Mat Talk-Mat success runs in the family

March 18, 1999

"My nephew, Shain Leggett, just won the 103-pound AA State championship in Pennsylvania," the phone call began. "He's from Biglerville High School. But that's not why I'm calling you."

It certainly seemed like a good reason to Mat Talk. Pennsylvania state champions are a cut above us mere mortals.

"Shain's grandparents, Pearl and Willis Leggett, live in Boonsboro," the caller continued. "My wife is related to the McDonald family, you know they have a wrestler at Williamsport High School, Ryan McDonald. Is that worth a mention in the paper?"

Yes, and here it is. Congratulations to Shain Leggett, and his wrestling kin, heavyweight Ryan McDonald, who placed third in this year's Maryland 1A-2A state tournament.

All-Star Regional Revue

McDonald was just named to the MSWA All Freshman-Sophomore Team.

The award was announced at the 1999 Haswell M. Franklin MSWA Senior Classic on Friday at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md. This invitational tournament, previously known as the Hopkins Senior Classic and held at Johns Hopkins University, pits the best 1A-2A seniors against their peers in both the 3A-4A and independent-school classes.


With Northern Garrett's Jesse Shimrock, Urbana's state champion Steve Chucoski (152) and Middletown's two-time state titlist Zane Harshman (160) absent from the line-up, 1A-2A lost 33-20 to 3A-4A, and 32-20 to the independent schools in the team competition. However, Walkersville state champion Chris Kehne (135) pinned Maryland's independent champ Shawn Calhoun from Curley, then decisioned Calvert's Blair Surgent 10-6 for a perfect tournament.

The marquee match-up was undoubtedly two-time Maryland state and two-time National Prep champion Wes Cummings of DeMatha, ranked No. 1 in the nation, against Williamsport's 1A-2A state champion Jared Myers. Although Cummings got the first takedown, Myers continued his newly unveiled offense with his own takedown and an escape to end the first period trailing, 5-3. Myers' trademark strength held Cummings down for the entire second period. In the third period, Myers, in the down position, reversed Cummings to tie the score. Cummings immediately called for injury time. With :20 left in the match, Cummings reversed Myers to win, 7-5.

Myers' second match, barely 45 minutes later, against a fresh Mo Fofana from Sherwood, was no gimme. Although the unranked Fofana was not even a state placer, his overtime victory over Myers in the finals of the Damascus Tournament had bounced the Wildcat from first place clean out of the state rankings. Launching another strong offense, Myers turned the tables with a 4-3 victory.

Pa. Results

Chambersburg heavyweight Tyler Hart finished eighth in the AAA Pennsylvania State Tournament. Although this final level involves just 16 wrestlers per weight class, 241 schools competed in the AAA classification, which includes Waynesboro. (Greencastle and James Buchanan compete in AA, which has 227 schools.)

College Results

At the college level, former Berkeley Springs record-setting heavyweight Josh Waugh earned All-American status at the NCAA Division II Tournament, placing eighth at 197 pounds. Waugh wrestles for West Liberty (W.Va.) College.

Be There

March 18-20, Penn State University, State College, Pa. - NCAA Division I Championships. Mark Janus (Williamsport), wrestling for Penn State, has qualified at 285.

March 26-28, National High School Wrestling Championships, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. - Open to seniors who have been state finalists anytime during their high school careers, this is an ideal time and place to be seen by college coaches. Wrestling starts Friday at 9 a.m.

April 3, North Hagerstown Hub Boosters Wrestling Tournament, North Hagerstown High, 10 a.m. - Open to both junior (grades 7-9) and senior (grades 10-12) wrestlers. However, the open division (high school graduates) traditionally offers the most fun (and nostalgia). Rumor has it that Williamsport wrestling coach Chuck Martin promised to compete if he got a state champion.

Words of wisdom

In ending this season, Mat Talk offers the following wisdom, gleaned, (where else?) from a wrestler's T-shirt: "Summer wrestling makes winter champions."

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