Akers gets 'A' for effort in Invitational

December 28, 2008|By Andrew Mason

The big 'A' tattooed on his one arm presumably is for Alex, the big 'A' on his other arm for Akers.

Smithsburg wrestler Alex Akers also has an 'A' on his early-season report card.

The senior 160-pounder defeated Rising Sun's Justin Gainey 4-2 in the championship finals of the 20th annual Leopard Holiday Invitational on Saturday to improve to 13-0 on the season.

"I've definitely improved," Akers said. "It's my first time winning my own tournament."

It was much more than that.

"I think he went two-and-out the last two years here. I don't think he won a match," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "He seems to be on a mission this year."

Akers, the top seed at 160, won by fall in the quarterfinals and by major decision in the semis.

In the finals, he scored the only takedown of the match with 30 seconds left to take a 4-1 lead. Gainey quickly escaped to make it 4-2, but was prevented from scoring again.


"Coach has us in the best shape we've been in the past few years," Akers said. "It's definitely showing."

The host Leopards finished fourth in the 12-team field with 195 points. Springbrook won with 257, while Rising Sun, which entered as the four-time defending champ, had to settle for second with 229.5. Milford Mill edged Smithsburg for third with 196.5. South Hagerstown, the only other local team, was 10th with 66.5.

The Leopards also got an individual title from Monica Hovermale at 103 and second-place finishes from Nieko Akers (152), Tyler Scott (189) and Joey Vorce (215), while Nick Dilandro (125) and Jeb Slick (171) each placed third.

"It was a really good showing," Dietrich said. "We did better than I expected. I didn't think we'd get five in the finals.

"It's a tough tournament. It's the first time we've had 12 teams here in a while."

Hovermale, a junior, defended her title at 103 by pinning Rising Sun's Weston Lynn in 1:29.

"I was pumped up," said Hovermale, who improved to 12-1 this season. "I just wanted to win, especially since it's at Smithsburg. This is definitely one of the bigger ones. It's at home and all your friends and family come to watch."

The novelty of her success in the male-dominated sport seems to be wearing off. In fact, another girl, Elkton freshman Ninny Novak, placed third at 103.

Hovermale said she hoped they would face each other Saturday, but they never did.

"I don't get to wrestle too many girls around here," Hovermale said. "She was pretty good. I thought I was actually going to be wrestling her for the championship."

But Novak got pinned by Lynn in the championship semis.

While South entered 11 wrestlers, only six competed. Rebels coach Ralph Stottlemyer said three of his wrestlers never showed up, while another two failed to make weight.

But South made the most of it, getting third-place finishes from Eric Davis (140), Ian Anderson (145) and Dustin Rowland (285).

In the best local vs. local matchup, Davis beat Smithsburg's Dean White 7-4 in the bout for third, avenging a 10-7 loss to White earlier in the day.

Leopard Holiday Invitational

Team scores: 1. Springbrook 257; 2. Rising Sun 229.5; 3. Milford Mill 196.5; 4. Smithsburg 195; 5. Walter Johnson 167; 6. Elkton 141; 7. North East 112; 8. Allegany 82; 9. Polytechnic 72; 10. South Hagerstown 66.5; 11. McDonough 65.5; 12. Thomas Johnson 65.
Championship finals
103 -- Monica Hovermale (Sm) p. Weston Lynn (RS) 1:29; 112 -- Vincent Galeano (Sp) p. Adam Heffelfinger (RS), 5:35; 119 -- Robert Rakes (RS) p. John Wolman (WJ) 3:36; 125 -- Teno Boone (Po) p. Andy Tran (Sp) 5:55; 130 -- Terrence Owens (MM) d. Joseph Galeano (Sp) 5-4; 135 -- Adelke Ibironke (MM) p. Niyi Akande (Sp) 3:56; 140 -- Taj Douglas (MM) d. Alex Abramson (Sp) 12-10; 145 -- Ar-Rashid White (MM) m.d. Sam Guethler (RS) 19-7; 152 -- John Ramsey (WJ) d. Nieko Akers (Sm) 2-1; 160 -- Alex Akers (Sm) d. Justin Gainey (RS) 4-2; 171 -- Nadjitade Badje (Sp) d. William Wright (El) 8-6; 189 -- Paul Okeyo (WJ) d. Tyler Scott (Sm) 5-2; 215 -- Taariq Eddy (MM) p. Joey Vorce (Sm) 3:22; 285 -- Gerrad Brown (Sp) d. Andrew Baranski (RS) 9-2.

Third-place bouts

103 -- Ninny Novak (El) p. Brian Resseger (Al) 2:31; 112 -- Jakob Brown (El) p. Kevin Koch (NE) 4:11; 119 -- Eric Aguilar (Sp) d. Brandon Matthews (Al) 9-4; 125 -- Nick Dilandro (Sm) p. Tony Scarnecchia (WJ) 4:20; 130 -- Mike Gilbert (NE) d. Jason Robinson (RS) 1-0; 135 -- Shawn Barney (RS) d. Casey Crowell (TJ) 5-3; 140 -- Eric Davis (SH) d. Dean White (Sm) 7-4; 145 -- Ian Anderson (SH) p. Jay Chung (WJ) 3:52; 152 -- Don Cazeau (Sp) p. Siare Msackyi (El) 4:07; 160 -- Garret Livengood (Al) p. Sasha Barrow (Sp) 1:55; 171 -- Jeb Slick (Sm) p. Eddie McKenzie (Mc) :51; 189 -- Darius Gregory (MM) p. Josh Gerczak (RS) 4:58; 215 -- Cody Widener (NE) d. Abel DaSilva (Sp) 6-3; 285 -- Dustin Rowland (SH) p. John Ward (Po) 2:21.

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