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Title would be a Rush for Reinbolt

February 25, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

All Mike Rinebolt wants is another shot at Francis Scott Key's Tommy Rush.

If the seedings hold true, the Smithsburg senior should get that opportunity Saturday during the championship finals of the Maryland Class 2A-1A West Wrestling Tournament at Fort Hill.

The tournament begins today.

"I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't get to wrestle him one more time," said Rinebolt, who's seeded second to Rush at 215 pounds. "I'd always be second-guessing myself."

In the 2A-1A state rankings, Rush, the reigning state champ at 215, is ranked No. 1. Rinebolt is No. 4.

Their separation on the mat has been even slighter. At last year's region tourney, Rush edged Rinebolt 3-2 in double overtime for the title. During a dual meet this season, Rush slipped by Rinebolt, 4-3.

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The top four finishers in each of the eight-man weight classes advance to next weekend's state tournament at the University of Maryland.

Rinebolt will be one of 10 Smithsburg wrestlers trying to advance and is one of four Leopards seeded in the top four. The other three are Derick Quillen (third, 140), Jeff Sprecher (first, 160) and Nate Hayes (fourth, 189).

Other No. 1 seeds include: Boonsboro's Bret Nalley (125), Walkersville's Chad Cotterman (135), Williamsport's Mike McGill (145) and Middletown's Andrew Presnell (275).

McGill, who beat Cotterman in the finals at both regions and states at 135 last year, is gunning for a fourth straight region crown. The Williamsport senior won at 103 as a freshman and 112 as a sophomore.

Despite being a heavy favorite, McGill, the No. 1 145-pounder in the 2A-1A state rankings, said he knows he has to do more than just show up to win.

"I have to wrestle one match at a time," he said. "I really don't know people outside our county, so I have to be ready first match out."

Nalley advanced to states last year by winning in the consolation finals to take third at 112. The Boonsboro junior wants to do more than just advance this year.

"I want to finish in the top two," Nalley said. "I've never made it to the finals for regionals."

Other top-four seeds include: Brunswick's Terry Bartholomew (second, 119); Catoctin's Andy Kokoski (second, 130); Middletown's Tyler Strube (second, 103), Ryan Tice (third, 125) and Leif Huber (fourth, 145); North Hagerstown's Jonathan Breehl (second, 152); South Hagerstown's Terrail Blair (fourth, 135); Walkersville's Ryan Sweeney (fourth, 130), Mike Smith (fourth, 152) and Danny Neel (fourth, 160); and Williamsport's Earl Neville (fourth, 103) and Todd Judd (third, 130).

Breehl, who finished second in the region last season, is 25-3 this season. Two of those three losses have come against wrestlers in his bracket - South Carroll's top-seeded Tom Wheeler and Walkersville's fourth-seeded Smith.

"A lot of competition, but I'm psyched," Breehl said. "Two guys at regionals have beaten me so I'm coming back hard."

Today's schedule is: Preliminaries at 5 p.m.; championship quarterfinals at 5:30; and consolation quarterfinals at 8.

Saturday's schedule is: Championship semifinals at 11 a.m.; consolation semifinals at 1 p.m.; third- and fifth-place bouts at 3; and championship finals at 5.

If inclement weather postpones today's action, the tournament will be a one-day affair Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and concluding with the championship finals at 6 p.m.

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