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Indians, Trojans better than their records

February 02, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

"You will catch all kinds of flack about ranking teams with losing records No. 1 and No. 2," Chambersburg wrestling coach Doug Rine recently wrote in an e-mail.

The Herald-Mail ranking committee is prepared to catch it.

Waynesboro is No. 1 and Chambersburg is No. 2 this week, despite having combined for only seven dual-meet wins this season.

The Indians (3-5) and Trojans (4-12), who've both taken their lumps in the ultra-competitive Mid-Penn Conference, proved themselves in tournaments last weekend.

Chambersburg won the inaugural Franklin County Tournament, finishing ahead of then-No. 1 Mercersburg Academy and then-No. 2 Musselman, the seventh-ranked team in West Virginia Class AAA. The Trojans had six weight-class champs, while Musselman had four and Mercersburg two.

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Waynesboro, which defeated Chambersburg 41-25 in a dual earlier this season, placed second out of 15 teams in the Burgettstown (Pa.) Invitational.

"We've had a tough dual-meet schedule this season, and I was afraid we had lost our confidence," Waynesboro coach Eric Mowen said. "But wrestling the caliber of teams in District 3, week in and week out, prepared them for this tournament."

"This is just the start of the kind of wrestling you will see out of this program in the next several years," he said.

The Indians arguably have done enough already this year to grab the Tri-State's No. 1 ranking.

Mike Rechtorovic, coach of the 15-8 Williamsport Wildcats, said he won't argue it.

"It's a different level of competition across that Mason-Dixon Line," he said.

Md. 2A-1A West Duals

Barring a disaster, Smithsburg (10-2, 5-0 MVAL Antietam) should beat Catoctin (2-3 Antietam) on Saturday to advance to this Wednesday's Maryland 2A-1A West Duals. And the Leopards might even still get in if they lose.

The four-team tournament will be hosted by Northern Garrett, which beat Southern Garrett on Thursday night to secure the top seed.

Right now, the top four teams in the region are: Northern Garrett (13-0), Southern Garrett (10-2), Beall (10-2) and Smithsburg.

The Leopards, who last appeared in the region duals in 1996, likely will face either Northern or Southern in the semifinals and will be heavy underdogs against either.

Notes: No Washington County team has competed in the region duals since North Hagerstown in 2003. ... Smithsburg senior Justin Hovermale, who's 23-0 with 23 pins this season, will be going for his 100th career win Saturday. He's already the Leopards' career pins leader, as 79 of his 99 wins have been by fall. ... Berkeley Springs is hosting the Potomac Valley Conference tournament Saturday. Wrestling starts at noon. ... Want to see the best of the best? Blair Academy, the No. 1 team in the nation, will be at Mercersburg Academy on Feb. 10, taking on the Blue Storm and Lawrenceville in a tri-meet. Blair has nationally ranked wrestlers at nearly every weight.

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