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No. 6 Saints don't stay on their backs

February 10, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

On his back and trailing 3-2 early in the second period, Sam Ashelman nearly paid the price for helping out a fellow senior Wednesday evening at South Hagerstown.

Taking his second loss of the season might have even been worth it to the St. James wrestler.

No one will ever know for sure.

Ashelman - 32-1 and No. 3 in the Maryland private-school state rankings at 160 pounds - fought off his back and pinned South's J.J. Myers in 3:22 at 189 during the No. 6 Saints' 54-26 victory in the final dual meet of the season for each team.

"I usually wrestle 160," Ashelman said. "We have a bunch of other seniors who normally don't wrestle, so I bumped up so they could wrestle. Basically, whether we won or lost, we were going to put our seniors in the lineup. This is our last match as a team, and our seniors have put in a lot of work."

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After nearly getting pinned by Myers (14-13), Ashelman, who began the second period in the down position, had his work cut out for him.

"He kind of surprised me when he took me to my back," Ashelman said. "The extra weight caught me off guard, I suppose. It was a pretty nerve-racking thing. I just had to fight back."

It's what St. James coach Jesse Young has come to expect from his captain.

"Sam has shown so much heart this year. He's willing to go wherever I send him," Young said. "He was giving up 25 pounds tonight. He just always finds a way to win a match."

Even with a slightly revamped lineup, St. James (15-7) never was threatened Wednesday, winning five bouts by forfeit and also getting pins from senior Eric Brooks (160) and juniors Mac Wiseley (171) and Alex Bust (215).

The Rebels (2-21) managed to end their dismal dual-meet season with at least a moral victory, winning five of the nine contested bouts. South got pins from Reggie Cosens (112), Jake Carder (119) and Jeremy Gross (275), a tech fall from Terrail Blair (135) and a major decision from Jason Waybright (152). The Rebels lost one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I'm really pleased with the way the kids wrestled," South coach Larry Moore said. "You take away the 30 points of forfeits, it's a different match.

"We're young, and we've come a long way. I'm just ecstatic the way we've progressed throughout the year. I'm really excited."

"You can look at the score any way you want. We just wanted to get our seniors in," Young said. "I'm proud of our guys. They live together. They're like brothers. They've developed a close bond and are willing to go out there and work a little harder for their teammates simply because of that bond.

"Their dedication has paid off. Hopefully it will pay off again in two weeks at states."

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