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Oh, brother - Hovermale has a sister

December 17, 2006|by ANDY MASON

SMITHSBURG - Perhaps the only thing worse than having to wrestle Smithsburg senior Justin Hovermale this season is having to wrestle his freshman sister, Monica Hovermale.

"That's almost one of the worst things that can happen - to get beat by a girl," Justin Hovermale said, smiling. "I feel sorry for the guys she wrestles."

The Hovermales each went 2-0 Saturday as host Smithsburg split its tri-meet with South Hagerstown and Walkersville. The Leopards walloped the Rebels 66-18 in an MVAL Antietam match and fell 46-27 to the unbeaten Lions in nonconference action. Walkersville (11-0) beat winless South 59-24 in the other match.

Monica Hovermale, a 103-pounder, improved to 6-4 with wins by pin and forfeit.

"She's good," her brother said. "But she wrestles even better against me at home. We beat each other up every once in a while. She'll put up a fight, but I'm too old and heavy for her."

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Justin Hovermale, a 152-pounder, is lighter than he was last season, when he was the Washington County champ at 160.

"I feel faster," he said. "And now that I'm at a lower weight class, I feel stronger."

Hovermale's on a mission after last season's huge disappointment. He went into the Maryland 2A-1A West tournament as the region's top seed at 160, but failed to place in the top four to qualify for states.

"Huge can't even describe how bad that was for me," he said. "I'm just trying to come back this year and prove to everybody that I can go to states and wrestle well the whole season and not stop at regionals like I have the past three years."

Hovermale had two pins Saturday to improve to 8-0 on the season. Brandon Knight (145) - Smithsburg's lone representative at states last season - and Alex Akers (160) also had a pair of pins each, while Jeremy Harbaugh (189) also went 2-0 for Smithsburg (3-1, 2-0).

After squeaking by Middletown 36-35 and Brunswick 40-37 to begin their dual-meet season, the Leopards' luck ran out against Walkersville.

"It's always disappointing to lose a match, but we hung with them," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said.

Back-to-back bouts at 125 and 130 were critical.

James Reilley - last season's county champ at 119 - lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Walkersville's Ty White at 130, one bout after Smithsburg's Wes McKenen lost by injury default to Paul Bell. McKenen led 5-0 in the first period before suffering a shoulder injury.

"I heard a crack. I tried to continue, but I couldn't do anything," McKenen said. "I'm going to go get it checked out. I just hope it's not too bad."

Seniors Derick Boerstler (125) and Chris Bell (285) each went 2-0 for South (0-6, 0-5).

"We have a lot of talent," Bell said. "I hope we can turn this around."

Bell, in his first day of action this season, needed only 65 total seconds to pin both of his opponents and remain unbeaten for his career. He went 10-0 in limited action during his first year of wrestling last season.

"I got injured and overweight last season," Bell said. "It felt good to finally break into them today. I've been pretty anxious."

Chris Stauffer (112), C.J. Cotterman (119), Ty White (130), Zack White (135), Luke Milyard (140), Jordan Walsh (171) and Tim Wheatley (215) each went 2-0 and combined for 10 pins for Walkersville.

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