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Caywood strikes gold

Tsikerdanos suffers first loss

March 07, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Walkersville senior Dan Caywood and Frederick sophomore Mark Tsikerdanos had similar reactions following their bouts in the championship finals at the 35th annual Maryland State Tournament on Saturday night.

They each sought the safety of a far corner of the floor at University of Maryland's Cole Field House and then broke down in tears.

Who could blame them?

Caywood had just won his first state title, edging Owings Mills' Mike Kessler 3-2 for the Class 2A-1A 145-pound crown.

"I worked too hard to come away without anything this year," said Caywood, who left states with silver as a freshman and bronze as a junior. "If I ever dedicated myself to anything, it's winning the state title this year."

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Meanwhile, Tsikerdanos had just suffered his first high school defeat, falling 3-1 to McDonough's Matt Myers at 125 in Class 4A-3A. Tsikerdanos, who won gold at 103 last season, ended his year at 34-1 and is 59-1 for his career.

Myers took him down early in the first period for a 2-0 lead, and Tsikerdanos, who hadn't been taken down since last year's state final, never recovered.

"The hardest part of being undefeated is going so long without facing adversity," Frederick coach Andre Jackson said. "If you don't face adversity during the season, you don't know how to adjust. He didn't have a close match all season. He wasn't even tested until the semifinals (a 7-3 win over Chopticon's Michael Cannon).

"He's a tough kid. He'll bounce back."

Tsikerdanos and Caywood were two of six area wrestlers to advance to the championship finals.

Williamsport's Mike McGill (135) was the only other champion as Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont (189) and Walkersville's Chad Cotterman (135) and Billy Burke (215) each finished second.

In a rematch of last weekend's West region final, McGill beat Cotterman again, this time 4-0 for his first 2A-1A state crown. The Wildcats junior finished third at 103 as a freshman and sixth at 112 last year.

"He went out and knew he had something to do," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "He's had this goal for years. He's been close the last two years and this time he got it done. He works hard and it finally paid off. He deserves it."

Burke fell 5-3 to FSK's Tom Rush, as his potential match-tying takedown didn't beat the final buzzer.

In a rematch of last week's 4A North final, Towson's Scott Steele (33-0) once again was more than Esmont (34-2) could handle. But the Patriots senior didn't lose his grip until the end. Esmont led 5-3 before getting turned and pinned with 25 seconds left in the match.

Of the 14 Washington County wrestlers who made the trip to Cole Field House, six left as 2A-1A placewinners.

In addition to McGill's championship win, Williamsport's Jeff Short (140) and Adam Bridendolph (145) each finished fourth, Smithsburg's Mike Rinebolt (215) took fifth and Williamsport's Ryan Bowers (125) and Smithsburg's Jeff Sprecher (160) each placed sixth.

Rinebolt was the only one of the bunch to end with a victory in the final, place-determining round of the consolations, topping North Caroline's Mike Bischoff, 9-3. It was the Smithsburg junior's second match after falling 2-1 in overtime to Burke in the championship semis.

"That was pretty heartbreaking, but you still have to keep wrestling," Rinebolt said. "I just went out and gave it everything I had and got fifth. I think that's pretty good for my first time here."

The area's other 2A-1A placewinners were Brunswick's Mike Leveille (third at 140) and Middletown's Mike Schlepp (third at 135), Andrew Presnell (third at 275) and Matt Maddox (sixth at 130).

Leveille avenged both of his season losses to Short - including last weekend's overtime setback in the West region final - in the bronze-medal match, hitting a five-point move with 30 seconds left for a 5-1 decision.

"In Short's case, beating a quality wrestler three times is just tough to do, no matter who it is," Rechtorovic said. "I'm upset that those three seniors (Short, Bridendolph and Bowers) couldn't go out with wins but they all had great seasons and went out with places."

Owings Mills won its second straight 2A-1A team title with 133. 5 points. Walkersville was fourth with 80, while Williamsport was sixth with 68.

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