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Wrestling favorites rule for most part

February 25, 2002|By AL DITZEL

CUMBERLAND, Md. - Most of this season, South Hagerstown's Stephen Copeland has been in the shadows of North Hagerstown's Chris Joliet and Williamsport's Cory Kuczynski in the 119-pound weight class.

Last week, in the Washington County Tournament, Copeland defeated Kuczynski for the first time in five tries. Today, Copeland gets an opportunity to turn the tables on Joliet after scoring an upset victory Friday in the Maryland Class 1A/2A West Regional tournament at Fort Hill.

Copeland, fifth seeded, defeated Beall's fourth-seeded Chris Lewis, 6-3. During today's 10 a.m. semifinal round, Copeland will get another opportunity against the top-seeded Joliet, who has never lost to Copeland. It will be a rematch of last week's WCT final.

"(Joliet's) wrestled like nine years and I've wrestled three," Copeland said. "I need to just work moves that I know. I can't get caught up wrestling his style."

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Meanwhile, pushing seven of eight participants into the semifinals, Williamsport took a one-point lead in the team standings after the quarterfinal round Friday. All consolation bouts will be held today begining at 10.

Led by first seeds Mike McGill (103), Brian Forsythe (112), Travis Brown (140) and Matt Allen (189), the Wildcats scored 45 points. Francis Scott Key has 44 points.

All first-seeded wrestlers won last night, including North's Steve Fravel, Walkersville's Dan Caywood (125), South's Brandon Ashby (135) and Middletown's Ryan McQuillen (152).

Fravel handed Smithsburg's Adam Roane an 14-7 loss. Roane had upset Fravel last week in the WCT semifinals.

"He beat me, I give him that," Fravel said. "I needed to prove that he can't go the distance with me. He caught me last week when I thought I had scored a reversal. I definitely felt I had something to prove."

McQuillen major decisioned Walkersville's Zach McLain, 13-5. McQuillen was injured in a car accident earlier this year and returned to the mat just last week to win the Frederick County Tournament.

"I feel fine," McQuillen said. "I'm a little tired, but that's from the bus ride. I feel good."

Ahead for McQuillen is North's Dustin McDonough, who defeated McQuillen by a major in a December dual meet.

"I can't worry about him," McQuillen said. "My goal is to get to states. If I'm wrestling him (in the finals), then I've already made states.

"There are so many good wrestlers here so there's no guarantee that he'll get there. I'm not saying he's not going to get there, it's just that it's not a given."

Nothing's a given at this stage of the season. Catoctin proved that again on Friday. Two times Catoctin wrestlers knocked off second-seeded wrestlers. Sean Overzat edged Fort Hill's Jared Skelley, 6-5, at 103 and Josh Sharp pinned South Hagerstown's Nathan Mose in 1:17.

The top four wrestlers in each class advance to the state tournament next week. Tonight's finals begin at 5.

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