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Bosley has the feats to fill shoes

January 04, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

Only 22 years old, Mike Bosley said he considers himself lucky to be the head varsity wrestling coach at Musselman.

"I was shocked to be able to get a head-coaching job this young in my life," he said. "This is kind of a dream come true for me. Wrestling's been my life since I've been 8 years old. Being able to stay around the sport you love and being able to finally give back, you can't really describe it. It's just a feeling of elation to be able to do something like this."

Perhaps Musselman is the lucky one.

In his prep days, Bosley wrestled for the national-power Omaha Skutt Catholic Skyhawks, the 10-time defending Nebraska Class B state champions (www.skyhawkwrestling.com). He was a four-time state placewinner and the 2003 state champion at 152 pounds his senior year.

"It's nice coming from a Midwest background and coming over and giving a little bit of that style to Musselman," Bosley said. "Hopefully that will start showing in our matches - the Iowa Hawkeyes' mentality of constantly attacking, whether you're behind or ahead, and good, tough conditioning."

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This past September, Bosley left the Air Force Academy in Colorado - where he was recruited to wrestle - and joined his family in Martinsburg, W.Va.

"My family moved out here to work in D.C. and this is where they ended up," he said.

In early November, Bosley became the Applemen's coach, taking over for Mark Cagle, who held the position for 13 years.

Cagle was named The Herald-Mail's Coach of the Year last season, after guiding Musselman to its first Berkeley County and Potomac Valley Conference titles and a program-best seventh-place finish at the Class AAA state tournament. He also had two state champions last year - then-seniors Dustin Haislip (135) and Billy Barrett (125).

"From everything I've heard, I definitely have big shoes to fill," Bosley said. "But everyone's welcomed me with open arms, and I've gotten a lot of help from the wrestling community here.

"There are high expectations, and that works well, because I have extremely high expectations."

Seven Applemen currently have winning records, including state-ranked Luke Dawson (152) and Jared Weatherholtz (189).

"As a team, we're pretty young. We have a lot to improve on," Bosley said. "But I'm seeing a lot of great things from these guys.

"I came from a program where we never lost a dual, and that's where we're going to get. It's going to take a while, but I definitely foresee us becoming an extremely well-respected program in the area, not that they weren't already. ... Couple years down the road, hopefully I won't be eating my words. We'll be working our butts off to make sure that doesn't happen."

Weekend action

The 35th annual Jefferson Invitational Tournament in Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., begins today and concludes Saturday with the championship finals at 5 p.m.

Returning champs in the 17-team field include Mercersburg Academy's Cody Barrick (145), who won at 152 last year, and Musselman's Weatherholtz (189). Garrick Skubon (135), the runner-up at 130 for host Jefferson last year, is competing for Mercersburg this year.

The match inside the match: The likely showdown between North Hagerstown's Jim Eichelberger (14-0) and Smithsburg's Brandon Knight (8-1) at 152 will be the feature bout during the dual meet between the Hubs and Leopards at Smithsburg on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Eichelberger and Knight are the area's only two-time Maryland 2A-1A state qualifiers.

In their only meeting last year - during the Leopards' 40-33 win over the Hubs - Knight prevailed 5-2 at 145, breaking a 2-2 tie with an escape and takedown in the closing seconds.

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