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Mercersburg dispatches Walkersville

Mercersburg dispatches Walkersville

December 09, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Who's No. 1 in the Tri-State?

Mercersburg Academy vs. Walkersville has been a topic of much debate the last few wrestling seasons.

That's mostly because the two teams, which have flip-flopped at No. 1 and No. 2 in the final Herald-Mail poll the last two seasons, never faced each other.

Wednesday night, area wrestling fans received an early-season treat - and some resolution to their arguments - when Mercersburg, last season's No. 1 team, hosted Walkersville and Jefferson in a tri-match.

The Blue Storm defeated the Lions 43-26 in the nightcap, after each team coasted past Jefferson.

"I'll let you do the rankings," Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson said. "But I think we made our case."

The Storm (2-0) made their case early against Walkersville (1-1), getting pins from Josh Edgin (275 pounds), Tyler Mort (103) and Nick Mazzei (112) to jump out to an 18-0 lead.

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"That gave us a lot of momentum," Hendrickson said.

The Lions, who trailed 28-7 after seven bouts and 43-17 after 12, were never able to steal it away.

"It was nice to come here an go head-to-head with them," said Walkersville coach Scott McIntosh, whose team finished second at the Maryland Class 2A-1A state duals last season. "That was the whole idea behind this, to see how we measure up with everybody.

"Mercersburg's very good. A couple of those matches were real close. We're excited. We're hoping again to be county champs and to win the region title."

Edgin, Mazzei, Peter Huntley (135), Brian Moeller (145, 152) and Brad Nielson (171) each recorded a pair of pins for Mercersburg on Wednesday.

Nielson's second pin, coming in 5:11 against Walkersville's Kyle Crapster, seemed to be a bittersweet victory for the Mercersburg junior. Nielson, a Prep All-American for the Storm last year, went 32-6 for the Lions as a freshman before switching schools.

"It was definitely weird," Nielson said. "It was great seeing them, but it was pretty awkward. I used to be on the other side in the other singlet."

Walkersville got two pins each from senior captain Chad Cotterman (140) and freshman phenom Tim Wheatley (215), who needed only 8 seconds to dispose of his Jefferson opponent.

Mercersburg beat Jefferson 68-11 in the opener. Walkersville overcame a 23-6 deficit against the Cougars on its way to a 54-26 victory.

Colton Gustines (103) and Scott Chapman (119) each had a pin and a tech fall for Jefferson (0-5), which completed the Tri-State flavoring.

"These are significant wins for us," Hendrickson said. "Tonight was a great event."

He'd love to make it an annual gathering. It would at least help settle any upcoming Walkersville vs. Mercersburg arguments.

"If we wrestle 10 times over the next 10 years, it would probably go 50-50," Hendrickson said. "Walkersville has tough kids."

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