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Wildcats take former coach to the mat

January 20, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Williamsport's Mike Rechtorovic vs. St. James' Chuck Martin.

That was the matchup of the night Friday at South Hagerstown's 26th annual Rebel Invitational - a two-day, 10-team dual-meet tournament.

"It was obviously an intense match. Everybody was watching," Rechtorovic said. "They're one of the better teams here, and we want to win this tournament."

Rechtorovic took over as Williamsport's head coach in 2003, when Martin's 13-year tenure at Williamsport ended under not the best of terms. Rechtorovic had been Martin's assistant with the Wildcats.

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Both coaches downplayed their first showdown Friday.

"It was a little weird," said Martin, in his first season with the Saints.

"Chuck and I don't go on the mat," Rechtorovic said. "And if we did, we wouldn't be nearly in the same weight class.

"Honestly, I'm never worried about who the other coach is. I'm worried about my 14 kids and the other guy's 14 kids."

The Wildcats won nine of the 14 bouts to beat St. James 53-24 during the third of Friday's five rounds. The fourth and fifth rounds ended too late to be included in this edition. The final six rounds are today.

"Williamsport's a strong team. Our work was cut out for us," Martin said. "It looks like a romp in the box score, but they got the matchups they wanted and we gave up too many pins."

After St. James' Mike McClenning (112 pounds) and Patrick Solberg (119) won back-to-back decisions to cut Williamsport's lead to 29-24 with four bouts left, the Wildcats closed the door, ending the match with straight pins from Earl Neville (125), Pete Smith (130), Robbie Mies (135) and Todd Judd (140).

"It was definitely big, kind of like a rivalry with Martin being a former coach," said Smith, whose pin sealed it. "We finished strong. We're real strong in the middle weights, and that's what we need to rely on."

The Wildcats improved to 3-0 in the tourney with the win over St. James. They routed Martinsburg 84-0 in Round 1, setting a school record for margin of victory, and upended James Buchanan 60-17 in Round 2.

The host Rebels began the tourney by beating John Handley 60-18 for their first victory of the season.

"That wasn't even on my mind until you mentioned it," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "I'm just focusing on the individual matches, looking for improvement."

Boonsboro won its first two matches - 42-39 over Martinsburg and 48-33 over JB - to improve to 5-3 on the season, equaling its total number of wins from last season.

JB opened Round 4 with a 37-34 win over Martinsburg. The Rockets trailed 34-33 before Cody Klouser lifted them with a major decision in the final bout.

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