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2011-12 All-County Wrestling: Shoemaker achieved it all

March 22, 2012|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport's Zach Shoemaler is the H-M Wrestler of the Year.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Williamsport senior Zach Shoemaker was a man with a plan, and it all came together for him during the wrestling season.

“We write down goals at the beginning of the season, and at the end, he could check off every single one,” Williamsport wrestling coach Mike Rechtorovic said. “Very few kids get to do that at the end of the year.”

Even fewer have the kind of season — or career — like the one Shoemaker recently wrapped up.

He finished the season unbeaten at 40-0 with 18 pins and 10 tech falls to lift his career record to 135-18, as he set Washington County records for single-season and career victories.

His last victory was his most monumental, as he defeated Owings Mills’ Taran Carr 7-1 in the Maryland Class 2A-1A 160-pound final for his first state title.

Shoemaker is The Herald-Mail’s 2011-12 Washington County Wrestler of the Year.

“The state title is what I was focused on all year,” he said. “The county records are nice in addition to that, but if I had to choose between the records and the state title, I’d definitely choose the state title.”

Shoemaker also admitted that he still is a bit overwhelmed by it all.

“Every morning I wake up and the first thing in my head is shock, that I went undefeated and won states,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to grasp because I worked for it all my life and to finally reach that goal is just amazing.”

Along the way this season, he won his first Damascus Tournament title, his third Hub Cup title at North Hagerstown and his fourth Rebel Duals crown at South Hagerstown. He also became a four-time county champ, a two-time region champ and a three-time state placewinner.

“It was a great ride to be a part of this season,” Rechtorovic said, “watching him get his hand raised every single time.”

Shoemaker finished third at 145 pounds at states last year, after finishing fourth at 145 as a sophomore.

In the finals this year, he had to face last year’s 145 state champ, Carr.

“People might have thought of me as an underdog,” Shoemaker said. “But I was like, ‘This is it, I’m finally in the state finals, I’m not going to lose.’”

He had worked too hard, sacrificed too much and packed too many hours into his days to be denied.

As great as his commitments were to wrestling this season, they might have paled in comparison to his responsibilities off the mat.

A few weeks before the season began, Shoemaker’s son, Jaden, was born.

So all at once, he was a school student, a wrestler and a new father, whose new obligations also had him working 35 hours a week at a bowling alley to help make ends meet.

During the season, he often wouldn’t be able to get to bed until after midnight, and then he’d be up as early as 5:30 a.m. to help take care of his son before going to school and then wrestling practice.

“It made it more difficult, but it made me want it more,” Shoemaker said. “The biggest thing is that a lot of people didn’t think I’d even wrestle or wouldn’t do well because I wouldn’t be focused. But wrestling teaches you about overcoming challenges. I wanted to prove all those people wrong, that I would still wrestle and that I would do well.”

Now he has more opportunities because of it.

“Winning states with a perfect record opened a whole new set of doors for me,” he said. “A lot of colleges are getting in touch with me about wrestling.”

While Shoemaker said he does plan to wrestle in college, he also said he doesn’t want to be too far separated from his son and his girlfriend, Jaden’s mother.

“There are so many different options,” he said. “And it’s really difficult to decide what I’m going to do, whether I’m going to go somewhere and drive home every day or go somewhere and just drive home every chance I get.”

Another plan likely will come together.

Joining Shoemaker on the all-county first team are:

Killian Baker, Williamsport, 138

The senior became a four-time county champ.

Season: 22-12; Career: 94-46

Gene Balcita, North Hagerstown, 126

The sophomore placed third in 4A-3A West and was a county champ.

Season: 30-10; Career: 45-25

Brady Burker, Saint James, 285

The senior won his third Mid-Atlantic Conference title.

Season: 22-5; Career: 56-18

Kenneth Burrs, North Hagerstown, 170

The senior won county gold, 4A-3A West silver and state bronze.

Season: 36-3; Career: 75-24

Brendon Colbert, North Hagerstown, 120

The sophomore’s only two losses came in the finals of the 4A-3A state and West region championships, as he set a single-season school record for victories.

Season: 37-2; Career: 72-4

Chris Collins, South Hagerstown, 195

The senior won 4A-3A West and county titles.

Season: 31-5; Career: 56-20

Bryan Davis, Williamsport, 120

The sophomore placed sixth at states in 2A-1A.

Season: 21-12; Career: 51-21

Dylan Dopson, North Hagerstown, 285

The senior placed second in 4A-3A West and fifth at states.

Season: 30-8; Career: 69-25

Marquil Holt, South Hagerstown, 220

The junior won a county title and placed fifth in 4A-3A West.

Season: 20-2; Career: 33-14

Connor McHose, North Hagerstown, 182

The senior won a county title and placed third in 4A-3A West.

Season: 32-7; Career: 75-43

Zach Nalley, Williamsport, 285

The senior placed fourth in 2A-1A West.

Season: 29-11; Career: 33-16

Aaron Rowland, South Hagerstown, 285

The senior won a county title in a loaded bracket and placed third in 4A-3A West.

Season: 18-5; Career: 48-15

Chase Scott, Smithsburg, 152

The senior won a county title and placed fifth in 2A-1A West.

Season: 33-3; Career: 75-41

Duncan Yeisley, North Hagerstown, 113

The senior was a 4A-3A West region runner-up.

Season: 31-3; Career: 117-53

ALL-COUNTY SECOND TEAM

George Ardinger, Junior, Williamsport, 132

Dylan Bryce, Freshman, Smithsburg, 106

Terry Chapman, Senior, South Hagerstown, 145

Davon Clark, Junior, Boonsboro, 152

Ryan Hartsock, Senior, North Hagerstown, 145

Amont Hawkins, Junior, North Hagerstown, 220

Dalton Hawkins, Freshman, Boonsboro, 120

Austin Keadle, Freshman, Williamsport, 170

Diantra Landry, Junior, North Hagerstown, 138

Travis Leopold, Junior, Smithsburg, 182

Barry Loeser, Freshman, Williamsport, 106

Antonio Rosario, Junior, North Hagerstown, 195

Sinjin Shoop, Freshman, Williamsport, 126

Kenny Smith, Senior, Williamsport, 113

Mike Tobery, Junior, North Hagerstown, 106

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