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Wrestling: Flip goes Hubs' way

February 06, 2012|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown wrestling coach Greg Slick doesn’t seem like the easiest guy to shake.

But even he admitted that he was scared to death Saturday night.

The fate of his team came down to a coin flip, as the Hubs were tied with Walter Johnson for the fourth and final spot for Wednesday’s Maryland Class 4A-3A West region dual-meet championships. And only one of them would advance.

“Honestly, I was terrified,” Slick said. “I was afraid that after the way these kids have wrestled all season that I’d lose the coin toss.”

Hours after the Hubs swept a tri-meet with Fort Hill and Francis Scott Key on Saturday to finish their regular season on an 11-match winning streak, they scored an even bigger victory.

The coin flip went their way.

“I think it’s a stinking way for a team to get eliminated from participation in the postseason, by a coin flip. But we’re happy to be there,” said Slick, whose team is 12-2 (not counting its 5-2 showing in a dual-meet tournament in December). “Maybe the gods of wrestling were looking down on us.”

In Wednesday’s semifinals, North will face host Springbrook (14-0), the top seed, while second-seeded Damascus (14-0) will go against third-seeded Wootton (13-1). Both semis start at 5:30 p.m., and the two winners then will meet for the region title at 7:30.

“We’re looking forward to going down there and representing Western Maryland,” Slick said.

While the Hubs haven’t wrestled against either Damascus or Wootton this season, they have faced Springbrook, and they lost 46-23 in a match at the Golden Eagle Duals on Dec. 10.

“Springbrook is a very solid team, a very solid program,” said Slick, who was missing two starters when the Hubs lost to them, including standout heavyweight Dylan Dopson. “We did not wrestle well against them, no excuses. But we’re hoping to make a better showing this time around.

“I know we’ve gotten better, but I’m sure they’ve made some improvements, too. It’s going to be a challenge.”

North hasn’t competed in the region duals since 2003.

“I said to the kids, ‘You don’t know when you’re going to get back again, so make the most of it,’” Slick said. “They’re very excited. They’ve worked so hard in practice this season and have made such vast improvements.”

Wednesday’s champion will advance to the state duals Saturday at North Point High School.

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