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Lions are 'mane' foes of MVAL

January 03, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Call them the "dream team" or the "Walkersville scrappers."

Walkersville wrestling coach Bryan Biehl has referred to his squad as both this season.

For good reason, too. The Lions, ranked No. 1 in The Herald-Mail poll, are off to an 8-0 dual-meet start and fresh off a first-place showing at the Damascus Tournament.

Paced by individual champions Gleason Sweney (103 pounds) and Ed Asbill (130), Walkersville racked up 210.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Bullis School (180) at last weekend's prestigious, 16-team tourney.

"It was real big, winning by 30 points. Our boys are real capable," said Biehl. "We have the dream team this year. It's just incredible. If we keep wrestling hard, we're not going to be beaten in a dual or in a tournament."

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The Lions have 12 wrestlers with winning records, highlighted by Sweney and Asbill, who are perfect at a combined 23-0.

"Our goal is to be state dual champs this year and that's what we're working on," said Biehl, whose squad won the Class 1A/2A West duals title last year. "We're more than worthy of it."

Biehl said his team's next major challenge will come Saturday, when No. 6 Williamsport (3-2, fourth at Damascus) comes to town for a 1 p.m. showdown. Last year, the Wildcats beat the Lions in the regular-season dual before falling to them in the regional duals.

"It's going to be a heated, exciting match, definitely one to see," said Biehl. "It's going to be one heck of a match. The toughest team will win. It's going to come down to heart and strength."

While Walkersville has been solid from top to bottom, Williamsport has relied on the middle of its order to carry the load.

The Wildcats have nine wrestlers with .500 or better records from 112 to 171. They picked up Damascus tourney titles from Mike McGill (112), who is still perfect at 8-0, Brian Forsythe (119) and Devin Hewitt (145).

"We're tough in there, too," said Biehl of his middle. "It's going to be whoever wins those. It'll be tight.

"But our boys are trained to fight. We're the Walkersville scrappers. It's going to a good brawl on Saturday."

  • While Walkersville vs. Williamsport is Saturday's feature matinee, the MVAL nightcap should be just as fierce at North Hagerstown later that evening.

    At 6 p.m., the No. 3 Hubs (6-3) host No. 5 South Hagerstown (7-1-1).

    "We expect a great match with South," said North coach Greg Slick. "With a 7-1-1 record, they are obviously wrestling well. ... Things will be intense on Saturday night."

  • The holidays may be gone, but they certainly won't be forgotten.

    At least not by several of the area's matmen who unwrapped holiday tourney crowns.



Middletown's Andrew Presnell won the 275 title at the Mark Males Invitational. ... At the Francis Scott Key Christmas Tournament, Greencastle-Antrim got gold-medal efforts from T.J. Clevenger (130), James Amsley (171), Dan Horst (215) and Tony Miller (275), while Mike Wagner (125) gave North Hagerstown an individual crown. ... Chambersburg's Bryan Crist (215) improved to 11-0 with a Jim Thorpe tourney title. ... At Smithsburg's Leopard Holiday Invitational, Leopards Adam Roane (135), Joe Fox (140) and Justin Mackrell (275), Brunswick's Mike Levielle (145) and Catoctin's Derek Fogle (189) - the tourney's most outstanding wrestler - all registered first-place finishes. ... Martinsburg's Dane Henry (130) may not have won a crown, but he certainly wrestled like a champ. Henry went 8-0 at the Wheeling Park Duals to help the Bulldogs to a 4-4 showing.

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