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Wildcats aim for Hub Cup title

January 14, 2002

Wildcats aim for Hub Cup title



By AL DITZEL
alfredd@herald-mail.com


Williamsport seems destined to win its second straight team tournament title and third in two years today in the 15th annual Hub Cup at North Hagerstown.

The Wildcats, who lead defending champion Paint Branch, 93.5-82.5, have all 14 wrestlers coming back, including eight in the semifinals.

Williamsport's first seeds - Brian Forsythe (114 pounds), Cory Kuczynski (121) and Matt Allen (191) - along with Mike McGill (105), Devin Hewitt (127), Corey Leggett (132), Travis Brown (142) and Bill Shawley (277) all begin their quests in today's 10 a.m. semifinals. The finals are at 7:30 p.m.

Brown, who dropped down a weight class, faces No. 2 seed Derrick Miller of Paint Branch after taking a forfeit in his quarterfinal.

"I was a light 145-pounder," Brown said. "This really isn't much of a cut for me. I just can't eat ice cream and things like that. I still eat my meals."

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Paint Branch has seven in today's semifinals, but have less in the wrestlebacks because it did not bring anyone in the 277 class.

North, in fourth place with 72 points, has Mike Wagner (114), Chris Joliet (121), Steve Fravel (top seed at 132), Scott Greenwald (147) and Dustin McDonough (162) in today's semis. McDonough started the season at 152, but needed to move up.

"I feel so much stronger now," McDonough said. "We decided to make a change after the FSK tournament. My father and I made a mutual decision."

McDonough dominated Middletown's Andrew Nicklas 17-4 in the quarterfinals. McDonough will meet top-seeded Nick Burger of Westminster in today's semifinals.

Walkersville is in sixth place with 60 points and has Chad Cotterman (121), Dan Caywood (top seed at 127), Jimmy Francis (173) and Jason Stambaugh (277) in today's semifinals.

Francis will meet Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont, unbeaten at 14-0. Esmont is the only unbeaten wrestler who is not a first seed.

"I had my two quickest pins tonight," said Esmont, who had 26- and 25-second falls. "I wrestled Jimmy last year in the (Frederick County tournament). We were both heavy freshmen (145) and I won by one point.

"I'll need to stay on my feet (against Francis)," Esmont said. "I can't give up the takedown."

Dan Ellis (277) is also in the semis for TJ.

South, in eighth with 51.5 points, has Terry Jones (132), Brandon Ashby (top seed at 137), Emens Rho (154) and Clayton Swisher (217) in today's semifinals.

Rho, a junior, will meet Middletown's Ryan McQuillen, the top seed, in today's semifinals.

"I saw him wrestle and I think I can do it," Rho said. "I've never been in the semifinals before. I'm really happy."

Middletown, 10th with 41.5 points, has Ben Saylor (127) and McQuillen in the semis.

Frederick, the area's seventh team in the 16-team event, has Dave Smith (217) in the semis.

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