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Family tradition

Oh, brother, Hovermale wins third straight Leopard Holiday title

Oh, brother, Hovermale wins third straight Leopard Holiday title

December 31, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

SMITHSBURG -- Her school. Her tournament. Her bracket.

Smithsburg senior Monica Hovermale dominated the 103-pound weight class for the third straight year Wednesday at the 21st annual Leopard Holiday Invitational.

After needing a total of only 74 seconds to pin her first two opponents in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Hovermale shut out John Carroll's Devin Davis 10-0 in the finals to capture her third straight title at the tourney.

It was just business as usual for Hovermale, who barely celebrated her championship victory.

"Maybe if I pinned him, I would have been more excited," said Hovermale, who is 10-1 with eight pins this season. "But a win's a win. It feels sweet."

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The last Smithsburg wrestler to win three straight titles at the tourney was her older brother, Justin Hovermale, a 2007 graduate.

"For anybody to win three titles here is an incredible accomplishment," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "She's just trying to keep up with her brother."

"(My brother) talked about it a couple days ago," said Hovermale, not denying that there's a sibling rivalry. "I'm always trying to beat him, and he's always trying to beat me."

Smithsburg, which finished third in the 12-team field, had two other champions Wednesday. Nick Dilandro edged John Carroll's Sam Chell 3-2 in the finals at 135, and fellow senior Nieko Akers held off Rising Sun's Jesse McGee 6-4 in the finals at 171.

John Carroll won the team title with 229 points, while Springbrook held off Smithsburg 209-193 for second. South Hagerstown, the only other local team, finished 10th.

"With all the different schools, you don't know what to expect," said Akers, who finished second at 152 last year. "But I was pretty confident. I came in as the second seed, but I knew I could do better.

"It's my senior year, my home gym and a lot of people came out here to support us, so it was cool."

Dilandro improved two spots on the podium from his third-place finish at 125 last year.

"I didn't know how it was going to go, but I guess it worked out all right," he said. "It's a great way to end 2009."

Dean White (145 pounds) and Dylan Sharon (189) each finished second for Smithsburg, while Sean McAuley (160) also reached the podium by placing third and Chase Scott (130) finished fourth.

South Hagerstown didn't have any top-three placewinners. Eric Davis went 4-1 for the Rebels at 145 to reach the consolation finals, but was unable to compete for third because he'd already wrestled in five bouts, the most allowed in a single day under national rules. His would-be opponent, Thomas Johnson's Tom Prather, also had five bouts under his belt, so they tied for fourth.

Dustin Rowland (285) also finished fourth for South.

Leopard Holiday Invitational



Team scores: 1. John Carroll 229; 2. Springbrook 209; 3. Smithsburg 193; 4. Milford Mill 170.5; 5. Rising Sun 162.5; 6. Walter Johnson 124.5; 7. Thomas Johnson 89; 8. Allegany 79; 9. North East 76.5; 10. South Hagerstown 68; 11. Elkton 57.5; 12. Polytech 52.

Championship finals

103 -- Monica Hovermale (Sm) m.d. Devin Davis (JC) 10-0; 112 -- Scott Strappelli (JC) t.f. Weston Lynn (RS) 16-1; 119 -- Adam Heffelfinger (RS) m.d. Lance Waters (JC) 17-3; 125 -- George Weber (JC) d. Robert Rakes (RS) 7-1; 130 -- Vincent Galeano (Sp) p. Kiefer Maxwell (NE) 3:32; 135 -- Nick Dilandro (Sm) d. Sam Chell (JC) 3-2; 140 -- Joe Galeano (Sp) p. Lee Douglas (Po) 1:46; 145 -- Alex Abramson (Sp) m.d. Dean White (Sm) 14-3; 152 -- Elad Covaliu (WJ) m.d. C.J. Russell (NE) 9-1; 160 -- Mathew Miller (JC) p. Alex Campbell (Sp) 3:57; 171 -- Nieko Akers (Sm) d. Jesse McGee (RS) 6-4; 189 -- Darius Gregory (MM) p. Dylan Sharon (Sm) 2:28; 215 -- Stephen St. Clair (JC) m.d. Ty McGee, 16-4; 285 -- Patrick Texeira (WJ) d. Andrew Boranski (RS) 8-2.

Consolation finals

103 -- Marteen Majinsola (MM) d. Tommy Brantover (WJ) 7-2; 112 -- Brian Ressenger (Al) d. J.P. Nguyen (Sp) 6-4; 119 -- Ryan Mazurick (NE) t.f. Will Greenan (WJ) 17-2; 125 -- Kevin Koch (NE) fft. Donald Graham (MM); 130 -- Dan Froehlich (JC) d. Chase Scott (Sm) 5-0; 135 -- Eric Aguilar (Sp) d. Andrew Sell (Al) 10-3; 140 -- Casey Crowell (TJ) p. Joe Vitucci (JC) 4:38; 145 -- No bout; 152 -- Morgan Mendis (Sp) p. Malachia Ashley (MM) 1:48; 160 -- Sean McAuley (Sm) dflt. Elliott Like (TJ); 171 -- Sasha Barrow (Sp) d. Wil Puhl (JC) 7-5; 189 -- Michael Robinson (Sp) m.d. Nick Taylor (WJ) 13-4; 215 -- Curtis McQuerry (El) p. Elridge Coleman (MM) 3:10; 285 -- John Ward (Po) d. Dustin Rowland (SH) 8-5.

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