Massey wins state wrestling crown

March 09, 1997


Staff Correspondent

WESTMINSTER, Md. - This time last year, Williamsport's Jimi Massey faced Gordon Boyer from Kent County in the state quarterfinals. Massey injured his knee in that match and placed third.

This year, Massey was facing Boyer again. His knee was injured and throbbing, again. But this time, it was for the state championship.

Massey dug deep to forget the pain and used a dramatic move in the final eight seconds of the match Saturday night for a 10-8 victory to capture the elusive 189-pound crown at the Maryland Class 2A-1A State Wrestling Tournament at Western Maryland College.


"He kept putting pressure on my knee, and the pain was intense," Massey said. "With about 20 seconds left, I said to myself, `It's now or never - you're a senior. Just suck it up and get it done.' I used everything I had in me to win it."

With four seconds left in the match and the score tied at 8, Massey kneeled in the "down" position, needing an escape to win. He went one better. He reversed Boyer for two points to seal the win and shock Wildcats coach Chuck Martin.

"I told him, `Jimi, why are you trying to give me a heart attack?'" Martin said.

But the last-minute heroics didn't catch Jimi's dad, Alvin Massey, by surprise.

"I thought he could have won it last year," he said. "He was on target this year, but missed two tournaments due to injury. Not competing is tough for a wrestler."

Massey, 19-1 and Washington County's only state champion, plans to wrestle in the Hopkins Classic on Tuesday.

"I'd really like to rematch with Ryan," he said, referring to Thomas Johnson's Ryan Hoffman. Hoffman won his second 3A-4A state title by defeating Dan Holt of Westlake.

Seth Staley of North Hagerstown placed sixth at 130. Jeremy Wiles (135) and Luke Englund (HWT), both of South Hagerstown, also placed sixth.

"It's been a long time since anyone from South High did well at states," said Englund. Wiles nodded in agreement.

Zane Harshman (145) of Middletown capped off a 31-2 junior season by taking second place behind Tyrone Eaton of Northeast-AA.

"There was no way I was going to give up," Harshman said. "I realized in the second period that he was hitting his stuff and countering mine. I'm definitely coming back next year - but at 160."

Chris Keller (125), Harshman's senior teammate, lost 9-3 to Eric Rexrode of Southern Garrett to place fourth in a replay of the West Region finals. Keller is now 31-6.

Catoctin freshman Chad Dewees was pinned in the semifinals while holding a 14-4 lead over eventual state champion senior Rodney Stine of Mardela before finishing sixth at 119. Jeremy Fuss (135), also of Catoctin, finished third, defeating Drew Bowers of Owings Mills, 9-0.

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