Leopards pin Wildcats

coach gets call to Hall

February 03, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - Joe Dietrich probably wishes Groundhog Day 2005 was a little bit more like "Groundhog Day" the movie.

The longtime Smithsburg wrestling coach had such a splendid day Wednesday, it certainly would be worth reliving a few more times.

Wednesday afternoon, Dietrich learned that he was voted into the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame. Hours later, his Leopards beat rival Williamsport 46-24 to all but secure the MVAL Antietam Conference crown.

"I thought maybe some day, but ... I was surprised. I was just blown away when I was even nominated," said Dietrich of the Hall, in which he officially will be inducted during next month's state tournament at University of Maryland. "It's a huge honor. It's really neat. I'm humbled."


The No. 5 Leopards (17-2, 5-0) did the humbling on the mat against the No. 10 Wildcats (11-6, 4-1), winning 10 of 14 bouts, five by fall.

"Everything worked out the way we wanted it to go," said Dietrich, whose team only needs to get by Catoctin - a 63-13 loser to Williamsport last week - for sole possession of the conference title it had to share with North Hagerstown last year.

Despite its stellar season, Smithsburg most likely won't make the cut for the Class 2A-1A West dual-meet championships.

"I basically said to the guys, 'We're not going to get in, so this is our big match right here,'" Dietrich said.

Brandon Knight set the pace for Smithsburg in the first bout of the night at 140, scoring the winning takedown with 54 seconds left for a 3-2 decision over Jesse Duvall.

Williamsport immediately picked up the pace, getting a win by forfeit from Mike McGill (145) and a pin from Eric Spielman (152) for a 12-3 lead.

The advantage didn't last long as the Leopards won the next five bouts - pins by Justin Hovermale (160), Jeremy Harbaugh (171), Nate Hayes (215) and Mike Rinebolt (275) and a decision from Jeff Sprecher (189) - for a 30-12 lead.

Harbaugh's pin of Frank Larrazabal was especially key.

"That was huge," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "They bumped in a JV kid and got a pin out of it. They couldn't ask for more than that. If we get a win there, we break up their momentum."

Williamsport's Mark Mayo finally stopped it at 103, decking Jeff Poffenberger in 26 seconds to cut the deficit to 30-18.

James Reilly (112) and Logan Miss (119) immediately regained the momentum for the Leopards. Reilly edged state-ranked 103-pounder Earl Neville 12-7, and Miss scored a buzzer-beating takedown in the third period for a 7-5 decision over Pete Smith to secure his team's victory.

"With seven seconds left, I came with all I had, and I just came out with the win," Miss said. "This is what we've been working for. This is the MVAL conference championship. It's just huge."

Wes McKenen (125) won by fall and Derick Quillen (135) by major decision to round out Smithsburg's scoring. The Wildcats got their finals points from Todd Judd's pin at 130.

"They're a good team," Rechtorovic said. "They won the close matches, and we didn't. There's nothing more to really say."

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