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Wrestlers 'state' their case

March 02, 1997

By MARILYNJANUS

Staff Correspondent

North Hagerstown wrestling coach Greg Slick has said that luck is "when preparation meets opportunity."

By that definition, Williamsport heavyweight Shaun Shank is one lucky guy. The senior first-year wrestler earned a trip to the state tournament by placing fourth at the Class 1A-2A West regionals Saturday afternoon.

"I didn't know any moves at the beginning of the season, so I relied on my strength," Shank said. "Coach (Bill)Foley helped by telling me never to get beat in the same move twice."

Boonsboro sophomore Clayton Harr, also a first-year wrestler, earned his trip to states the same way.

"Coach just told me `Never give up,'" Harr explained.

If luck eased the road to states for some, others had to grind out every mile.

North's Richie Dean (22-8) earned his first regional title and second trip to states by gutting out a 3-3 double-overtime win at 112 over Ronnie Howard of Francis Scott Key.

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"It was the toughest match I ever wrestled," Dean said. "I had to struggle to keep my mental attitude strong."

Dean's teammate Seth Staley (130) got a different kind of help in defeating Jason Monaghan of Catoctin.

"My brother (Kane) wrestled him and told me to stay away from his upper-body strength, which I did," Staley said.

Big brother Kane lost to Monaghan's teammate, Jeremy Fuss, but placed second and advances to states.

Rounding out North's quartet of state hopefuls is regional champ Ian Young (22-7), who used experience and control in his 4-0 victory over Catoctin's 103-pounder Todd Kreitz.

"He was aggressive and kind of strong, so I just went for it," said Young, also a repeat qualifier.

Nobody touched FSK in the team standings, as the Eagles advanced 10 of 13 wrestlers to states.

"We stress a team effort," said FSK coach Bill Hyson, whose team had just one individual champion in Matt Yinger (130). "We're not flashy, but our kids believe in working together to get results."

Williamsport placed third, the highest finish for a Washington County team. Jimi Massey (15-1) easily claimed his third regional title at 189 pounds with a tech fall in 4:48 over Fort Hill's Buddy Van Meter. Senior Adam Vancour (140), who also placed fourth, advances to states.

The bout of the night belonged to Williamsport's Joe Burger at 130. Facing Yinger, the No. 1 seed, a wrestler of equal size, strength and intensity, Burger shot a double-leg for the first takedown, which Yinger escaped.

In the second period, a penalty against Yinger made the score 3-1 in Burger's favor. An escape and takedown by Yinger put him ahead, 4-3. Burger's answering escape at the end of regulation tied the score. In an overtime marked by furious shots and counters, Yinger finally prevailed, 6-4.

"I just couldn't get in on him," Burger said. "I could handle his arms OK, but not his arms and legs at once."

Burger's second-place finish sends him to states and sets up a possible rematch with Yinger.

Heavyweight Luke Englund (22-6) brought home a regional championship for South Hagerstown, shooting some good singles on Westmar's Chad Wilhelm before pinning him in 3:49.

"Except for Counties, I've never had a big tournament win," Englund said. "I really wanted this one."

Jeremy Wiles (135) will join his teammate at states, after his 8-5 victory over Walkersville's Lonnie McLain for third place. So will Jon Showe (103), who placed fourth.

Grant Wolak (152) of Smithsburg will complete the Washington County contingent. Wolak scored a pin in overtime over FSK's Bill Null.

Middletown's Zane Harshman won the145-pound title with a gutsy 8-2 decision over Southern Garrett's Tommy Sweitzer.

In addition to Howard, Yinger, and Null, FSK qualified Steve Cahoon (140), Clint Day (125), Tim Beale (145), Brett Cowan (160), Ryan Roach (171), Bobby Bollinger (189) and Mark Plank (HWT).

Other MVAL qualifiers include Chris Kehne (119), McLain (135) and Cory Bell (160) of Walkersville, Justin Shafer (189) of Middletown and Monaghan (130) of Catoctin.

In all, MVAL wrestlers took seven individual championships and captured 33 of 52 qualifying spots.

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