Wildcats almost positively champs

January 21, 2002

Wildcats almost positively champs


It might have been by only five points, the wrestling public will not really know until the tournament is run through a computer, but Williamsport successfully completed its regular-season three-tournament sweep early Saturday morning, winning the Rebel Invitational at South Hagerstown.


Matt Allen, Cory Kuczynski, Brian Forsythe and Devin Hewitt each won individual crowns as the Wildcats rolled up 185.5 points, just ahead of Central Cambia (Pa.), which had 180.5 according to hand calculations.

"I knew that this was the most talented team I've had the opportunity to coach," Williamsport coach Chuck Martin said. "The kids worked hard and we're fairing pretty well."


Three other area wrestlers -South's Sal Mauriello and Brandon Ashby, along with Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont - also won Rebel titles.

Allen (14-0) needed only 48 seconds of the second period to pin previously unbeaten Derek Fogle (21-1) of Catoctin in the 191-pound finale. Allen dominated from the start, scoring with a double-leg takedown and led 5-0 after the first period latching on a three-point cradle. Starting neutral in the second period, again Allen scored with a takedown before pinning Fogle.

"He's a very tough wrestler," Allen, ranked first by the Maryland State Wrestling Association in 1A/2A, said of his opponent, ranked sixth in 1A/2A by the MSWA. "I wanted to attack, like I always want to attack. You can't think about rankings or stuff like that when you're wrestling."

Allen, who has won all three tournaments this season, was named the Rebel's Outstanding Wrestler for a second straight year. He pinned all three of his opponents, two Friday and Fogle early Saturday morning.

The tournament officials, including South coach Brian Brake, decided that the tournament would be run in one day because of the threat of snow Saturday. So the event was run straight through, with the third-place consolations finishing just before 2 a.m. The championship finals were completed before 1 a.m.

Kuczynski (19-3) was also facing a highly-ranked wrestler in his 121 final as Liberty's Paul Hartman (21-5), ranked third in 3A/4A at 125, dropped down a weight class.

Kuczynski seemed to get fired up by a call in the second period on the edge of the mat that went against him, but responded by pinning Hartman in 3:40.

"I never expected to pin him," Kuczynski, a junior, said. "He wanted to work mostly on his feet and, when that didn't work, he went upper body. That didn't work either."

Forsythe, at 114, continued a personal run by winning his second straight tourney. He posted a solid 4-2 win over Thomas Johnson's Terrence Myers in the final.

"I'd never wrestled him before," Forsythe (21-2) said. "I was just trying to get on top (on the scoreboard) and just hold him."

Hewitt (16-4) pinned South's Anthony Bowers in 1:07 in their 127 final.

"Going in I just get it in my head that I'm going to win and (my opponent) is going to lose," said Hewitt, who is ranked No. 2 in 1A/2A. "I think I'm wrestling really well right now. Two of my losses are to Dan Caywood (of Walkersville ranked No. 1). I'm doing pretty well against everyone else."

Williamsport also scored with Mike McGill (105), Cory Leggett (132) and Travis Brown (142) taking seconds and Ryan Bowers (137) and Paul Joseph (217) taking thirds.

Mauriello and Ashby became the first South wrestlers to win Rebel titles since 1993.

"It's an honor to become a champion here," Mauriello (16-6) said. "Especially in my senior year."

Mauriello normally wrestles at 189 but bumped up to win the 217 title.

"I was giving away a lot of pounds, but I thought it was a good thing to go up and win the tournament, rather than finishing third (behind Allen and Fogle at 191)," Mauriello said. He pinned his finals opponent in 3:13.

Ashby (21-1) rebounded from his first loss of the season suffered last week in the Hub Cup final by pinning Jason Eagles of Liberty in 2:45 in their 137 final.

"I just worked harder this week," Ashby, ranked third in 1A/2A, said of his response to his loss. "I felt pretty comfortable since I had wrestled him in the Catoctin Duals. I just tried to wrestle my match."

Esmont (18-2), a sophomore, was also recovering from his first two losses of the season suffered in the Hub Cup. He pinned South's Nate Mose in 4:19 of their 173 final. Esmont said he learned during in the final.

"(Mose) likes to sit back," Esmont said of the Rebel senior's first move from bottom. "I just underhooked and threw in legs."

When Mose tried to belly down to the mat, Esmont slipped in a half nelson to score the pin just 19 seconds into the third period.

"This is big winning my first tournament," Esmont said. "I was upset last week because I lost to someone I had beaten before and will meet again this week (Walkersville's Jimmy Francis)."

Esmont's teammate, Dan Ellis, finished second at 277.

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