Honest, it wasn't me ... really

February 05, 2002

Honest, it wasn't me ... really

Commentary by Al Ditzel

While surfing the All-Maryland Wrestling Forum on the web, I found my name. Surprisingly, it was spelled right and thanks for that.

But, the note about me said I was helping the site in its region rankings. Let me put that rumor to rest. I'm not.

I've been contacted by someone with the site, let me see, there was that time Sunday, and then there was ... no there wasn't! I've been contacted once.

And in my response, I told the person that I see, mostly, Washington County matches and I would not be a good source for information in Frederick County.


Don't get me wrong, I try, or try to get someone on staff, to see as many Frederick County matches as possible. Simply put, we don't see as many as I'd like. Great example, I've never seen Urbana.

Because I don't see as many Frederick County matches, nor Pennsylvania matches nor West Virginia matches, that I'd like, I do not feel comfortable in ranking wrestlers. I don't do it. Never have.

I use, with permission from the Maryland State Wrestling Association, the MSWA rankings when they're posted on time, but I have little, if anything, to do with those rankings.

I do rank area teams, and, like in Sunday's case, I do make mistakes.

For some reason, South Hagerstown's victory over Middletown Saturday didn't register in my brain, though I spoke with both head coaches and updated their team records. But, as in Monday's paper, I corrected that mistake and, again, I apologize.

Earlier this season, an area team's coach gave me his two cents worth on the team rankings. I understood his points and, because he made sensible arguments, I did take those two cents into consideration. He could tell you I didn't agree completely, but some. But, I will not rank wrestlers. Simply, I do not believe my wrestlers rankings would have credibility nor would they mean anything. Wrestling, fortunately, is settled on the mat. I really don't think those MSWA rankings mean a whole lot, but since people in this area want rankings, I give them MSWA rankings.

Some will ask then how does the Herald-Mail select its All- Area team but I'll leave that for two weeks from now.

As for the All-Maryland Wrestling Forum, I do read it pretty much every day. But I don't read it for the rants and raves. I read it for the information and, even then, I do my best to confirm that information with a source.

I think I've posted an article three times this wrestling season - twice to ask for scores of matches and once to post a late match score so a coach could possibly see the result.

Otherwise, there's nothing on the forum from me. And there won't be.

Again, I appreciate the correct spelling of my name.

And, on another note, by a simple raise of hands, and nothing else, who would've liked to have seen Anna Kournikova win a tennis tournament? Imagine what sports sections in newspapers could do with something like that. Just a thought.

Al Ditzel is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 7520 or by e-mail at

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