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Hub Cup still a test for stars

January 10, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Following his championship quarterfinals bout at the 17th annual Hub Cup Invitational on Friday night, Frederick's Mark Tsikerdanos quietly walked off the mat and up into the stands at North Hagerstown, before slamming down his head gear in frustration and taking a seat.

Had the sophomore 125-pound wrestler just suffered his first high school loss?

No, his 15-0 third-period tech fall over Northwest's John Fazio just wasn't as "clean" as he wanted it to be.

"I'm just not wrestling good right now. I wrestled really sloppy," Tsikerdanos said. "I just felt sloppy and sluggish."

Obviously, Tsikerdanos, who pinned his way to the 103 crown at the Hub Cup last year, has extremely high expectations for himself.

"He was upset that he couldn't pin him," Frederick coach Andre Jackson said. "He's his toughest critic. It's a little compulsive, but I guess that's what makes him so good."

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In the gymnasium filled with stars this weekend, Tsikerdanos, a Class 4A-3A state champ last year, might be the most featured attraction.

"When you say, 'Tsikerdanos,' everyone knows it," South Hagerstown 125-pounder Jake Hockensmith said.

With his two pins Friday, Hockensmith is just one win away from a potential finals matchup with the Cadets' superstar. But the Rebels sophomore certainly isn't looking past this morning's championship semifinals, where he'll face Williamsport's Ryan Bowers, who also advanced with a pair of pins.

Hockensmith's only loss this season came against Bowers, who won by major decision in the teams' dual meet.

"I've been improving just to face Bowers," Hockensmith said. "It's going to be a rumble. I'm not going to give up without a fight."

Washington County's other championship quarterfinals winners were Williamsport's Earl Neville (103), Spencer Peyton (119) and Jeff Short (135) and North Hagerstown's David Broadwater (119), Dean Staley (171) Andrew Widmeyer (189) and Daniel Fox (215).

Neville, a freshman, improved to 12-1 with two quick pins, his 11th and 12th wins by fall this season.

"I just wanted to get to the semifinals and work my way up," said the second-seeded Neville.

Following the championship quarterfinals, Northwest led the 18-team field with 66.5 points, one point ahead of Walkersville. The Herald-Mail top-ranked Lions finished second in the Hub Cup last year, losing by two points to Quince Orchard.

"Losing it by two points last year," Walkersville coach Scott McIntosh said, "it was one of those things you don't forget."

Six Lions - Gleason Sweeney (103), Chad Cotterman (135), Mike Smith (140), Dan Caywood (145), Ben Gould (152) and Jimmy Francis (171) - are still alive in the championship rounds.

"We're looking good. Hopefully that will carry through to tomorrow," McIntosh said. "And we have a few guys who are going to come back and get us some points in the consolations."

The area's other wrestlers still perfect in the tourney are Catoctin's Colten Eureka (112) and Zach Ausherman (160), Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont (189) and Joe Ellis (275) and Middletown's Dan McCallion (215) and Andrew Presnell (275).

Today's Hub Cup schedule: championship semifinals, 10-11:30 a.m.; consolation wrestlebacks, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; consolation quarterfinals, 1-2:15 p.m.; consolation semifinals, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; fifth- and seventh-place matches, 5-6 p.m.; third-place matches, 6-7 p.m.; and championship finals, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

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