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Trojans shine in tourney

January 28, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg wrestling team has been the victim of a difficult Pennsylvania schedule this season, winning just three out of 15 dual meets.

But the Trojans got a chance to expel some of their frustrations Saturday at the inaugural Franklin County Tournament, and they did so with big performances from their blossoming underclassmen.

The Trojans won the team title with 146 points, led by six individual champions - only one a senior - and showed that, despite its record, it can compete with some of the best competition in the Tri-State.

"We've been taking our lumps this season and I thought this was something we might be able to do well with," said Chambersburg coach Doug Rine. "We've wrestled 11 matches in the last nine days, and during that time some of our young guys have started turning the corner."

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The Trojans' lightweights were especially successful with freshmen Chase Wenger (103 pounds) and Jimmy Hughes (112) and sophomore Tim Sharrow (119) winning titles.

"It's a nice reward for some of the guys who have been sticking it out all year," Rine said. "The porch light is starting to come on for Timmy (Sharrow) and this will be a real confidence boost for him.

"Our 189-pounder (Ray Setaro) hadn't won a match until last Saturday and he wrestled well, and our 140-pounder (Ryan Miracle) is coming on strong. ... And they're both sophomores."

Setaro and Miracle each finished second in their respective weight classes, while juniors Joey Wilmot (152) and Alex Swartz (171) won individual titles. Senior Jordan Heckman was the champion at 215 for the Trojans.

"I've been saying that Chambersburg, with the competition they face, is better than their record shows," said Mercersburg Academy coach Rick Hendrickson, who directed the tournament. "They're wrestling well right now."

Musselman, the seventh-ranked team in West Virginia Class AAA, took second place in the team standings with 116 points and four champions.

As expected, seniors Billy Barrett (125) and Dustin Haislip (135) won titles, and they were joined by junior Luke Dawson (145) and sophomore Jared Weatherholtz (189).

"We got to see some quality kids hit each other," said Musselman coach Mark Cagle. "Everyone came to wrestle and, all-around, everybody did well."

Mercersburg placed third with 110 1/2 points, led by champions Bobby Wolford (140) and Adam Barnette (285).

The Blue Storm would have had a third champion if Cody Barrick could have held on for a major decision in his opening-round match at 145.

"If (Barrick) would have got the major (decision) earlier, he would have got three points, instead of the two for a regular decision," Hendrickson said. "Then he loses a tiebreaker and has to finish third. If he holds on to that major decision, then he's the champion."

Under the tournament's round-robin format, each team faced every other team head-to-head over five rounds. Individual scores were decided by way of victory - 4 points for a pin or forfeit, 3 1/2 for a tech fall, 3 for a major decision and 2 for a decision. The individual with the most cumulative points at the end of the tournament was crowned champion, as was the procedure for deciding the team championship.

Individual tiebreakers were determined by head-to-head matchups and tournament records.

Shippensburg finished fourth with 106 points, followed by McDonogh (44). McDonogh, the top-ranked team in Maryland, struggled with a split-squad that was further hampered by injuries.

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