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County wrestling meet unpredictable

February 19, 2009|By Andrew Mason

No one wants to be deemed the favorite heading into Saturday's 19th annual Washington County Public Schools Wrestling Tournament at Boonsboro.

But let's call Williamsport it anyway.

The Wildcats went undefeated in dual meets against the four other county schools this season, including a 45-31 victory over archrival Smithsburg, the preseason favorite, on Feb. 4. They also proved to be a tough tournament team, most notably placing second at the 18-team Hub Cup last month.

"If you were a betting man, you'd probably be smart to bet on Williamsport," said Greg Slick, coach of defending champ North Hagerstown. "They're 4-0 in the county, and that match against Smithsburg was a pretty impressive win. That certainly puts them in line to be the favorite, but we're going to try our best to not let them win. I'm sure Smithsburg's thinking the same thing, and there are a couple of Boonsboro kids who will have something to say about it too.

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"Last year, there was a lot of talk about Williamsport and Smithsburg, and we kind of snuck in the back door. In a tournament this small, you need points from everyone. And that's what we got last year, and what we're hoping to do this year."

Anything seemingly can happen in this five-team tournament.

Three years ago, Williamsport entered the tourney with a 4-0 mark against the county and finished fourth. Smithsburg, which was 1-3, won.

"I think Smithsburg's the favorite because they've won it three of the last four years," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "They obviously know how to crank it up come county time."

"It's a toss-up, but we know we have a shot," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said.

North, Smithsburg and Williamsport are the only teams to have won county titles. Each has six.

South Hagerstown has twice finished second, while Boonsboro has twice finished third.

For the first time in at least eight years, the Warriors will compete at the county tourney with a full lineup.

"You have a chance to score when they're out there," Boonsboro coach Brian Smoot said.

The individual seedings are based on winning percentages.

Williamsport leads the way with five No. 1 seeds -- Kemper Baker (119 pounds), Zach Shoemaker (125), Joey Sutch (135), Robbie Mies (215) and Matt Cody (285).

Smithsburg has four No. 1 seeds -- Monica Hovermale (103), Nieko Akers (152), Jeb Slick (171) and Tyler Scott (189).

North has three -- Adrian Rivas (130), Kevin Mothershed (140) and Devin Martinez (160). And Boonsboro and South have one each -- Travis Boreni (112) for the Warriors, and Ian Anderson (145) for the Rebels.

Anderson and North's Michael Leonard (145) -- who are 1-1 against each other this season -- also are each 24-4. But Anderson won the coin toss for the top seed.

The returning champs are Hovermale, Baker, Scott and Smithsburg's Nick Dilandro, who is seeded second at 125.

Boonsboro has the most No. 2 seeds with five.

The preliminary bouts begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. The semifinals start at 11:30, the consolation finals at 1 p.m. and the championship finals at 3.

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