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Wildcat wrestlers on prowl

January 14, 2002

Wildcat wrestlers on prowl



By AL DITZEL
alfredd@herald-mail.com


When Matt Allen pinned to win the 191-pound championship Saturday night, not only did he secure his second Hub Cup title but he clinched Williamsport's third straight regular-season tournament championship dating back to last season.

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"We have a solid team, beginning with a freshman who's 18-1 and has just won his first title," Allen said of teammate Mike McGill, who won the 105 crown, as well as the tournament's outstanding wrestler award. "Then, it just progresses. If we have a slipup, we have someone pick it up right away. This is the best team I've ever been on."

Brian Forsythe avenged a loss to Eric DuVall in the Damascus Holiday to win the 114-pound title with a 6-4 victory in overtime.

Never has Williamsport enjoyed such success during the regular season and the Wildcats, No. 2 in the Herald-Mail Top 10, have not reached their peak as yet. Some holes noticeable when the season began are closing quickly.

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Williamsport coach Chuck Martin readily gave a credit to his assistants, as well as the newer and younger wrestlers in the program.

All told, 10 Wildcats placed and pins by Allen and McGill in their finals provided the four-point cushion over second-place Paint Branch.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> One of the most poignant moments of the tournament came after North Hagerstown's Steve Fravel won his 132-pound title. He had just posted a methodical-but- effective win over Williamsport's Corey Leggett, 4-3.

Fravel's father gave coach Greg Slick a big hug. Then, young Fravel then pointed out how important this championship was because it is the junior's last Hub Cup. He talked bravely as he explained how he would be moving to South Carolina and how much he enjoyed his time at North.

"Who ever gets him is getting a fine, young man," Slick said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The tournament provided coaches and wrestlers alike with the what-might-have-been thought. For example, Walkersville's Chad Cotterman didn't get to wrestle against Williamsport in the dual meet because he attended a family wedding. So, when he edged the Wildcats' Cory Kuczynski in their 121-pound semifinal, one might wonder what might have happened if that occurred in the dual won by Williamsport. Then again, maybe not.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> North's Scott Greenwald, so impressive during the first two rounds Friday night, injured his shoulder Saturday and had to default out of his consolation bouts. He may join David Broadwater and Matt Ranelli as Hubs out of action.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Two previously unbeaten wrestlers from the area - Brandon Ashby of South and Mark Esmont of Thomas Johnson - suffered their first losses of the season. Ashby lost in his 137 final while Esmont lost in the semifinals and in the third-place consolations. That leaves two area unbeatens - Allen and Walkersville's Dan Caywood.

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