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Straley sits, then earns 100th victory

February 03, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- James Buchanan 171-pounder Derek Straley posted his 100th win on his own terms Saturday at the second annual Franklin County Tournament.

Straley opted to sit out the Rockets' match against Waynesboro -- a would-be forfeit -- so he could reach the century mark on the mat.

"I didn't want to get it on a forfeit," said Straley, who went 3-0 to win his weight class. "It's awesome. Now I can go to school and say I'm the first JB wrestler ever to win a hundred."

Straley pinned Shippensburg's Justin Varner in 2 minutes, 53 seconds to get to the milestone. He capped the day with a pin of Chambersburg senior Alex Swartz -- the defending champion at 171 -- in 3:10 to clinch the individual title and earn win No. 101.

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It was the first county tournament for Straley and the Rockets, who joined the Trojans, Waynesboro, Shippensburg and host Mercersburg Academy.

Missing from the lineup was Greencastle-Antrim.

"It's nice that I can say I'm the best in the county and that I could beat everyone here," Straley said.

Chambersburg can lay claim to being the best team in the county. The Trojans had four individual champions and won the tournament with 162 points. Jimmy Hughes (112 pounds), Chase Wenger (119), Tim Sharrow (125) and Joey Wilmot (160) each went 4-0 to win their weight classes.

"This is the first year we had all Franklin County teams -- it was a true Franklin County championship," said Chambersburg coach Doug Rine. "We beat Greencastle on Thursday, so we feel like the true Franklin County champions."

In perhaps the best match of the day, the No. 2 Trojans tied No. 1 Waynesboro 30-30, as scored by the tournament -- three points for a decision or forfeit, four points for a major decision, five points for a tech fall and six points for a pin, disqualification or injury default.

Had the match been scored using traditional dual-meet scoring, Chambersburg would have come away with a 36-30 win. The Trojans fell 43-24 to the Indians on Jan. 10.

"I have to be honest, I think it meant a lot to the team that we would have won the match with Waynesboro in a dual meet," Rine said. "We wrestled pretty well. It's probably the best we've been since Christmas."

Ben Heckman (130), Alex Young (140), Ryan Miracle (145), Swartz, Ray Setaro (189) and Brian Stewart (215) each placed second for the Trojans.

Waynesboro finished second with 139 points, edging third-place Shippensburg by four points. Jacob Smith (103), Brandon Beltz (140), Shane McFerren (189), Evan Reed (215) and Marvin Gaskill (285) each won titles, while Matt Nel (112) and Gabriel Lynch (119) were runners-up.

Each wrestler is locked in to their weight for the duration of the tournament, so moving up or down throughout the day is not an option.

"We had a kid not make weight (Ethan Reed at 171) and we're fighting some illness. These things hurt you in a tournament like this," said

Waynesboro coach Eric Mowen. "It's not an advantage for us to wrestle in this type of format."

It also didn't favor the depleted Mercersburg or JB squads. The Blue Storm gave at least eight forfeits in each of their contests, while the Rockets surrendered five per match.

JB edged Mercersburg 60-59 in the team standings for fourth place. Alex Buterbaugh joined Straley with an individual title at 152 and Dylan Upperman placed second at 125.

Mercersburg got titles from Garrick Skubon at 135 and Cody Barrick at 145.

"I feel really good about those two. They've been through the wars," said Blue Storm coach Rick Hendrickson. "For us, this was an opportunity to wrestle some big schools. To have four AAA schools here is challenging and our better kids can compete."

A.J. Firestone dropped a 3-1 decision to Gaskill in the final round and finished second at 285.

Russell Davidson (130) was the only champion for Shippensburg. Hunter Kyner (103), Craig Gunderson (135), Will Lloyd (152) and Kyle Varner each placed second.

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