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Washington County Tournament is wide open

February 17, 2006|nby ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

The Williamsport wrestling team went 4-0 in dual meets this season against the four other public schools in Washington County, beating Boonsboro, South Hagerstown, North Hagerstown and Smithsburg in that order.

But Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said the 16th annual county tournament this Saturday at South is "a whole different ball game."

"It's a balanced year, the most balanced year that I've seen," he said. "Boonsboro's improved, Smithsburg has some outstanding wrestlers, South has a couple kids who can win titles and North, obviously, has more than a couple kids who can win it.

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"Hopefully, we'll wrestle well. If we wrestle well, we have a shot to win it."

The Hubs, who tied for first with Williamsport in the MVAL Antietam, lead the way with six No. 1 seeds - Delon Agee (103 pounds), Joe Breehl (112), Jim Eichelberger (130), Derek McCarty (171), Joey Lamp (189) and Michael Cline (215).

Smithsburg, the reigning county champ, has three top seeds - James Reilley (119), Brandon Knight (145) and Justin Hovermale (160).

Williamsport has two - Peter Smith (125) and Rob Shawley (275) - as does Boonsboro - Bret Nalley (135) and Jon Wood (140).

Jake Hockensmith (152), who hasn't wrestled since the Hub Cup because of the broken nose he suffered there, is the lone No. 1 seed for the host Rebels.

The toughest weight class might be 130. Williamsport's Todd Judd, the reigning champ at 130, is seeded second, and Smithsburg's Logan Miss, who won at 119 last year, is third.

At 135, Nalley will be looking to become the county's sixth four-time champ. He won at 103 as a freshman, 112 as a sophomore and 125 last year.

All county champs are guaranteed berths at next weekend's Maryland Class 2A-1A West region tourney at Francis Scott Key.

"That's the big thing. It's some incentive," Rechtorovic said. "There are some kids who won't make it this year otherwise. Our region is stacked this year. It's insanely tough."

The county tourney begins at 1 p.m. Finals are expected to begin around 5.

Region II at Hedgesville

Hedgesville will host the West Virginia Class AAA Region II tourney for the first time Saturday. The first round begins at 10 a.m. and the finals are expected to begin around 4 p.m.

Three of the top-10 teams in the state rankings - No. 5 East Fairmont, No. 7 North Marion and No. 9 Hedgesville - are in the eight-team field.

"It's going to be happening," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "Let me tell you, it's going to be happening."

He said he's hoping his Eagles improve on their third-place region finish from last year.

"We had the best team in the house last year but finished third," Whittington said. "Our kids choked."

Wrestlers will not be seeded until tonight. Musselman's Dustin Haislip (125) and Hedgesville's Danny Armstrong (103) and Greg Lyman (215) likely will be No. 1s.

The top four in each weight class advance to next week's state tournament at the Civic Center in Huntington.

"Winning the regional tournament is secondary," Whittington said. "The first goal is qualifying as many kids as you can for states. We should be able to get six or eight in, but we could get as many as 11 or 12. It all depends on how everyone performs Saturday."

At 112, Jefferson junior Colton Gustines, last year's region champ at 103, might get the chance to avenge his lone loss of the season against East Fairmont's Drew Jenkins. Jenkins edged Gustines 4-3 in the semifinals of the Winner's Choice tourney last month.

Berkeley Springs' Tyson Bennett (160) and Cody Reed (171) are top seeds for the West Virginia AA-A Region II tourney at Frankfort High School today and Saturday. Josh Connor (103) and A.J. Blankenship (119) are each seeded second for the Indians.

PIAA sectionals

The PIAA Class AAA postseason begins today for Chambersburg and Waynesboro with two-day District 3 sectional tourneys, with the top four in each weight class advancing to next weekend's district championships in Hershey, Pa.

The Trojans, who took over the No. 1 spot in the latest Herald-Mail Coaches' Poll, are in Section I at Mechanicsburg High School, while the Indians are in Section IV at South Western High School.

David Plum (135) and Jon Rhone (275) are No. 2 seeds for Chambersburg.

Greencastle-Antrim and James Buchanan compete in District 3 Class AA Section IV on Saturday at Susquenita High School.

Greencastle junior Conrad Myers, who hasn't lost since his freshman season, is seeded first at 152. Myers' season ended at sectionals last year when he failed to make weight.

JB's Dustin Pine, the reigning section champ at 189, is the No. 2 seed at 189. The senior could get the chance to avenge one of his two losses this season against Boiling Springs' Jeremy Cannon, the top seed.

Greencastle's Dale Nichols (160) and JB's Cody Barrick (119) and Derek Straley (152) also are No. 2 seeds.

Independents

Mercersburg Academy competes in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state tourney today and Saturday in Pottstown, while St. James is in the Maryland Independent Schools state championships today and Saturday at McDonogh High School.

St. James junior Jimmy Sutch's unbeaten record and No. 2 state ranking are on the line at 171.

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