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North wrestlers lose, gain knowledge from Walkersville

December 14, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

Having to wrestle Walkersville in December doesn't exactly make for a very merry Christmas.

But North Hagerstown coach Greg Slick is hoping it makes for a happier new year for his Hubs, who lost 51-28 at home Wednesday to the Lions (9-0), the reigning Maryland Class 2A-1A West tournament champions.

"Walkersville is solid," Slick said. "Wrestling competition like this early in the season can help you a lot and hurt you a lot. I'm going to try to make sure this helps us a lot.

"We've got some tough kids. And the thing that's exciting for me is that we're young. There are only three seniors on the team."

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North (6-4) took five of the 14 weight classes Wednesday, getting wins from freshman Jesse Miller (103 pounds), sophomore Chris Wyne (112) and juniors Delon Agee (125), Jim Eichelberger (145) and Kyle Malcolm (285).

Eichelberger (9-1), who pinned Chris Blackburn in 1:44, was the Hubs' lone victor in the first eight bouts, as Walkersville built a 39-6 lead from 135 to 215.

The Hubs quickly cut the deficit to 39-24 with three straight six-point wins. Malcolm pinned Max Kirschner in 23 seconds for the fastest fall of the night, and Miller and Wyne each won by forfeit to keep the Hubs' hopes alive with three bouts left.

But Walkersville's C.J. Cotterman ended the suspense in 56 seconds at 119, pinning Adrian Rivas to make it 45-24 and seal the match.

In the next-to-last bout at 125, North's Delon Agee - Washington County's only returning state placewinner from last season - was a 15-1 winner over Paul Bell, who was on his back at the end of the second and third periods, but saved by the buzzer both times.

"It didn't matter, but I still wanted to pin him," said Agee (8-2), who placed fifth in the state at 103 last season. "I'm all right with it. If we needed the points, it would have been really disappointing."

The best matchup of the night was at 171, featuring a pair of wrestlers from last season's 160 state bracket. North's Josh Borland, who bowed out in the consolation quarterfinals at states, fell 7-3 to Jordan Walsh, who placed third at states.

"(Walsh) got me pretty bad last year - a major decision," said Borland (8-2), who scored three escapes but was taken down three times Wednesday. "I don't think I brought my 'A' game tonight, but the kid's a great wrestler, probably the toughest guy I'll wrestle this year. I just wish I would have wrestled more aggressively.

"I'd like to wrestle him again. I'll probably see him at regionals and states."

Walkersville's Luke Milyard (140), Mark Nielson (152), Kyle Heppner (160), Tim Garlington (189), Tim Wheatley (215) and Ty White (130) each won by pin Wednesday.

While Wheatley - the defending state champ at 215 - needed only 59 seconds to put away Adam Miller, the North sophomore showed some of the tenacity Slick hopes to see from his team in 2007.

"(Miller) just went in and shot on the kid," Slick said. "I admire that."

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