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Franklin County tourney has championship vibe

February 01, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

The second annual Franklin County Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at Mercersburg Academy will almost be what it's supposed to have been all along -- a true county championship.

The five-team field is comprised of Chambersburg, James Buchanan, Mercersburg, Shippensburg and Waynesboro. The only Franklin County team missing is Greencastle-Antrim, which chose not to participate.

Chambersburg, Mercersburg and Shippensburg were the county's only teams in last year's tourney, and they were joined by McDonogh (Md.) and Musselman (W.Va.).

"We're considering this the first official Franklin County championships," Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson said. "It's a good event. It gives us the best of the county, and we're excited to host it."

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The format of the tourney will again be round-robin, with each team facing every other team over five rounds. The first round begins at 10 a.m. and the fifth round should start around 2 p.m.

Wrestlers, who will each remain at the same weight all day, will earn five points for a win by pin, disqualification or injury default, four for a tech fall, three for a major decision or forfeit and two for a decision.

The wrestlers who accumulate the most points in each weight class will be champions. The team winner also will be decided by total points.

"It's more of a true championship event because it's individuals going through their weight class," Hendrickson said. "If you're a 103-pounder and you beat all the other 103-pounders, you are a true champion."

The schedule is: Round 1 -- Mercersburg vs. Chambersburg, Shippensburg vs. Waynesboro; Round 2 -- JB vs. Mercersburg, Shippensburg vs. Chambersburg; Round 3 -- JB vs. Waynesboro, Shippensburg vs. Mercersburg; Round 4 -- Shippensburg vs. JB, Chambersburg vs. Waynesboro; Round 5 -- JB vs. Chambersburg; Waynesboro vs. Mercersburg.

"We're not keeping dual-meet scores, but there's a dual-meet atmosphere. It will help keep the fans more engaged," Hendrickson said. "Chambersburg and Waynesboro are the favorites and Shippensburg is a dark horse. It's a three-horse race, with James Buchanan and Mercersburg fighting for individual honors."

Chambersburg, which won last year's inaugural event, fell 43-24 to arch-rival Waynesboro earlier this season.

"I hope we wrestle a little better than we did that night in Waynesboro," Chambersburg coach Doug Rine said. "Who knows? We're looking for a competitive tournament."

Maybe next year Greencastle will finally make it a complete event.

"If we could get everyone to come, I think that it would really help wrestling in the county," Rine said. "It will still help as it is, but it's hardly a county championship if you don't have everyone there."

PVC tourney

With the addition of four teams, the Potomac Valley Conference championships will be a double-elimination, bracketed tournament this year, rather than duals.

New members Hedgesville, Martinsburg, Jefferson and Moorefield will join Berkeley Springs, Musselman, Keyser, Frankfort and Petersburg on Saturday at Frankfort.

"We're healthy. We've got everyone where we want them. We're ready to go," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said.

Berkeley Springs coach Darrell Bennett said Hedgesville is the favorite, while Whittington said Berkeley Springs is the team to beat.

"We'd match up well with Berkeley Springs in a dual, but they've got some studs in their lineup," Whittington said.

The Indians have four No. 1 seeds -- Derek Hovermale (112), Brad Reed (119), Cody Reed (189) and Jake Stotler (285). The Eagles have three -- Jon Kriss (125), Billy Forquer (152) and Andrew Shaffer (160).

Other top seeds include Jefferson's Dustin Carter (135) and Dylan Nick (171) and Musselman's Tae Huor (140).

The most competitive weight classes on paper are at 189 and 285 with three state-ranked wrestlers in each -- Reed, Musselman's Jared Weatherholtz and Keyser's Jordan Mellott at 189; and Stotler, Hedgesville's Charlie Kopp and Petersburg's James Rohrbaugh at 285.

'Cat county

Williamsport beat Smithsburg 40-29 Wednesday night to complete a perfect dual-meet run through Washington County this season.

But Wildcats coach Mike Rechtorovic is reluctant to say his team will be the favorite at the county tourney Feb. 23 at Smithsburg.

"The tournament, as you know from years past, is totally different from dual meets," he said. "We have a lot of work to do before then."

Williamsport also went unbeaten in county duals two years ago, and then finished fourth in the five-team county tourney.

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