+LUSBY, Md. – This past weekend hundreds of kids ranging from 8 to 14 years old, were crammed into the Wicomico Civic Center for the MSWA 2023 State Championship. Each kid was hoping to get that cool jacket and a massive trophy.

These wrestlers would go to several matches for several hours, hoping to make it as far as a state champion. But of the hundreds of kids, only 104 could make it. With four future panthers, they made it deep into the bracket and they turned some heads.

First, Kayden Hawkins wrestled in the 10U 93lbs weight class for Patuxent Youth Wrestling.
Even though he lost his first match, he was able to fight back to claim fifth place and a spot on the podium.

Next, Giovanni Barone wrestled in the 12U 82lbs weight class for Wolfpack. He started
as the one seed and continued dominating. Here’s what he has to say for any future
wrestlers going to States, “Always trust your corner.”

He ended up winning states for the first time in seven years.

Now let’s get to the bigger guys out there.

Preston Furl wrestling at 12U 135lbs weight class. He had to do a round-robin bracket due to the lack of people in his weight class.

Here is what he has to say about this event of such magnitude, “It was pretty hard,
but it is a tough sport for tough people.”

And lastly, Landen Vercoe for the Middle School group for the 102lbs weight class. He also was able to start the tournament as the first seed and had one of the few tech falls of the tournament.

What is the next step you may ask, well some of these wrestlers have been chosen to be a part of the Maryland youth wrestling team. Such as Preston Furl and Giovanni Barone, who will be traveling down to Tennessee right before spring break to face some of the best young wrestlers in the country.

Within the next years that follow, these wrestlers will be wearing that green and
black for Patuxent High. Honestly, people are very excited for the next generation of wrestlers.

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