McGettigan bested Brighton Karvoski (Green Farms Academy, CT), 4-1. Karvoski would go on to place sixth at National Preps.

McGettigan locked down his first MIAA Conference Tournament crown with another pin of Key. At the Maryland Independent States, he renewed his rivalry with Gabrielson in the finals, walking away with a second period pin, 3:11, to help propel his squad to the state championship and cement their status as the state’s No. 1 team.

A third-place finish at the National Preps would be splendid for most freshman, but McGettigan was upset by Rios in the semis which dropped him behind the New Englander in the national rankings, where he would end the season as the No. 17 106lber in the country.

At Preps, McGettigan pinned Gabrielson in the bronze bout and beat him again, 12-7, in the quarters.

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