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Devils more than hang with JB

December 09, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Traveling with only enough wrestlers to cover nine of the 14 weight classes, Greencastle-Antrim wasn't expected to hang with arch-rival James Buchanan for very long, if at all, in the season opener for each team Thursday night.

"We didn't expect to, either," Greencastle junior captain Conrad Myers said.

"We thought it was a done deal," Greencastle coach Fred Yelton said.

It was a done deal, when Dillon Langston pinned JB's Chad Jordan in the first period at 130 pounds to give his team a 40-19 lead with only two bouts left. The Rockets won the final two bouts by forfeits, but it didn't matter as the Blue Devils took the Mid-Penn Capital Division showdown, 40-31.

"We almost had to wrestle a perfect match to beat them," Yelton said. "Giving up four forfeits, that was a big win for us."

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Greencastle won six of the eight contested weight classes, including five by pins, won another by forfeit, benefited from there being no bout at 125 and didn't allow any pins.

In the first bout of the night, Greencastle's Ryan Christman pinned Anthony Landis in 1:52 at 145.

"When Christman came up with a pin in the first match, I thought something might be in the works," Yelton said. "When those pins started to roll, I thought, 'This is good stuff.'

"We have a great group of kids and they really surprised us tonight with how well they wrestled."

Matt Copenhaver (171), Kyle Hansen (215) and Anthony Derigo (275) also had pins for the Blue Devils, while Myers was a 14-5 winner over Derek Straley at 160 in the night's top-billed bout.

Straley went 20-12 last season at 145, while Myers went 25-0 at 152 before failing to make weight for the postseason.

"He's a tough wrestler. That was supposed to be the big match," Myers said. "I just wrestled hard and stayed focused. ... I want to redeem myself from last year."

He and the Blue Devils had all the motivation they needed Thursday.

"This was a real big match for us," Myers said. "They're right down the road from us. If you can't get pumped up for JB, you can't get pumped up for anybody. Being the season opener just made it more exciting."

For James Buchanan, Aaron Lynch won by decision at 152 and Dustin Pine, a PIAA Class AA state qualifier last season, won by major decision at 189.

"It's a little disappointing," JB coach Bill Mitchell said. "It's mostly my fault, not having our team as prepared as they should have been. We have to go back to the room, work on our mistakes and step it up a notch."

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