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One and done - Upset-minded Lions beaten by Kent County

February 11, 2002

One and done - Upset-minded Lions beaten by Kent County



By AL DITZEL
alfredd@herald-mail.com

Kent Co. 52
Walkersville 16

103-Jordan Merritt (K) md. Josh Work, 16-5; 112-Artie Kaehler (K) p. Jake Evey, :29; 119-Jeremy Yerkie (K) d. Chad Cotterman, 5-4; 125-Dan Caywood (W) p. Curtis Merritt, 1:03; 130-Brian Fox (K) d. Ed Asbill, 6-3; 135-Bobby Bramble (K) p. Danny Crum, 4:26; 140-Michael Smith (W) md. Ronnie Bramble, 18-9; 145-Russell Conrad (K) p. Tim Mulford, 3:45; 152-Trey Kohl (K) p. Zach McLain, 2:29; 160-Ben Shaw (K) p. Ryan King, 5:23; 171-Jimmy Francis (W) p. Omar Bonilla, 4:40; 189-Joey Kirwan (K) p. Billy Burke, :43; 275-Willie Leonard (K) p. Jason Stambaugh, 1:01.



BALTIMORE - Moments after Walkersville and Kent County shook hands Saturday, the Lions began a rhythmic clap. They huddled close and yelled, "1-2-3, Lions!"

That is what typified Walkersville's dual meet season - not its 52-16 loss to Kent County in the Md. Class 1A/2A semifinals at Lansdowne High School.

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"You have to stay up," Walkersville coach Bryan Biehl said. "I know I was disappointed in couple of matches, but I had to get fired up again.

"Once you get down, it's like throwing in the towel," Biehl said. "They weren't that much better than us."

In its first trip to the state semifinals, Walkersville (13-3-1) won three of 13 bouts, as sophomores Dan Caywood and Jimmy Francis recorded pins and freshman Michael Smith posted a major decision.

Despite the lopsided score, the Lions showed great enthusiasm. Nearly before every bout, they formed the line clapping and finished with their chant, "Lions on the warpath, ooh, aah!"

Walkersville was on the path several times, but couldn't track fast enough.

At 130 pounds, Kent County elected to send Brian Fox, last year's 119 state champ who normally wrestles 125, out against Ed Asbill.

"I was a little disappointed," Caywood said of the marquee matchup that didn't happen. "But, guys have to do what they have to do."

Biehl reacted indifferently.

"It didn't bother me," he said. "And, hey, we were right there in that one. If we had gotten a tilt or something, we're looking overtime."

Asbill lost to Fox, 6-3. Fox scored a takedown and nearfall in the first period for a 4-0 lead. The wrestlers exchanged reversals in the second period before Fox was whistled for stalling in the third period for the final score.

After Kent County pinned at 135, Smith stepped up. The freshman dominated his bout from the start, registering five sets of backpoints en route to an 18-9 major.

Kent County then took over, pinning in three straight bouts for a 27-4 lead heading into Franciss' 171 matchup. Francis waited patiently before pinning 40 seconds into the final period.

As expected, Kent County dominated at 189 with Joey Kirwan and 275 with Willie Leonard, two state third-place winners last year.

"We really wanted to get here," Walkersville's junior heavyweight, Jason Stambaugh, said. "We need to improve and step it up here next year."

Kent County scored a major decision at 103 and a pin at 112 before Walkersville's Chad Cotterman lost 5-4 to Jeremy Yerkie, also a state third-place winner last year. The bout was as close as the score indicates. Tied 3-3 in the third period, Yerkie scored with a takedown with 53 seconds left in the bout. Cotterman, a freshman, escaped but could not record the go-ahead takedown.

Caywood (30-0) made short work of his opponent with a pin in 1:03 to finish the match.

"I just want to learn from everything here this year," Caywood said. "I want to be able to lead us back here next year."

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