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Mercersburg set to host first Franklin County tourney

January 26, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Saturday's inaugural Franklin County Wrestling Tournament at Mercersburg Academy isn't exactly what Chambersburg coach Doug Rine and Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson had in mind when they began planning the event about a year ago.

"The original idea was to make it an all-Franklin County event," Hendrickson said.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Greencastle-Antrim, James Buchanan and Waynesboro - half of the county teams - won't be there.

But McDonogh, the overall No. 1-ranked team in Maryland, and Musselman, the No. 7 team in West Virginia Class AAA, certainly will be solid fill-ins. They'll join Chambersburg, Mercersburg and Shippensburg to make it a five-team, two-mat, round-robin tourney.

"It's a small event, but it's going to be good wrestling," Hendrickson said. "McDonogh is sending mostly their 'B' team, but their backup kids will still be decent.

"I think it's going to be a pretty balanced event. Every team has four or five pretty good wrestlers, and there'll be some good matchups."

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While each team will face every other team head-to-head over five rounds - with one team sitting out each round - the tournament is an individual event with round-robin wrestling in each weight class. Individual scores - 4 points for a pin, 3 1/2 for a tech fall, 3 for a major decision and 2 for a decision - will be then be added up to determine final team standings.

"It's a unique event. It's going to be interesting," Hendrickson said. "If we did dual meets, we'd lose the good individual matchups. This way, you don't have to worry about juggling your lineup."

The schedule is: Round 1 - McDonogh vs. Chambersburg and Musselman vs. Mercersburg at 2:15 p.m.; Round 2 - McDonogh vs. Musselman and Chambersburg vs. Shippensburg at 3:30; Round 3 - McDonogh vs. Shippensburg and Mercersburg vs. Chambersburg at 4:45; Round 4 - McDonogh vs. Mercersburg and Musselman vs. Shippensburg at 6; and Round 5 - Mercersburg vs. Shippensburg and Musselman vs. Chambersburg at 7:15.

"Doug and I just want to launch this thing and get it going," Hendrickson said. "We'd like to see it either become a true Franklin County tournament or, if not, continue to bring a couple good teams in every year."

Hovermale is an OW

Justin Hovermale continued his dominant ways last weekend at the Grapple at the Brook tournament in Silver Spring, Md., where he earned Outstanding Wrestler honors.

In the championship finals at 152 pounds, the Smithsburg senior pinned Gwynn Park's Jemmelle Murphy in 19 seconds.

Hovermale is 20-0 this season with 20 pins, including 18 in the first period.

West Virginia rankings

Fifteen area wrestlers are listed in the first batch of West Virginia Wrestling Coaches Association/wvmat.com individual state rankings, released Wednesday.

Jefferson's Colton Gustines (112) and Musselman's Dustin Haislip (135) are each No. 1 in Class AAA, while Berkeley Springs' Tyson Bennett (160) and Cody Reed (189) are each No. 1 in Class AA-A.

The other ranked Class AAA wrestlers include: Hedgesville's Billy Forquer (fourth, 152) and Greg Lyman (third, 171); Jefferson's Dustin Carter (sixth, 125) and Dylan Nick (seventh, 152); and Musselman's Justin Cornwell (eighth, 103), Billy Barrett (second, 125), Josh Anderson (seventh, 140), Luke Dawson (third, 145) and Jared Weatherholtz (seventh, 189).

Also ranked in Class AA-A for Berkeley Springs are Derek Hovermale (second, 103) and A.J. Blankenship (seventh, 125).

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