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Wrestling notebook - WV, PA state quests begin

February 15, 2001

Wrestling notebook - WV, PA state quests begin



It would be easy for wrestlers like Bryan Moats and Richard Stotler to begin thinking about next weekend's state tournament in Huntington, W.Va., but neither, along with the rest of the area's wrestlers, can overlook this weekend's region action.

Jefferson, Hedgesville, Martinsburg and Musselman will compete in the AAA Region II at Keyser beginning Friday in a two-day event. Berkeley Springs will host A/AA Region II on Saturday.

Twenty-one area wrestlers who placed in last year's AAA Region II tournament return this year, including champions Moats and Daniel Lord of Hedgesville and Chantz Griffith of Jefferson.

Moats has the most region/state experience. The senior, who hopes to follow former teammate Anthony Regalbuto as the 145-pound state champ, has won two region titles and placed second as a freshman. He also has placed fourth, second and sixth in his three years of state competition. This year, Moats is 41-3.

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"I think Bryan has a real shot at this this year,'' Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "He's really only made three mistakes all year and I think this time he may just do it.''

Interestingly, Moats has 161 career wins. If he does "do it'' this year, he'll finish with 168 career wins, the same as career state-win holder and former teammate Jim Shetler.

"Bryan could lose in the states and, with wrestle-backs, break the state record,'' Whittington said. "I don't think he wants to do that.''

Lord is a sophomore and is already closing in on 100 career wins. "I think, if he stays healthy, he'll be close to 200 wins before his career is over,'' Whittington said of his 140 wrestler.

Griffith, a junior who placed fourth in the state at 112 last year, may compete at 119 or 125 this year.

Other area returning AAA Region II placewinners include Kevin Ballam (112), Jason Drappo (119), Jared Hess (130), Andrew Everhart (171) and Jason Baker (189) of Hedgesville; Devin Abshire (135, fifth in state last year), Andre McDonald (152, fifth in state last year), Drew Day (down from 215 to 171) and Dustin Householder (275) of Jefferson; Jeff Clark (103), Victor Beard (145, fifth in state last year), and Mike Renner (215) of Musselman and Justin Jones (125), Justin Kessler (140, fifth in state last year), Travis Durst (160, sixth in state last year) and Joe Jackson (171, fourth in state last year) of Martinsburg. Hedgesville senior Justin Snyder (152) placed second at 145 as a sophomore but did not compete last year because of a broken thumb.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Stotler, who has two region titles, a region runner-up, a state runner-up and a state fourth-place showing on his resume, leads four Berkeley Springs returning placers. Stotler, Matt Rosensteel (125) and Josh Clark (189) are all first seeds. Clark placed fourth last year.

Frank Gregg (135), second at 130 last year, is seeded third, as is teammate Matt Mason (145); Jamie Moore (152), third at 135, is seeded second, , along with Brandon Clark (119) and Levi Hovermale (215).

The tournament will start at 10 a.m. with finals at 4 p.m.

The top four placers in each weight class in both AAA and A/AA qualify for next week's state tournament at the Civic Center.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> In Pennsylvania, area teams are involved at three different sites. Waynesboro will be competing at Southwestern, Chambersburg will be at Mechanicsburg and Greencastle-Antrim and James Buchanan will be at Delone Catholic.

In AAA Section I last year, Waynesboro's Nathan Geesaman was fourth at 112 and Nick Sanders was third at 152. Now, competing in AAA Section IV, Geesaman will wrestle at 119 and Sanders, who has competed much of the season at 145, may wrestle at 140.

Chambersburg's Kevin Roland, Josh Rowland and Jared Faith received seeds in this year's AAA Section I tournament. Roland is a fifth seed at 152, Rowland is the seventh seed at 160 and Faith is a fifth seed at 171.

In AA Section I last year, Greencastle's Owen Hyne finished fourth at 171 and returns to the weight class this season.

In each case, the top four placers advance to district wrestling.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Maryland will wrestle its county tournaments this weekend with Frederick and Washington competing in one-day events on Saturday. For more on those, please read Friday's Preps Extra section.

This week's notebook compiled by staff writer Al Ditzel.

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