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With a Rebel yell, Saints try for more, more, more

January 18, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

At 13-6 with 12 wrestlers with winning records, St. James is looking pretty solid heading into the Rebel Duals at South Hagerstown.

"Record-wise we are," said Saints second-year coach Chuck Martin, who previously coached at Williamsport for 13 years. "But, honestly, these breaks that we've had are killing us. They're hard for me to get used to because conditioning has always been one of my strongest points as a coach.

"The kids go away 10 days for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and when they come back, it's almost like starting over, conditioning-wise. We're still trying to get back from that."

The eight-team Rebel Duals, which begin this evening and conclude Saturday, should serve as a good gauge for St. James. The Saints can see how they measure up against some of the area's public schools - Boonsboro, South, Williamsport, James Buchanan and Martinsburg. Westminster and defending champ Broad Run also are competing.

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"I want to get the program exposure," Martin said. "I want the county fans and athletes to take a look at our team and create some interest in the St. James program."

The Saints went 5-4 at last year's Rebel and finished the season with an 18-14 record. Martin said that most likely was a school record for single-season victories.

The Saints need five wins to tie it and six to break it. With only eight dual meets left on their schedule, including the seven this weekend, they'll have to be sharper than ever.

"I'm anxiously awaiting my guys to wrestle up to their potential. I have confidence they can do that this weekend," Martin said. "If these guys come out of their shell, they could be impressive."

Williamsport might be the team to beat at South this weekend.

"It's going to be tough with both Westminster and Broad Run to win the Rebel," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "But if we wrestle the way we did against Brunswick, anything's possible."

The Wildcats upset the Railroaders 36-30 Wednesday night in a key MVAL Antietam match, improving to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

"It was a big win for us," Rechtorovic said. "They hammered us last year (51-25), and they returned basically everyone from that team."

Brunswick beat Smithsburg, the reigning Antietam champ, 42-33 earlier this season. The Wildcats likely will have to do same to the Leopards to take their title. They meet Jan. 30 at Smithsburg.

Each team at the Rebel Duals is scheduled to wrestle three matches tonight and four more Saturday. Action begins at 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Saturday.

If schools are closed today due to inclement weather, the Rebel will be reduced to one day of action Saturday, with each team getting five matches.

Berkeley Springs senior Cody Reed was the area's lone champion at the prestigious Winner's Choice/Rotary Tournament this past weekend in Fairmont, W.Va.

Reed, the reigning Class AA-A state champ at 189 pounds, prevailed 11-7 over East Fairmont's Morgan Murphy in the finals at 189. Murphy was the Class AAA state runner-up at 189 last year.

Hedgesville's Billy Forquer also advanced to the finals at 152, but was edged 3-2 by East Fairmont's Eric Morris for his first loss of the season.

Chambersburg senior 160-pounder Joey Wilmot is 19-0 this season and 95-26 for his career.

When he teched out Waynesboro's Ethan Reed 16-0 at 171 last week for his 94th victory, he set a school record for career wins.

Former heavyweight star Tyler Hart, a 2000 Chambersburg graduate, was 93-23.

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