Boonsboro senior ends career with fourth at states

March 05, 2006|By ANDREW MASON


Bret Nalley's high school wrestling career ended with a loss. But he'll be remembered as a winner - the winningest wrestler in Boonsboro history.

Nalley, a senior, finished fourth at 135 pounds at the Maryland Class 2A-1A state championships Saturday, becoming his school's first state placewinner. In the consolation finals, he fell 5-3 to Rockville's Brett Baulsir.

"I really wanted to end it with a win," said Nalley, a three-time state qualifier. "I really wanted to place, and the higher the better. But at least I'm coming away with something this time instead of nothing."


North Hagerstown sophomore Delon Agee was Washington County's only other placewinner. He finished fifth at 103.

Nalley and Agee each went 1-2 on Saturday after going 2-0 on Friday, when the tournament began.

Nalley was pinned in the second period by eventual state champ Ryan Buff of Calvert in the semifinals. He came back to edge Hereford's Andy McLean 3-2 in the consolation semifinals, before falling to Baulsir.

"We're happy that he placed, but you always want to do better," Boonsboro coach Brian Smoot said. "The goal was the state title. ... You like to have a crowning achievement for your career, and that's what we were hoping for here."

Nalley, who became the Warriors' first West region wrestling champ last weekend, finished 36-4 for the season and 115-19 for his career. He's the only wrestler in Boonsboro history to reach the 100-win milestone and only the sixth wrestler in county history to win four county titles.

"He's not happy," Smoot said. "But when he looks back on it, I think he'll be happy.

"Everything he's done at Boonsboro - it's going to take someone phenomenal to come along to match it."

Agee (27-7) became North's first state placewinner since 2002.

After suffering back-to-back pins - first against eventual runner-up Tyler Strube of Middletown in the semifinals and then versus eventual third-place finisher Jake Pennington of Winters Mill in the consolation semifinals - Agee dominated in the bout for fifth. He routed Bohemia Manor's Sam McGreevy, 13-0.

"I was kind of mad from the last two matches," Agee said. "I was just thinking, 'I can't lose this one.'"

Agee, the West's No. 4 seed, beat two region champs at states - North No. 1 Ben Baker of Pikesville in the first round Friday and then East No. 1 McGreevy.

"The pressure got to him last week at regionals," North coach Greg Slick said. "We talked all this week about just chilling out and enjoying it. He came in as a No. 4, so no one had real high expectations for him.

"For Delon to be able to place in the state tournament as a sophomore is a wonderful accomplishment."

Three other Hubs competed Saturday. Sophomore Jim Eichelberger (130) lost in the consolation second round, while junior Josh Borland (160) and senior Derek McCarty (171) each bowed out in the consolation quarterfinals, a win away from placing.

"Do I feel satisfied? No, not really," Slick said. "You always want more as a coach or an athlete. ... Now it's like, 'OK, what are we going to do next?'"

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