Wrestling notebook - State Hall to induct Walters

March 01, 2001

Wrestling notebook - State Hall to induct Walters

On Saturday at Western Maryland College, former South Hagerstown wrestling and soccer coach Ernie Walters will be inducted into the state wrestling Hall of Fame.

Thanks to Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich, who provided the letter of coach Walters' nomination to The Herald-Mail, here are some of things he did for area wrestling.

Walters came to South Hagerstown from the wrestling-rich area of Juniata, Pa., in 1970-71. In the next 18 years as South's wrestling coach, he compiled a dual meet record of 116-82 while winning several league championships and coaching several individual state champions.

His love for the sport did not stop at South High. He was instrumental in the recruitment and development of many officials for the Washington County Wrestling Officials Association, as well as officiating himself when needed.


He started the Washington County Wrestling Club, which was one of the first in Maryland to teach and compete nationally in both freestyle and greco-roman, the Olympic and international styles. He opened the club and coached wrestlers from all over the Tri-State area.

His unselfish drive to teach the sport helped to develop many wrestlers from rival schools, who would compete each year against his Rebels.

He also started the Washington County Middle School team which competed in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and included students from all over the county. Again, most of these young wrestlers went on to compete at other high schools.

Walters also contributed to the growth of the sport at the state level by serving as District 1 representative to the State Wrestling Committee for 15 years, all the time working and lobbying for the improvement of the sport. He also served for 10 years as the District 1 treasurer.

Without his influence, wrestling would not be the same in Washington County or the State of Maryland.

Walters worked as Vice Principal at South and Boonsboro until his retirement in 1997.

1 + 1 = state success

Williamsport will send seven wrestlers - the most from the area - to the 2A/1A state tournament, which begins Friday. Nine Wildcats have 20 or more wins this season.

Coach Chuck Martin said the two main reasons for his team's success is leadership from his seniors and his assistant coaches.

"The senior leadership is the best we've had in the last few years," Martin said. "The seniors (led by tri-captains Ryan McDonald, Steve Stone and Sean Vancour) get the credit.

"The goals we set were high and they've done all that we've asked," Martin said. "We only have 20 guys in the room, but the JV kids are still practicing even though their season is over."

As far as the coaching staff ...

"It's the best coaching staff I've ever worked with," said Martin, an 11-year head coach. "We have Mike Baker, two-time state champ here at Williamsport; Mike Recktrovic, a volunteer coach, who grew up in wrestling - his father is a coach in New York, and Adam Vancour, who also wrestled here and is Sean's brother. They are a reliable group and I really think the kids have benefitted from their coaching."

100 and counting

Stone, who is one of the seven Wildcats who will participate in this weekend's state tourney, picked up career win No. 100 in his first bout at the Washington County Tournament two weeks ago.

He joins Kenny Rhodes, Eric Kuczynski and McDonald (career win and pin leader) in the Williamsport 100-win club.

This week's notebook was compiled by staff writer Al Ditzel. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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