West wrestlers stay in hunt 'til the end

March 08, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

"The West is the best, the West is the best," Jim Morrison chanted in The Doors' 1967 song "The End." "Get here and we'll do the rest."

Morrison could have been prophesying about this past weekend's Maryland State Wrestling Tournament at University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

Eight of the 14 Class 2A-1A state champs, including Williamsport 135-pounder Mike McGill and Walkersville 145-pounder Dan Caywood, hailed from the West region.

McGill sang a similar song heading into the tournament.

"Our region's the best," the Wildcats junior said after winning his third straight West title Feb. 28, "the best in the state."


The West's 135-pounders kept singing it until the end.

Walkersville's Chad Cotterman, Middletown's Mike Schlepp and Southern-Garrett's Nathan Sines - the second through fourth finishers in the West - also captured the exact same spots at states.

"That shows you how tough the West region is," Cotterman said.

Cotterman tore through the bottom half of the state bracket with two pins and a major decision, while McGill made quick work of the top half with three pins. In Saturday night's final, McGill beat Cotterman, 4-0.

"It was a little closer this time," said Cotterman, who fell 6-0 to McGill in the West final. "I wish I could have won, but I'm happy with second place. He's a tough wrestler."

McGill knew the final would be his toughest match of the weekend.

"I didn't expect any wild things to happen. I wasn't expecting another pin," he said. "I just needed to score my points."

In the consolation final, Schlepp pinned Sines in 4:37 for the bronze.

Caywood earns degree

"I made him go through hell to beat me," said Caywood, following his double-overtime loss to Owings Mills' Mike Kessler in the Eagles' 40-31 win over the Lions at the 2A-1A state dual-meet championships Feb. 14. "It won't be the last time I see Kessler in a matchup. I'm sure of that."

How prophetically true those words were.

Saturday night, Caywood took a tour of the heavens, avenging the loss in the tournament finals. He scored the only takedown of the match in a 3-2 decision over Kessler for the state title.

Was it the single greatest moment of his life?

"Yeah!" Caywood, a three-time state medalist, said, unsuccessfully fighting back the tears. "Oh, yeah!"

Caywood placed second at 112 as a freshman and third at 140 last year.

"I didn't do it in the right order, did I?" he said.

But he did earn his four-year degree in alchemy, changing his bronze and silver into gold.

Lisko captures rare medal

Waynesboro senior Brian Lisko went 3-3 at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships in Hershey, Pa., over the weekend to capture the Class AAA sixth-place medal at 135.

He was the area's only representative in the tournament, the first Waynesboro wrestler to compete at states since Nick Sanders in 2001 and the first Indian to place since Denis Alampiev in 1997.

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