Present, future power Storm

January 30, 2003|by ANDY MASON

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Mercersburg Academy's senior wrestlers put on one final show for the home crowd Wednesday night.

Their teammates showed there should be a lot more coming next year.

The No. 2 Blue Storm (19-3) won 10 of 14 bouts, including a 3-0 showing from their trio of senior starters, to post a convincing 54-21 victory over No. 6 South Hagerstown (10-5-1) on Senior Night at Nolde Gymnasium.

"It was big because it was my last match at home," said Mercersburg senior Kenan Wright, who's seventh on the school's all-time wins list with 109. "I wanted to leave a lasting impression on the home crowd."

Wright erupted in the first period at 125 pounds, scoring four first-period takedowns on Javaughn Young before pinning him in 1:58 to give the Blue Storm a commanding 30-0 lead after five bouts.


Senior Nate Fochtman got Mercersburg rolling in the evening's first bout at 275, quickly overcoming the 70 pounds he was giving up to James Price with a first-period pin.

"My intention," Fochtman said, "was just to set the tone for everyone else."

Mission accomplished. Mercersburg got six points in each of the next four bouts - including third-period pins from Sam Carrasco (103) and Graham Zifferer (119) and a forfeit at 112 - before Terry Jones finally put the Rebels on the board with a quick pin at 130.

The Blue Storm immediately answered at 135 in one of the night's two feature bouts. Senior Adam Rook (29-2) scored the match's only takedown in the second period and made it stand for a 3-2 decision over Stephen Copeland (19-5).

"Rook and Copeland are the two best 130-pounders in the area," said Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson. "That was a great technical match."

Yet, that was just a small taste of what was coming in the final bout, which featured the area 215 class's top two wins leaders in Blue Storm freshman Josh Edgin (24-6) and South senior Clayton Swisher (20-1).

Swisher jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first period, before Edgin - who was saved from a fall by the buzzer - turned the table. The freshman nearly pinned Swisher in each of the next two periods as he took leads of 6-5 and 10-9. Then, knotted at 11-11 with the crowd roaring, Swisher scored the winning takedown with three seconds left for a 13-11 decision.

"He's a tough kid. That's the best match I've been in all year," said Swisher, who's ranked first in Maryland Class 2A/1A. "I just didn't want to go into overtime. I was done. I was gassed."

South's other wins came from pins by Eric McPherson (189) and Emens Rho (152).

Mercersburg also got pins from John Shartle (140), Ryan Reid (145) and Brett Gallaway (160).

"They're a good team, but if we could have gotten a couple different matchups it would have been better," said South coach Brian Brake, who was missing one starter due to injury and had another not make weight. "It's all about preparing for February. That's why you wrestle the better teams, to find out where you are."

No. 2 Mercersburg 54 No. 6 South Hagerstown 21

275 - Nate Fochtman (MA) p. James Price, 1:51; 103 - Sam Carrasco (MA) p. J.C. Walling, 5:00; 112 - Jonathan Edwards (MA) forfeit; 119 - Graham Zifferer (MA) p. Dan Drury, 4:53; 125 - Kenan Wright (MA) p. Javaughn Young, 1:58; 130 - Terry Jones (SH) p. Matt Okoh, 1:07; 135 - Adam Rook (MA) d. Stephen Copeland, 3-2; 140 - John Shartle (MA) p. Roger Kline, 1:06; 145 - Ryan Reid (MA) p. Carl Miller, :48; 152 - Emens Rho (SH) p. Charles Han, 1:00; 160 - Brett Gallaway (MA) p. David West, 1:31; 171 - Matt Englehart (MA) d. J.J. Meyers, 8-4; 189 - Eric McPherson (SH) p. Jamar Galbreath, 3:10; 215 - Clayton Swisher (SH) d. Josh Edgin, 13-11.

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