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Washington County title up for grabs Saturday

February 16, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Being the best dual-meet team in Washington County sometimes doesn't mean much at the five-team county tournament.

But it does make Smithsburg, which went 4-0 against the other county teams this winter, the favorite to capture the Clyde Downs Trophy for the third straight year at the 17th annual county tourney at Williamsport on Saturday.

"Smithsburg will be tough to beat again," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "But last year everyone thought it was going to be between us and North Hagerstown, and look what happened."

Last year, Smithsburg edged North 176-169 for the title, after going 1-3 in county duals.

"You never know. It's just so close with only five teams," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "With a small tournament, it's all about how many people place."

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The Leopards only had three weight-class champions last year, but overcame North's six champs by placing 13 of their 14 wrestlers in the top three.

Williamsport has the most No. 1 seeds this year with five - Mark Mayo (112), Earl Neville (119), Jesse Duvall (135), Jimmy Fiorita (145) and Drew Williams (215).

Smithsburg has four - James Reilley (130), Justin Hovermale (152), Alex Akers (160) and Jeremy Harbaugh (189); South Hagerstown has three - Dane Devin (103), Derick Boerstler (125) and Chris Bell (285); and North has two - Jim Eichelberger (140) and Josh Borland (171).

While all 14 No. 1 seeds won titles last year, it's hard to imagine that happening Saturday.

Smithsburg's Monica Hovermale (103), who's aiming to become the county's first female champ, went 2-0 with two pins against Devin this season, while North's De'lon Agee (119), the county champ at 103 last year, defeated Neville in the Hub Cup finals last month.

Two weight classes each have a pair of returning county champs - Reilley and Williamsport's Peter Smith at 130 and Eichelberger and Boonsboro's Jon Wood at 140. And one weight class has the makings for a finals rematch - Fiorita vs. Smithsburg's Brandon Knight at 145. Knight edged Fiorita 10-8 in overtime last year for the 145 crown.

The brackets, however, aren't completely set as wrestlers have until noon today to change weight classes or even withdraw from the tourney altogether.

"It wouldn't totally shock me if some did (withdraw)," Rechtorovic said.

"With these three days of snow, I'm worried that there are going to be some guys who might not make weight," North coach Greg Slick said. "A kid doesn't have to wrestle in the county tournament to wrestle in regionals, but some kids need the county points to qualify for regionals.

"And I have a couple guys who would have to win the county tournament to win a wild-card spot."

Saturday's schedule is: Preliminary round, 1 p.m.; championship semifinals, 1:30; consolation finals, 3:30; and championship finals, 4:40.

Sutch a chance

St. James coach Chuck Martin said the Saints have a good chance to capture their first individual state title in school history at the Maryland private-school tourney this weekend at McDonogh.

Senior Jimmy Sutch is that chance. He's 35-2 this season and seeded second at 171.

He won't have it easy, though. The top seed is Boys' Latin senior Grady Gamble, who's ranked No. 1 in the state, among all public and private schools.

St. James has two other seeded wrestlers - Luke Salisbury (189) and Taylor Young (285), who are each eighth.

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