Cougars win Rebel Invitational

January 26, 1997


Staff Correspondent

In an emotional atmosphere charged with controversy, the Jefferson Cougars clawed their way to a team victory in the Rebel Invitational at South Hagerstown High School Saturday.

Defending West Virginia state champion John Jackson (152) successfully defended his 1995 Rebel crown with a 7-6 decision over Greencastle's Mike Ridge.

Jefferson's J.D. Kirby (160) and R.J. Carey (189) also won individual championships. Zach Smith (103) and Joey Cline (140)were runners-up.

"We built momentum throughout the day" said Jefferson coach Gary Wratchford. "Eventually, the kids started to believe they could win. I think this tournament win will help to rebuild our team enthusiasm, which was sagging."


The recent loss of four Jefferson starters made the victory even more sweet.

Defending Rebel Invitational champ Dewey Wolfe of Jefferson dropped a 6-5 semifinal decision to Williamsport's Joe Burger on a call that could have gone either way in the 130-pound class.

Hedgesville was second in the team standings, due to a controversy that erupted in the 160-pound third-place match between senior Adam Dunham and Williamsport's John Robins. Near the end of the match, with Dunham behind by four points, the referee called a flagrant misconduct penalty against him. The penalty deducts two team points, and requires both the disqualification of the wrestler and of all the points he has earned during the tournament, in this case 12. The resulting 14-point difference would, in fact, have given Hedgesville a team victory by half a point.

Anthony Regalbuto (103), Jim Shetler (112), Pat Whitmore (119), and J.D. Murphy all earned individual championships for Hedgesville. Derek English (125) and Jeremy Hott (135) were each runners-up.

Williamsport was third, with three individual champions. Mark Schiller (135) posted his first tournament win, powering Hedgesville's Jeremy Hott into back point situations several times.

"I'm trying to get my priorities straight for my senior year," said the quiet Schiller. "It was nice to get a tournament win, but I wish the team could have done better."

Jared Myers (152) got his first tournament win this this year by pinning Jimmy Zentz of North Carroll in just 1:22.

Williamsport's Joe Burger (130) was second, losing to defending champion Dameon Davis of North Carroll. Adam Vancour (140) and Robins (160) came in third, as did the ever-surprising Jon Herrera (152) who survived sudden death overtime, controlling his opponent for thirty seconds.

The Herald-Mail Articles