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Hubs awaken, sweep Bulldogs, Rams

December 27, 2001

Hubs awaken, sweep Bulldogs, Rams



By AL DITZEL
alfredd@herald-mail.com


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The sleeping bear that could've been the North Hagerstown wrestling team awoke Saturday to sweep past Martinsburg and Southern Garrett.

After losing for the first time since the 1997-98 season last Wednesday, No. 3 North (5-1) rebounded Saturday, first blasting Southern Garrett 69-6 before posting a solid victory over No. 5 Martinsburg, 48-23. Earlier, Martinsburg (8-4-1) defeated Southern Garrett, 47-15.

"We wanted to make a statement," North junior Mike Wagner said. "We wanted to prove to everyone that we're still a pretty good team."

Against Martinsburg, Wagner (112 pounds), John Breehl (125) and Steve Fravel (130) each picked up six team points with Chris Joliet (119) adding five points with a technical fall. Wagner and Breehl pinned and Fravel won by injury default after building a 15-1 lead.

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Fravel, a junior, is 9-0 and has a simple focus.

"Win," he said. "I'm wrestling pretty well, but there's always room for improvement."

Joliet, a senior, also had a pin against Southern Garrett.

"I didn't perform too well at the Chopticon tournament," Joliet said of his out-of-the-money fifth place tourney. "But I didn't want to get my head down. I try to wrestle with a lot of intensity and focus."

Joliet normally takes his time before taking the mat in his bouts. He often wanders to the mat's edge before moving to the center.

"I'm focusing," Joliet said of his pre-match walk. "You always have to wrestle with focus and intensity. Lose those and you lose."

North also picked up solid wins from Cory Kuhn (140), Dustin McDonough (152) and Devin Baer (171) against Martinsburg. Steve Feight (189) and Wil Mulieri (215) picked up forfeits against Martinsburg and Southern Garrett (1-5).

Obviously, all the Hubs appeared more focused, though none were out of focus last Saturday in wins over No. 4 Williamsport and No. 8 Middletown nor in the loss to No. 2 Walkersville last Wednesday.

Still, North needed a little more focus Saturday, especially against Martinsburg, which defeated previous No. 1 Hedgesville in the Berkeley County tournament on Wednesday.

Justin Kessler, Justin Bird (171) and Ryan Bird (275) each picked up two wins on Saturday. Kessler wrestled at 140 and 145, scoring two pins, including against North's Scott Greenwald.

"He's a very tough wrestler," Kessler said of his pin in 3:25. "I just concentrated on my defense and tried to capitalize on his mistakes."

Kessler, 15-0, is taking on a leadership role for the Bulldogs.

"I try to stay focused each match and give the same intensity," he said. "I'm a senior, so I want to do the best I can at the states."

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