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Weatherholtz's victory comes in a Nick of time

February 15, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

INWOOD, W.Va. -- No rivalry in the area even comes close to matching the one between Musselman's Jared Weatherholtz and Washington's Dylan Nick this wrestling season.

"It's a big vendetta," Nick said. "We just go after each other."

The top two ranked 189-pounders in West Virginia Class AAA met for the fifth time this season Saturday in the championship finals of the Musselman Snow Brawl tournament. And for the second time in a row, Weatherholtz prevailed, edging Nick in a 10-7 thriller to improve to 24-3.

All three of Weatherholtz's losses, however, are to Nick (46-4).

"Every day I think about those losses," said Weatherholtz, who took home the tourney's Outstanding Wrestler award Saturday. "You go out there and work harder and harder each week so you don't lose again. And now that I have these two wins, that just gives me more and more confidence heading into states."

The two stars seem destined to collide again in the region finals next weekend and then in the state finals the next. That would give them seven head-to-head matchups in one season.

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"The big one's in two weeks," Nick said. "I'd lose the first six just to win the last one. That's the one that matters. It's the big dance."

Nick was the state champ at 171 last year for Jefferson, while Weatherholtz was the state runner-up at 189.

"(Nick) is one of the most respected guys in the state," Weatherholtz said. "He's a good guy. We're real good friends off the mat. But it's hard to be friends on the mat."

On Saturday, Weatherholtz took a 4-1 lead in the first period on a pair of takedowns. He held the three-point advantage in the second period, beginning the final two minutes with a 6-3 lead.

Starting the third period from the bottom position, Nick scored a quick reversal to make it 6-5. After Weatherholtz escaped, Nick took him down to even the score at 7-7 with 50 seconds left.

Moments later, Weatherholtz escaped for an 8-7 advantage, and then sealed the victory with a takedown with 16 seconds left.

Moments later, Weatherholtz escaped for an 8-7 advantage, and then sealed the victory with a takedown with 16 seconds left.

"I just kept thinking, 'I've got to get this takedown. That ends it. That puts the nail in the coffin,'" Weatherholtz said.

"It's disappointing because I could have won, but I didn't," Nick said. "But now I know what I need to work on."

Buckhannon Upshur topped the eight-team field with 220 points. Hedgesville was second with 199, and Musselman was third with 180 1/2.

"I'm pleased with how we wrestled," Hedgesville coach Bill Whittington said. "It was a good tuneup for regionals. We had six in the finals and five champions. But what's killing us is injuries. We were without four starters today."

The Cardello twins turned in a pair of dominant performances in the finals for the Eagles. Immediately after John Cardello blanked Musselman's Brandon Michael 12-0 at 145, Mike Cardello built a big lead on Washington's Eric Rozich at 152 before sticking him in 3:55.

"I feel like I just wrestled two matches," Mike Cardello said. "When John wrestles, I feel like I'm wrestling. I get real into it, my heart's going and then I go out there."

Hedgesville also got titles from Sean Huff (130), Stephen Miele (171) and Travis Wheat (285).

Other champions included Washington's Jordan Carter (119) and Musselman's Justin Cornwell (112) and Jeff Ford (215).

Musselman Snow Brawl

at INWOOD, W.Va.

Teams: 1. Buckhannon Upshur 220; 2. Hedgesville 199; 3. Musselman 180 1/2; 4. Keyser 164 1/2; 5. Martinsburg 105; 6. Washington 101; 7. Meyers 93; 8. Jefferson 29.

Championship finals

103 - Colby Kiggins (Ke) d. Isaiah Moore (Bu) 12-10; 112 - Justin Cornwell (Mu) p. Kane Bender (Bu) :45; 119 - Jordan Carter (Wa) d. Shaun Cutright (Bu) 2-0; 125 - Elijah Shanholtz (Bu) p. Taven Rohrbaugh (Ke) 1:12; 130 - Sean Huff (He) p. Joe Schiff (Bu) :40; 135 - Brock Hyre (Bu) p. Luke Beavers (Mu) 1:41; 140 - Robbie Cogar (Bu) p. Brandon Harris (Ke) 3:47; 145 - John Cardello (He) m.d. Brandon Michael (Mu) 12-0; 152 - Mike Cardello (He) p. Eric Rozich (Wa) 3:55; 160 - Marshal Newbrough (Bu) p. Matt Dennison (He) 3:00; 171 - Stephen Miele (He) d. Ryan LaRose (Mu) 5-1; 189 - Jared Weatherholtz (Mu) d. Dylan Nick (Wa) 10-7; 215 - Jeff Ford (Mu) p. Jordan Mellott (Ke) 2:39; 285 - Travis Wheat (He) d. Aaron Nelson (Ke) 7-6.

Consolation finals

103 - Andy Stotler (Ma) p. Jace Fugate (Mu) 2:05; 112 - Chris Parker (Ma) d. Rob Monohan (He) 6-3; 119 - Alan Frush (Ke) p. Andrew Knotts (He) :35; 125 - Tyler Jenkins (Je) d. David Castellano (Me) 7-2; 130 - Brent Parrish (Ke) d. Thomas White (Wa) 8-3; 135 - Mike Smith (Me) d. Brad May (He) 4-3; 140 - Cody Carpenter (Ma) d. Chad Kriss (He) 7-2; 145 - Andy Abrahomian (Ma) p. Alex Ziegler (Me) :51; 152 - John Megimose (Bu) p. Kaison Rohrbaugh (Ke) 3:34; 160 - Ed Piatek (Mu) p. Spencer McCain (Ma) 2:22; 171 - Mikail McCalla (Me) d. Jordan Fields (Ma) 5-2; 189 - Chase Long (Bu) p. Jordan Lyman (He) 2:34; 215 - Jason Berman (Me) d. Blake Debord (Ma) 7-5; 285 - Jacob Mills (Bu) p. Trey Estrada (Mu) 4:20.

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