'Cats start defense of region mat title

February 28, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

Williampsort, the defending Class 2A-1A West Region Wrestling Tournament champion, has four No. 1 seeds for this weekend's region tournament.

The tournament is scheduled to begin today at 6 p.m. at Francis Scott Key High School and conclude Saturday with finals at 5 p.m.

If schools are postponed today because of snow, the tourney will be a one-day event Saturday and remain double-elimination, beginning at 10 a.m. If the tourney is snowed out Saturday, it will be rescheduled for Monday and will FSK will host a single-elimination, beginning at 3 p.m.

Williamsport sophomore Mike McGill, who won at 103 pounds last year, is the top seed at 112. The other Wildcats with top seeds are Brian Forsythe (119), Corey Leggett (135) and Devin Hewitt (145). McGill and Leggett are both ranked first in the state for Class 2A-1A, while Forsythe is unbeaten this season.


North Hagerstown's Mike Wagner is the area's other returning champ. Wagner won at 112 last year and is seeded first at 125 this year. The area's other top seeds are Boonsboro's Brett Nalley (103), Walkersville's Ed Asbill (130) and Brad Nielson (160) and Catoctin's undefeated Derek Fogle (189).

Walkersville, the Monocacy Valley Athletic League champ, is considered the pre-tourney favorite by most and will be looking to avenge its loss to Beall at the region duals final - the Lions' only dual-meet setback of the season. Likewise, Asbill could have the chance to avenge his only loss of the season if he reaches the finals against Beall's Chris Lewis, the No. 2 seed at 130.

Walkersville has five wrestlers seeded second in Gleason Sweeney (103), Chad Cotterman (125), Zach McLain (135), Dan Caywood (140) and Ben Gould (145). Also picking up No. 2 seeds are South Hagerstown's Clayton Swisher (215) and Middletown's Andrew Presnell (275).

Interestingly, Swisher is ranked first in Maryland 2A-1A, while top-seeded Juan Feliciano of Winters Mill, is unranked.

The top four from each eight-man bracket advance to states March 7-8 at McDaniel College.

Lord closes in on 200

If Hedgesville's Danny Lord advances to the finals of this weekend's West Virginia Class AAA State Tournament, the senior 152-pounder will become what is believed to be just the nation's 12th prep wrestler to ever reach the milestone.

Yet Lord, who's 49-0 on the season and 197-10 for his career, said he's mostly concerned about adding a second state title to his resume. He won at 145 last year.

"Two-hundred wins is pretty big, especially being the first person to do it in the state of West Virginia, but I want the state title more than anything," said Lord, who became the state's all-time wins leader earlier this year. "I feel pretty good and I've been wrestling pretty tough. I'm just going to take it one match at a time.

"I just don't want to make any mistakes. It's the last time I'm going to wrestle in high school."

The state tournament for both Class AAA and AA/A began Thursday in Huntingdon and concludes Saturday.

Lord won his fourth Region II last weekend. The Eastern Panhandle's other Class AAA region champs, who are all back in action this weekend, were Martinsburg's Robert Conner (119) and Chris Conner (125) and Jefferson's Darrell Dorsey (130), Steven Reynolds (135) and Codie Gustines (140).

In Class AA/A Region II action, Berkeley Springs' Josh Clark won at 189.

Witmer, Miller hit PIAA regionals

James Buchanan's Chad Witmer and Greencastle-Antrim's Tony Miller are the area's lone survivors in the PIAA postseason.

Witmer placed fifth at 125, while Miller captured sixth at 275 at last weekend's District 3 Class AA championships to earn berths at the Southeast Regional tourney, which begins today in West Lawn. The top five in each weight advance to states.

For the second straight season, none of the area's Class AAA wrestlers advanced past districts, where only three moved on to states from each weight.

Waynesboro's Nathan Geesaman (130) and Brian Lisko (140) both finished fourth, each losing by decision in the consolation finals. Chambersburg's Bryan Crist (215) bowed out in the consolation semis.

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