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On the right track

December 14, 2000

On the right track



Railroaders begin maiden voyage on wrestling scene

By ADELINE STAEBLER / Staff Correspondent


BRUNSWICK, Md. - When Brunswick junior Ronnie Grill was a freshman, he wanted to go to Middletown.

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When Grill, who had been wrestling for several years, discovered that Brunswick didn't have a wrestling team, he wanted to go to a school that did.

"I was trying to go to Middletown, but they wouldn't let me go there because of the school situation. I was out of district," Grill said. "I've always liked (wrestling), it's been my favorite sport."

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This year, Grill and other Brunswick students don't have go to other schools for wrestling, they have a team of their own.

The team is coached by Mike Gialanella, who wrestled for four years at Linganore High School, two years in college and then assisted at Linganore last year under his father, Rich.

"There had been some talk about it for a couple of years - they were going to get an eighth wrestling school in the county," Gialanella said. "During lacrosse season, I talked to (Catoctin coach Mike) Telemeco and he said that they were definitely going to get a program and I should look into it. So I called up the school, spoke with (athletic director Carol Smith), sent in a resume and that's pretty much it."

Gialanella said that one of the things that appealed to him about coaching at Brunswick was that it was a brand new team.

"There wouldn't be a lot of confusion, there wouldn't be a lot of, 'Well, our coach called it this and our coach called it that,'" Gialanella said. "It was definitely good to be able to come in and start my own system."

With the exception of Grill and a few others, most of the kids at Brunswick have very limited wrestling experience.

Junior captain Greg Howell had no experience with wrestling. Howell, who along with Grill plays football for the Railroaders, is 1-5 so far this season at the 130-pound weight class.

"We get a lot more out of this - wrestling's the hardest thing I've ever done, it's harder than football," Howell said. "You have to think more. It's the best team I've ever played on, everybody gets along. Usually in football everybody's blaming somebody else, but you can't blame anyone else in wrestling because it's individual."

According to Gialanella, Howell's attitude mirrors the team he captains.

"So far it's only been a weekend of competition, so it's not like they've had time to get frustrated, but I've seen kids on their first time out, they get all fired up adn they throw their head gear and stuff," Gialanella said. "These kids, they lose, they're like, 'Coach, we've got to do this, we've got to do that.' They're enthusiastic about getting better, which makes my job very easy."

The Railroaders had their inaugural meet on Dec. 7 and went to the Catoctin Duals Friday, but stand at 0-6.

They came close to winning their first match against Frederick in the Duals, taking a 36-15 lead after the 152-pound match when Justin Roberts won by pin. But Frederick won the last five matches and took the win.

The community has been supportive as well. Gialanella said that the Brunswick area started a junior league around the same time the high school team started.

"That kind of reinforces the fact that there are kids that want to do it, that it would be worthwhile to start it now while there's an interest in the junior league," Gialanella said.

As for the high school team, they are all learning not only about physically wrestling, but also about their area competition.

"I never paid attention to (area wrestling) because we didn't have a team, but I have friends on Frederick's team," said David Carroll (103), whose older brother wrestled for Frederick High.

"There's some guys that have experience, like Ronnie Grill, he's been wrestling for awhile, but he's never competed on a varsity high school level," Gialanella said. "So his experience helps and he's also got the competition aspect of it and the psychological aspect of it. For someone like him, we have higher goals than someone who has never wrestled before."

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