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'Everyone dreams of it'

State titles come true for 'Cats Mies, Baker

State titles come true for 'Cats Mies, Baker

March 07, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- As a junior last year, Williamsport's Robbie Mies tied a single-season school record for victories with 37, while setting the single-season school record for pins at 29.

On Saturday night at the Maryland Class 2A-1A State Wrestling Tournament, Mies solidified his place as one of Williamsport's all-time greats.

He built a 7-2 lead on Easton's Calvin Rookard before pinning him in 5:27 in the championship finals at 215 pounds.

It was his record-breaking 30th pin of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time or place.

"Oh, God no," said Mies, who placed fifth at 160 last year. "It was an amazing feeling just being out there for the finals -- all those people, all those fans. I couldn't ask for anything more.

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"I'm just so happy and thankful -- thankful for my coaches and thankful for my team. I loved everything about wrestling for Williamsport."

Kemper Baker still has two more seasons left with the Wildcats. And if they end like this one did, he might be remembered as Williamsport's all-time greatest.

Baker, a sophomore competing in his first state tourney, held off Landsdowne's Earl Eppard 10-9 for the title at 119.

"I want to walk away with it two more times," Baker said.

He barely escaped with it Saturday night.

Baker (36-2) put Eppard (26-4) on his back for a 5-0 lead early in the first period, and then survived Eppard's take-him-down-let-him-up rally.

After scoring his fourth takedown to tie the score at 9-9 with a little less than a minute left, Eppard let Baker escape for the decisive point. The Landsdowne senior was unable to get another takedown.

"He was good on his feet and really strong," Baker said. "I wanted to wrestle him on the mat, but he kept letting me up."

It's the first time Williamsport has had two state champs in the same season.

"Unreal, just unreal. I'm glad I was a part of it," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "We knew Robbie had a chance to win the thing because he can pin just about anybody.

"And Kemper we thought had a good chance to place. But he put together the best run I've seen as a coach at a tournament. He beat three returning state placewinners on his way to the title. For him to do that as a sophomore is pretty incredible."

Washington County hadn't had a state wrestling champ since Mike McGill won his second straight title for Williamsport in 2005.

"I talked to McGill yesterday and the night before," Baker said. "It was really inspirational. He said how I reminded him so much of him."

Mies' 4-0 run through his bracket included three pins and improved his season record to 34-4.

The first point he allowed all weekend was when Rookard (41-4) escaped for a 1-0 lead early in the second period in the final.

"When it's 0-0, you're careful," Mies said. "When you're down by a point, you throw it out there to try to get it."

He took Rookard down for a 2-1 lead and then turned him to make it 4-1. Leading 5-2 midway through the third, Mies scored another takedown and put Rookard on his back for good.

"Everyone dreams of it," said Mies of the title. "But it's been a motivation thinking it was a possibility."

Smithsburg senior Tyler Scott was the county's only other placewinner. He beat North Dorchester's Trevon Johnson 9-4 in the consolation final for fifth place at 189.

"At least I got to end it with a win," said Scott, who finished 33-4 for the season.

But after going 2-0 Friday to advance to Saturday's championship semifinals, he had hoped for so much more.

Scott lost 2-0 to eventual champion Lance Lepard of Harford Tech in the semifinals. He then was edged 2-1 in the consolation semifinals by Winters Mill's Justin Kozera, whom Scott had beaten 10-5 in last weekend's West region final.

"I definitely should have beaten (Kozera). I have no excuse," Scott said.

"I guess it's good to place, but I'm not really happy with the overall result."

Williamsport's Joey Sutch lost in the consolation quarterfinals at 135, falling one win shy of placing. He finished 2-2 for the tourney and 33-7 for his junior year.

North Hagerstown senior Devin Martinez dropped his first consolation bout Saturday at 160, finishing 1-2 for the tourney and 25-12 for the season.

The county's other three state qualifiers -- Smithsburg's Monica Hovermale (103) and Dean White (140) and South Hagerstown's Ian Anderson (145) -- were eliminated Friday.

Prep Wrestling



Md. 2A-1A State Championships
at COLLEGE PARK, Md.
Washington County results
Consolation second round

135 -- Joey Sutch (Williamsport) d. Matt Kuegler (Liberty) 10-4.
160 -- Will Sharkey (Winters Mill) t.f. Devin Marinez (North Hagerstown) 16-0.
Championship semifinals
119 -- Kemper Baker (Williamsport) d. Ben Baker (Pikesville) 4-3.
189 -- Lance Lepard (Harford Tech) d. Tyler Scott (Smithsburg) 2-0.
215 -- Robbie Mies (Williamsport) p. Abe Tadross (Owings Mills) 3:00.
Consolation quarterfinals
135 -- Nolan Rinker (FSK) d. Sutch, 8-4.
Consolation semifinals
189 -- Justin Kozera (Winters Mill) d. Scott, 2-1.
Consolation finals for fifth place
189 -- Scott d. Trevon Johnson (North Dorchester) 9-4.
Championship finals
119 -- Baker d. Earl Eppard (Landsdowne) 10-9.
215 -- Mies p. Calvin Rookard (Easton) 5:27.
Note: For complete results, go to www.mpssaa.org.

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