Three county wrestlers remain in title hunt

March 06, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland's top high school wrestlers shined their mining-cap lights straight forward and went to work with their shovels Friday.

Of the 33 area athletes who made the trip to University of Maryland's Cole Field House for the MPSSAA state tournament, 29 remain in the dig for precious metals following Day 1 of the two-day, double-elimination championships.

"We have a really strong region. There's a lot of depth," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "We came with a lot of good wrestlers who can place."


Ten of them still can find gold.

Smithsburg's Mike Rinebolt (215 pounds), Williamsport's Mike McGill (135) and Jeff Short (140), Brunswick's Mike Leveille (140), Middletown's Andrew Presnell (275) and Walkersville's Chad Cotterman (135), Dan Caywood (145) and Billy Burke (215) all went 2-0 in the Class 2A-1A brackets to capture spots in today's semifinals.

In the 4A-3A semis are Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont (189) and Frederick's Mark Tsikerdanos (125), the sophomore superstar who's 58-0 for his career and two wins away from his second state gold.

Rinebolt, McGill, Presnell, Cotterman, Caywood, Burke and Esmont each advanced with two pins.

Rinebolt's advancement was a shocker. Trailing 1-0 in the third period of the quarterfinals, the Smithsburg junior (27-8), competing in his first state tourney, reversed Oakland Mills' previously unbeaten Sean Kendig (30-1) to his back and planted him in 4:57.

"I came out here and forgot about everything - losing, nerves - and just went out and did my moves," Rinebolt said. "My mind just got into a different place. I got into a zone and all the records went out the window."

He faces Burke next.

"I'm pumped up," Rinebolt said. "I'm ready to go."

"It's just a dream to get this far," said Short, who advanced with a pair of decisions in his first state-tourney action.

For his practice partner McGill, a two-time state placewinner, the semis have been a nightmare. That's where his title hopes have ended each of the past two years.

"Hopefully, third time's the charm," McGill said. "I've had some bad luck the past few years and I hope I can break the streak. The bracket's working out the way I wanted it to. I think I have a chance."

McGill and Cotterman, who finished 1-2 at last weekend's West region tourney, seem to be on another collision course.

"I was kind of figuring that the whole time," McGill said. "He's rolling through his half of the bracket."

Short's toughest match of the weekend probably will be his next. He faces Owings Mills' Alex Binder, who's 35-0 and ranked first in the state, in the semis.

"Binder's strong and impressive," Short said. "He's aggressive and comes right at you. But hopefully I can wrestle my match and take him out of his game plan."

Still in the hunt for bronze, after going 1-1 Friday, are: Williamsport's Earl Neville (103), Spencer Peyton (119), Ryan Bowers (125) and Adam Bridendolph (145); Boonsboro's Brett Nalley (112); South Hagerstown's Adam Hockensmith (130); North Hagerstown's Jonathan Breehl (152); Smithsburg's Jeff Sprecher (160), Derick Quillen (130) and Scott White (189); Middletown's Matt Maddox (130), Mike Schlepp (135) and Dan McCallion (215); Walkersville's Mike Smith (140) and Igor Chudinov (189); Catoctin's Rick Toms (152); Thomas Johnson's Brendan Walmsley (215) and Brunswick's Terry Bartholomew (112) and Chad Stocks (160).

Today's action begins with consolation preliminaries at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by the championship semifinals at 11, the consolation quarterfinals at 1 p.m., the consolation semifinals at 2, the consolation finals at 4 and the championship finals at 6:30.

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