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Mazzei throws own welcome-home party

January 12, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

After a one-year hiatus, Dan Mazzei returned to Hagerstown wrestling.

And in his return, the North Hagerstown sophomore has a chance to win a Hub Cup Invitational title.

Mazzei, the top seed in the 171-pound weight class, scored a first-period pin against Quince Orchard's Casey Wolt on Friday night to advance to the championship semifinals of the 21st annual Hub Cup, which concludes today.

Mazzei, who wrestled for Mercersburg Academy as a freshman last year, is one of 10 area wrestlers - including four Hubs - still alive in the championship round.

"We like to think he was a North transfer to Mercersburg, not a Mercersburg transfer to North," said Hubs coach Greg Slick. "He grew up wrestling here in Hagerstown at the YMCA and now he's back. He wrestled a tough schedule against some good prep schools for Mercersburg."

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Mazzei earned a first-round bye before his pin of Wolt to improve to 16-1 - his only loss came to three-time state champion Josh Asper from Hereford. To win in his Hub Cup debut, Mazzei must get past Annapolis senior Jake Sandala in the semis for a spot in the title bout against either Damascus senior Brian Wittenberger or Mountain Ridge senior Justin Blubaugh.

Mazzei anticipates a showdown with Wittenberger.

"I don't really know anything about (Sandala), but I saw him wrestle here tonight," said Mazzei, seeking his first career tournament championship. "Then I'll probably see (Wittenberger) in the finals. That will be a tough match, and I'll have to be at my best.

North teammates De'lon Agee, Jake Turner and James Eichelberger also advanced to the semis. Agee, last year's champion at 119, has perhaps the most anticipated road for a title as a potential championship showdown with Northwest senior Sean McCarty looms at 130. McCarty won the Hub Cup last year at 125 and is currently the state's top-ranked wrestler in his class.

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