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Leopards roll to county title

February 20, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Despite the giant target on Smithsburg's back, hitting the bull's-eye still was a nearly impossible task Saturday at the 15th annual Washington County Public Schools Wrestling Tournament at North Hagerstown.

"Everyone's out to get Smithsburg," North 152-pounder Jonathan Breehl said. "They're the best in the MVAL right now."

The Leopards reinforced their status as the best team in the county. They sent 10 wrestlers to the championship finals and came away with six weight-class titles en route to a winning total of 188 1/2 points. North was the runner-up with 151 points.

Smithsburg, which hadn't been crowned county champ since 1993, also won the MVAL Antietam Conference dual-meet title this season.

"Super year, just a super year," Leopards coach Joe Dietrich said. "We did a great job, wrestled tough and really came through. With all the seniors we had, we were hoping to have a good year and we surely did."

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In the championship finals, James Reilly ignited the Leopards' title run with a 3-2 win over North's Brad Trail at 112 pounds, and Mike Rinebolt capped it at 215, pinning North's Michael Cline in 4:22.

"We came in trying to prove that we had a good team," Rinebolt said. "I don't think people gave us the credit that we worked for, so hopefully this county title will show how hard we worked."

In between for the Leopards, Logan Miss beat Williamsport's Peter Smith 8-6 at 119, Derick Quillen was a 6-3 winner over Williamsport's Jimmy Fiorita at 140, Jeff Sprecher pinned North's Derek McCarty in 1:21 at 160 and Nate Hayes won a 7-3 decision over South's J.J. Myers at 189.

"It's unbelievable, so great, because we worked so hard to get it," said Sprecher, the Leopards' lone repeat champ. "Now we're the ones who get to come out and hold that big trophy."

Williamsport senior Mike McGill pinned Smithsburg's Brandon Knight in 1:38 at 145 to become the fifth four-time county champ. McGill won at 103 as a freshman, 112 as a sophomore and 135 last year.

"It's a really cool experience because so many people can be here to watch it," said McGill, last year's Maryland Class 2A-1A state champ at 135. "Even though it's only a five-team tournament, there are only a handful of guys who have ever won four, so that makes it pretty special."

Bret Nalley could become the sixth. The Boonsboro junior is 3-for-3 so far. Nalley, who won at 103 as a freshman and 112 as a junior, pinned Smithsburg's Wes McKenen in 1:15 for the title at 125.

The other repeat champs were North seniors Dean Staley and Breehl. In the finals, Breehl pinned Smithsburg's Justin Hovermale in 4:24 at 152, and Staley pinned Smithsburg's Jeremy Harbaugh in 1:38 at 171.

North also got a title fall at 275 from Andrew Brigham, who pinned South's Jeremy Gross in 2:38 to avenge a loss from earlier this season.

The other champs were Williamsport's Todd Judd (130) and South's Derick Boerstler (103) and Terrail Blair (135). In the finals, Judd pinned North's Chris Bumbaugh in 3:41, Boerstler pinned North's Delon Agee in 43 seconds and Blair outscored Williamsport's Jesse Duvall, 18-7.

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