Wrestling notes - 'Cats start with huge challenges

December 14, 2000

Wrestling notes - 'Cats start with huge challenges

What Williamsport is doing against the area's ranked wrestling teams is nothing new. The Wildcats have always wrestled the best competition they could, but what they have done in the 2000-01's season's first weeks is still amazing.

Williamsport, ranked No. 2, easily handled No. 4 Chambersburg last week, losing only three of the 13 bouts.

This solid wrestling team is not done by a long shot. Williamsport will play host to No. 8 Middletown and traditional rival No. 5 North Hagerstown on Saturday. Yes, this will be a test for the Wildcats, but one they likely will pass.

Still, that's not all. Next Tuesday, the Wildcats will travel to Francis Scott Key where the Eagles, as well as No. 3 Jefferson, await. The season has just begun, but when Tuesday's matches are done, weather permitting, Williamsport will have already faced half of the top 10 teams in the area.


With senior tri-captains Steve Stone, Sean Vancour and Ryan McDonald, Williamsport features a pretty solid lineup that will contend with any team in the area.

While No. 2 appears to be trying harder, No. 1 Hedgesville has been making a mockery of the West Virginia competition. The Eagles ran their dual meet win streak to 45 straight, including 11 already this season.

Last weekend, Hedgesville dominated the St. Albans Duals, winning all eight matches by no less than 20 points. Along the way, the Eagles posted two shutouts by 81-0 and 84-0 counts, scored three more times in the 70s, and battered Independence by 20 points in what was considered not only the marquee match of the duals, but the entire state.

"We've been wrestling well," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "We had seven wrestlers come away with individual titles (at St. Albans) and 11 of our 14 wrestlers placed. That's very good."

Six Eagles went 8-0 at St. Albans en route to individual titles - Ken Ballam (112 pounds), Jason Drappo (119), Daniel Lord (140), Bryan Moats (145), John Dunham (171) and Jason Baker (189). Andrew Everhart (160) went 7-1 to also claim the first-place honor.

Whittington's team still might have a little something to prove this weekend at the Max Horz tournament, a two-day individual event beginning Friday at Berkeley Springs.

The Eagles finished third there last year as Moats, unbeaten in the regular season last year, did not make weight and Hedgesville took a zero at a weight class Whittington said he felt his wrestler could win.

"That did fire us up last year," said the coach of the area's No. 1 team last year and No. 2 team in AA/AAA West Virginia. "This year, we've been doing well (making weights) and we are looking forward to the tournament."

Wrestlers always work for pins. It's more than scoring a bucket in basketball, it is the slam dunk, the exclamation point of a bout. And pins are happening very fast this year.

While the season is just a week or two old, already a dozen pins of 20 seconds or less have been recorded in area bouts. It's as if the wrestlers barely had time to shake hands before one gets thrown to his back.

Last week at the Catoctin Duals, the quick pins actually worked against Frederick and returning state placewinner Akil Patterson. The senior competing in the final weight class (275) dominated his opponents scoring a first-period pin in each of his bouts.

How this worked against Frederick was in the fifth-place match against Thomas Johnson. Patterson quickly pinned his opponent, tying the match at 42-42. Yet, Frederick finished sixth in the tournament because of what was believed the sixth criteria - most nearfalls. Patterson was so dominant, it appeared he could have scored at will before registering a pin. But, who knows for sure?

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