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Shetler gets best of Barrett this time

January 08, 2006|BY CHRIS CARTER

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. -

It took a new year and a drop in weight class for Hedgesville senior Joe Shetler to finally get some revenge against good friend Billy Barrett of Musselman.

Barrett beat Shetler 8-7 in the 135-pound weight class at the Berkeley County Championships last month, but Shetler went back to work and avenged the defeat Saturday by notching a 6-2 decision over Barrett in the 130-pound championship bout of the Jefferson Invitational Tournament.

"The last time we wrestled it was a close match and he got me," Shetler said. "I went back and tried to correct some stuff ... the little things."

Shetler got off to a quick start with two takedowns in the first period, but Barrett responded with a reversal in the second period to close the gap to 4-2.

"When he got the reversal it made me think I had to get up and go," Shetler said.

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Shetler regained control late in the third period with a reversal to close out the win. Shetler moved back to the 130-pound class after a brief stint at 135 and appeared comfortable with the switch.

"He was having some trouble earlier in the year at 130, so he moved up to 135 for a while," said Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington. "Then he came to me and said he was ready to go back to 130 and he said he could stabilize it. He looked good."

Joining Shetler with an individual title for Hedgesville was Danny Armstrong at 103. Armstrong, who also moved down one weight class, picked up his first ever tournament championship with a 9-2 decision over Sherando's Matt Fletcher. Greg Lyman placed second at 215 for Hedgesville, which finished fifth in the tournament with 131 points.

"To finish fifth with the young squad we have is very encouraging," said Whittington. "This is a tough tournament with a lot of good wrestlers, and I think we fared pretty well."

Musselman's Barrett missed out on an individual title, but 125-pounder Dustin Haislip remained unbeaten this season after a first-period pin of Sherando's Wes Smith in the finals. The Applemen placed 10th with 94 points.

"Coming into this thing I knew there was going to be good, caliber wresters here and it was going to be tough," said Haislip. "I just wrestled and used the stuff I know."

Haislip shared Outstanding Wrestler honors with Brandon Geiswhite, who knocked off previously unbeaten Peter Huntley of Mercersburg Academy at 152 and helped Shikellamy (Pa.) capture the tournament championship with 189 1/2 points, edging out second-place Walkersville (185).

Leading the way for 12th-place Jefferson (69) was Colton Gustines, who earned an 11-2 major decision over Penn Manor's Brandon Vernalli for the 112 title. Gustines suffered an early takedown, but scored 11 unanswered points, including two nearfalls in the third period.

"I saw a couple of (Vernalli's) matches earlier in the tournament," said Gustines. "I figured I'd have to use my speed and try to pick away at him because he's taller. I think he got kind of tired toward the end."

Mercersburg Academy placed two wrestlers in the finals. Huntley fell at 152 and Adam Barnette dropped a heartbreaker to Alex Neal of Midland at 275. Barnette lost via rideout in the second overtime after he couldn't break the grasp of Neal for an escape. Mercersburg, which was without three starters, finished sixth with 128 points.

"This is the first action we've seen in about three weeks, so I think we were a bit rusty," said Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson. "I think we lost some matches that we would have otherwise won with a fresh, healthy squad."

Martinsburg finished 15th with 43 points. The Bulldogs' top finisher was 189-pounder Pat Hoop, who scored a second-period pin of Mercersburg's Andy Eshelman in the consolation final.

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