Nalley, Warriors starting to gain some respect

January 27, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

Boonsboro senior Bret Nalley can only be overlooked for so long.

"He doesn't get the recognition he deserves because he comes from Boonsboro, and we're not a successful program," Boonsboro coach Brian Smoot said. "He doesn't want all eyes on him all the time, but a little recognition would be nice."

Nalley finally got to enjoy a piece of the spotlight at the Rebel Invitational last weekend at South Hagerstown. The 135-pounder went 9-0 at the dual-meet tournament and was named the tourney's most outstanding wrestler. His final victory Saturday gave him 100 for his career as he became the first athlete in the 12-year history of Boonsboro's wrestling program to reach that milestone.

"Hands down, he's the most successful wrestler in Boonsboro history," Smoot said. "He's a three-time county champ and a two-time state qualifier. That's quite an accomplishment."


Overall, the Rebel Invitational was Boonsboro's most successful outing in recent memory and certainly in Smoot's five years at the helm.

The Warriors didn't win a single dual meet during Smoot's first three years. Last season, they won one. Last weekend, they went 4-5 for their first wins of the season.

"That just shows how far our program is coming," Smoot said. "The kids wrestled very well. I'm proud of what they accomplished. I just hope it continues to grow. If things keep going the way they're going, we'll turn a couple of heads."

Smoot said Nalley's example has led the way.

"He works hard every day," Smoot said. "But he has fun while he's working hard so he doesn't make it look like hard work. That helps draw kids in."

Saints want piece of title

For the second straight year, Sidwell Friends ended St. James' hopes of being the outright Mid Atlantic Conference champion, beating the Saints 39-30 in a dual meet last Saturday.

And for the second straight year, St. James hopes to end Sidwell Friends' hopes of being the outright MAC champ.

The regular-season dual meets are only half of the picture. The conference tournament today at St. James is the other half.

"As the boys have said, 'Being co-champion is better than being no champion,'" said St. James coach Jesse Young, whose Saints have won the last three MAC tourneys. "We hope we have the ability to come back and split the league championship again. We have five, maybe six, guys who have legitimate shots at winning their weight classes."

Rex Salisbury (160 pounds) and Jimmy Sutch (189) both are going for their third straight MAC titles for St. James.

CVAL championships

Hedgesville also has a streak on the line this weekend at the Cumberland Valley Athletic League dual-meet championships at Musselman.

"We've won five CVAL titles in a row, but it's going to be tight," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "Fort Hill has a decent team, and we only beat Musselman by two in December."

The Eagles edged the Applemen 39-37 for the Berkeley County title on Dec. 14.

"It should come down to us and Musselman, and it's going to be tight. It's going to be worth seeing," Whittington said. "I'd rather draw them later in the afternoon than in the morning, because it usually takes us a couple matches to get rolling."

Note: Hedgesville 189-pounder Justin Everhart recently reached the 100-win milestone.

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