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Prep wrestling notes - Mat action already in high gear

December 20, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

So, here we are again, back on the mats.

Our fall All-Area teams haven't even all run yet and some wrestlers have already competed in nearly 20 bouts.

Obviously, there's plenty of action to talk about.

Depending on who you talk to, the addition this season of the 14th weight class - 215 pounds - in Maryland and Pennsylvania has its pros and cons.

A lot of the criticism is that the heavyweight division isn't as athletic as it used to be.

But you won't hear any complaining from Chambersburg senior Bryan Crist, who's off to a 7-0 start at 215 - including the Trojans' first individual Mid-Penn Tournament title in five years - after duking out an 18-10 mark against the real big boys last season.

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"He was always giving up 40 and 50 pounds, and he was still 18-10. Pretty much everyone he lost to last year, he gave up considerable weight to," said Chambersburg coach Doug Rine. "This year he's wrestling kids the same size as him, so far very nicely."

Talk about a family grapple.

Waynesboro picked up its first Mid-Penn title in three seasons last weekend when junior Brian Lisko scored an 8-4 decision over Central Dauphin's Justin McGarrity in the final at 140.

The Indians' last conference title was won by Lisko's older brother, John, at 135 in the 1999-2000 season.

After dropping his season-opening match, Lisko has won nine straight, including another crown at the Carlisle tourney.

Walkersville, currently ranked eighth in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, is certainly off to hot start at 8-0 (3-0 MVAL).

Thirteen of the Lions' 14 wrestlers have winning records, including unblemished marks by Gleason Sweney at 103, Ed Asbill at 130, Zach McLain at 135, Dan Caywood at 140, Ben Gould at 145 and Brad Nielson at 160.

The MSWA currently lists Caywood as the state's top-ranked wrestler at 145.

However, Walkersville coach Bryan Briehl might be most impressed so far by Nielson, who's just a freshman.

"He's got all the goods," said Briehl. "We're just teaching him now."

Mercersburg Academy is also looking strong early. The Blue Storm, which is 3-0 with a tourney title at the Hallaway Invitational, also have 13 wrestlers with winning records, highlighted by middleweights Adam Rook and Kenan Wright, who are each 10-0.

But Conor McPartland (7-3 at 140) was the big story last weekend at Mercersburg's own invitational.

Trailing 12-2 in the third period of the semifinals, the Blue Storm freshman pulled a pin out of his hat to advance to the finals, where he overcame a 5-2 deficit with another win by fall.

Get this: Greencastle-Antrim defeated Boonsboro 48-24 Tuesday in all of about 10 minutes.

Due to vast holes in each lineup, only three weights were contested. The Blue Devils racked up their points with two pins and six forfeits.

You may have missed the championship action at Berkeley Spring's prestigious Max Horz tourney last Saturday.

Dematha Catholic defended its team title with 240.5 points, while Hedgesville finished fourth in the 17-team field with 156.

Senior Danny Lord, the defending West Virginia AAA champ at 145, led the Eagles by claiming the 145 title, his third Max Horz crown.

Other area champs were: Martinsburg's Chris Conner, who won a hard-fought 9-6 decision over Berkeley Springs' Brandon Clark at 119; Berkeley Springs' Josh Clark, who recorded four straight pins en route to the 189 crown; and Martinsburg's Ryan Bird, who posted three pins before scoring a major decision in the 275 final.

Speaking of heavyweights, Thomas Johnson has an imposing pair of big men.

At 215, Brenden Walmsley is 6-0 with five pins, including three in less than 35 seconds. Meanwhile at 189, Mark Esmont is 6-0 with six pins, including three in less than 40 seconds.

We don't have all the results from Wednesday's Berkeley County Championships, but we do know that Musselman senior Justin Jones had a more-than-solid showing, improving to 7-3 with a title run at 135.

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