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Forquer seeks redemption at home

February 15, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

Hedgesville's Billy Forquer lost 3-2 to East Fairmont's Eric Morris the last time the top two ranked 152-pounders in West Virginia Class AAA met.

That was last month in the championship finals of the Winner's Choice/Rotary Wrestling Tournament in Fairmont. The next time No. 2 Forquer meets No. 1 Morris, the Hedgesville junior should have the home-mat advantage.

The probable showdown will be one of the feature finals of the Region II tournament Saturday at Hedgesville.

"That's going to be a good one," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "We just have to wrestle (Morris) a little differently than we did last time. We didn't wrestle him very smart last time. We weren't aggressive enough on our feet.

"He doesn't want to wrestle us on our feet because Billy is pretty tough."

The eight-team tourney begins at 10 a.m. with the finals set for 4 p.m. The top four in each weight class advance to next week's state championships in Huntington.

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East Fairmont won last year's Region II team title, while Hedgesville was the runner-up.

While East Fairmont is currently ranked third in the state, Whittington said, "They're missing three or four kids right now. The team to beat right now is North Marion (the state's fifth-ranked team). They might get nine or 10 kids in the finals.

"And we've got a shot at this thing, too. We have a realistic shot of getting six or seven kids in the finals and pushing for the championship. Anything can happen."

Other likely clashes of state-ranked wrestlers include: East Fairmont's No. 2 Pat Murphy vs. Jefferson's No. 4 Dylan Nick at 171, and East Fairmont's No. 2 Morgan Murphy vs. Musselman's No. 3 Jared Weatherholtz at 189.

Hedgesville's Charlie Kopp (285) is the only local returning champ.

"It's going to be happening," Whittington said. "It's going to be a good one."

* Berkeley Springs will compete in the 11-team Region II Class AA-A tourney, which begins today and concludes Saturday at Grafton.

The Indians have six No. 1 seeds -- Derek Hovermale (112), Bradley Reed (119), Josh Connor (125), Damen Clapper (130), Cody Reed (189) and Jake Stotler (285).

* The PIAA District 3 sectional tournaments are Saturday, with the top four in each weight class advancing to next week's district championships at Hersheypark Arena.

Chambersburg, Greencastle-Antrim and Waynesboro are three of the 11 teams competing in Class AAA Section I at Mechanicsburg. James Buchanan is one of nine in Class AA Section IV at Susquenita.

* St. James and Mercersburg Academy will be at the Maryland and Pennsylvania independent-school state championships this weekend -- the Saints at McDonogh and the Blue Storm at Germantown Academy.

The highest seeded Saint is Luke Salisbury, who's fifth at 189. Despite his 30-1 record, Joey Sutch is only the seventh seed at 119.

For Mercersburg, it will be Rick Hendrickson's final state tourney as coach of the Blue Storm.

Hendrickson, who will become Mercersburg's director of athletics next school year, has coached 12 state champions and 66 state placewinners in his 15 years with the Storm.

* The Washington County tourney will be held Feb. 23 at Smithsburg, beginning at 11 a.m.

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