Manchester Wrestlers End Drought, Win Own Tourney

January 02, 1991|By Mike Nortrup | Mike Nortrup,Contributing sports writer

HAMPSTEAD — For the first time in 12 years, the Manchester Wrestling Club is master of its own house.

The local youth wrestling group won its Manchester Holiday Tournament last weekend at North Carroll High School for the first time since winning the inaugural affair in 1978.

In breaking its 12-year drought, Manchester racked up 315 team points. Dundalk and Randallstown, Baltimore County teams which had maintained a 10-year hammerlock on the tournament championship, were second and third in this year's 12-team field, with 288 and 280 points, respectively.

Carroll's Francis Scott Key club was eighth with 69 points and the South Carroll-based Warriors team was 10th with 47. Westminster did not compete.

Ken Kiler, Manchester head coach throughout the 13 holiday tournaments, has had his share of bad ones.

His feelings about 1990, though, were understandably upbeat.

"It wasnice to beat those guys," he said, "The kids really wrestled well this weekend."

Included were his sons Tommy and Andy, who made it into Sunday afternoon's finals.

Andy, at 115 pounds, decisioned Francis Scott Key's Randy Owings 7-1 in the only all-Carroll finals bout of the tournament, and took the outstanding heavyweight award as well.

Tommy, though, had to settle for second place in the 100-pound class, as he lost, 11-8, to Reisterstown's Jimmy Hudson in one of the afternoon's more exciting championship bouts.

"I'm proud of the way he (Tommy) wrestled," said not-too-distraught father/coach Kiler.

But the most proud daddy in the place had to be Manchester assistant James Holmes.

Holmes saw three sons make it to the Sunday's championships, and all three won titles.

James Jr. won at 55 and took the tourney's outstanding lightweight award, Randy won at 70, and stepson Shaun Gehres at 60.

"I work with them quite a bit," said Holmes, who in his younger days wrestled at Carver Vo-Tech in Baltimore and later in the Army.

The Holmes family wrestling team is also seasoned by good-natured intramural sibling rivalry.

"They ride each other if they don't do well," he said with a laugh.

Manchester took the team point lead during Saturday's semifinals and, in the process, placed nine wrestlers in the finals.

With that number of grapplers eligible to rack up as many as six team points for each win, the North Carroll-based team was definitely in the driver's seat.

And,Manchester didn't waste the opportunity. Its first five scheduled contestants won their championship bouts to clinch the tourney team crown.

First, Tyler Alexander, 50, pinned his Dundalk opponent less than a minute into their bout.

Then, in quick succession, James Holmes won, 9-3; Gehres decisioned, 12-1; Randy Holmes recorded a pin towin his third Manchester Tournament individual championship in four years; and Doug Dell, 80, won a 10-3 decision.

Later, Brian Seifer, the Warriors' only finalist, survived a near-pin in the final moments to win a 7-5 championship decision in the 95-pound class.

Then,after the Kilers split their two bouts, Manchester's two other finalists -- Cory Rill, 130, and Chris Boog, 145 -- lost on a 10-4 decision and a fall, respectively.

By then, it was all over but the counting.

"The kids like winning their own tournament," said Kiler, whoadded that this year's Manchester's squad, "weight for weight, is the best we've had."

Overall, county wrestlers placed in one or moreof the top six (trophy-winning) positions in 15 of the tournament's 18 weight categories.

Besides the finalists, Manchester placed Zach Maloff and Fran Jackson, 55, fourth and third, respectively; Clint Day, Tim Hatfield, and Scott Fairley, 65, third, fifth, and sixth, respectively; Jason Whitney, 70, sixth; Adam Boog, 75, fourth; Eddy Davis, 90, fourth; Danny Cunningham,95, fifth; Todd Shrader, 107, sixth,Danny Robinson, 122, third; Tom Cunningham, 130, sixth; and SaidrickLewis, 137, fifth.

Francis Scott Key placed Nate Yinger, 50, third; Ryan Etzler, 70, fifth; Tim Beale, 75, sixth; and Jason Hooper, 80, fifth.

The Warriors placed Rick Leeds and Jason Kramer, 122, sixth and fourth, respectively; and Steve Bravo, 137, sixth.

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