The fat lady isn't singing yet

McGill still has one match left - and it might be his toughest

McGill still has one match left - and it might be his toughest

March 07, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Williamsport senior Mike McGill's 3-1 victory over Harford Tech's Matt Kahl in the Class 2A-1A 145-pound final at the Maryland State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday night would have been a fitting end to McGill's splendid high school career - if that was his final stand on the prep mats.

It wasn't.

McGill, who proved he's the state's best 145-pounder in 2A-1A, still wants to prove he's the best overall in the weight class.

He'll get that opportunity Thursday evening at the Maryland Senior All-Star Classic at River Hill High School when he squares off with Chopticon's Michael Cannon, the 4A-3A champ.


McGill, a two-time state champ with a 114-9 career record, finished the season at 33-1. His only setback was a 7-3 loss to Cannon in the finals of the Damascus Tournament in December.

The potential rematch has been in the back of McGill's mind ever since.

"I've got a little bit of a vendetta," he said. "It's what I've been working for since December. I did what I had to do to get into the match, and now I've got to find a way to win."

It won't be easy. Cannon, who went 39-0 this season, said he is prepared for the rematch.

"I'm ready," said Cannon after his 5-0 victory over Walt Whitman's Erol Civan in Saturday's championship finals. "I'm just going to go out the same way I did last time, stay focused and wrestle my match.

"McGill's a good kid. He's tough. It will be a hard-fought match. ... But now it's just for fun. The season is over."

Overall, six area wrestlers ended their seasons - and prep careers - as 2A-1A state placewinners.

Middletown senior Andrew Presnell was the champion at 275 and Walkersville senior Chad Cotterman was the runner-up for the second straight year at 135, while Smithsburg's trio of seniors - Jeff Sprecher, Mike Rinebolt and Derick Quillen - got the job done in the consolation brackets. Sprecher placed fourth at 160, Rinebolt fifth at 215 and Quillen sixth at 140. Of the six, Quillen was the only first-time placewinner.

Spreading the love

Even minutes after capturing his second straight state crown Saturday, McGill refused to soak up all of the glory. He was adamant about extending the credit for his success.

"I was real fortunate to have a family that cared about me so much," he said. "They knew I had a chance to be good, and they supported me a lot more than a lot of other parents and it paid off. A big part of this medal goes out to them."

He also sent part of it out to his coaches.

"I've had a bunch of good coaches since junior league," he said. "And I've taken a little bit from each one."

Perhaps the best guidance he received came from second-year Williamsport head coach Mike Rechtorovic, for whom McGill felt the need to vouch.

"A lot of people criticize (Rechtorovic) and don't like him," McGill said. "He's from New York. He's an outsider, and he came in and took over the program. A lot of people are bitter about that.

"But I've got nothing but good things to say about him. Since I've been coached by him, I've only lost two matches and I've won two state titles."

Rechtorovic was teary-eyed after leaving his matside seat Saturday night. All of his wrestlers are special. McGill was one of a kind.

"He's one of the best ever," Rechtorovic said. "I wish I had 14 more of him coming back next year. I'm going to miss him. He's not just a wrestler. He's become like my little brother."

The Herald-Mail Articles