Pats Survive Crusaders' Charge

P.g. Upstart Just 1 Surprise In Annapolis Tourney

December 09, 1991|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff writer

OK, so three-time Class 4A/3A state champion Old Mill dethroned Mount St. Joseph in Saturday's 13th annual Annapolis High wrestling tournament.

But first:

Who were those rugged guys from Riverdale Baptist, a team with just one senior, who finished a close second (157.5 points) in front oflast year's champion Gaels (132.5), and whom the Patriots (174) facein a Jan. 24 tri-meet at North County?

That question, and severalother surprises, wrinkled more than a few foreheads in the capacity crowd.

Consider:

* Old Mill's top-ranked senior state champion Brian Layman (33-0 last year), lost, 3-2, in the 171-pound semifinal to Riverdale Baptist's unranked Greg David, the eventual runner-up toBullis' John Horwat.

* Annapolis' state runner-up Chip Cochran (152) was the county and regional champion a year ago, when he lost only twice in 35 matches, to Mount St. Joseph's National Prep runner-up Kris Reina, 6-5, and Thomas Stone's state champ Vince Higgs, 6-4.

So when the seemingly invincible Cochran, projected as the top-ranked145-pounder, was planted in just 1 minute, 38 seconds by St. Joe junior Kevin Neville, that was the final blow in a debilitating day for the sixth-place Panthers (109.5).

* And what about fifth-place Broadneck's junior regional and state champion Charlie Bennett losing his 112-pound title bout, 5-4, to Calvert Hall's Greg Knox, a blown-up 103-pounder. Or Old Mill's Steve Lundstrom, who edged Bennett for last year's 103-pound county crown, losing, 8-4, to Knox in the semifinal. That bout was the reverse of last year's 103-pound bout, won by Lundstrom, 7-4. Riverdale's Benny Ferro later pinned the fourth-ranked Lundstrom for third place.

Old Mill had some upset winners, beginning with the Patriots' best-kept secret, 103-pound sophomore Jason Bryant, who scored a pin and two major decisions to reach the championship bout.

There, he won, 7-2, over Mount St. Joseph's former junior-league state champion David Inkman, becoming the first of three individual winners for the Patriots.

"A lot of good things happened here, and I know we'll continue to go on from here," said Old Mill coach Mike Hampe. "This is the truest test we can find in Maryland. Here, we're wrestling outstanding kids, so we know exactly where we stand."

Old Mill's other champions were No. 4-ranked county and regional runner-up John Bliss (145), who edged Riverdale Baptist's Randy DeHaven, 7-6, and sixth-ranked Ernie Longazel (189), who blanked his Severna Park nemesis Aaron Cree, 5-0.

The Patriots' No. 3-ranked county champion Don Marco dropped his heavyweight bout, 5-2, to Oakland Mills' top-ranked Monte Spencer.

But the little guys, the smallest being Bryant, saved the day for Old Mill, counteracting the crucial bouts lost by the Patriot notables with Riverdale Baptist giving chase.

Old Mill's Young Chang (140) eventually was eliminated, but not before sending Annapolis' No. 2-seed Ford Baumgardener into the losers' bracket with a 7-5 first-round loss.

And the Patriots led by just 3.5 points when Todd Hultgren (152) pinned Broadneck's Chris McTammany for third place, good for five points and breathing room. Old Mill's Ken Seavey (130) also placed third.

Among Bryant's victories was a second-round stunner, 12-2, over the Panthers' No. 3-ranked Kevin Owen, who rebounded to take third place.

"He was up at 112 lastyear, so I figured he'd be cutting a lot and he'd be weaker in the last period," said Bryant, who was nearly pinned in the first period.

Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes said, "We just had some bad breaks and some injuries today."

The first Panthers to be eliminated were Baumgardener (17-1 last year) and highly touted teammate Nick Samaras.Heavyweight Demond Galloway was fourth.

Two more highly regarded Annapolis grapplers, 125-pound Ira Robbins and 135-pound Tom Sfakiyanudas, both were winning their bouts when shoulder injuries forced them to default.

Although the wrestlers wanted to continue, Gehrdes threw in the towel, keeping the season in mind, specifically a Dec. 17date with Broadneck.

The Bruins had one repeat champion, state runner-up Shawn Miller (119), and 160-pound Seth Lopatkiewicz won his first crown, 6-5, over Riverdale Baptist's J. R. Proctor.

Another stunning upset came in the 140-pound semifinals, when eighth-place Severna Park's unheralded Paul Ehemann overcame a 7-2 first-period lead and flattened Mount St. Joseph's powerful Chad Votta in the second period.

A year ago, Votta, who finished third in the tournament, compiled 35 victories and won the Maryland Scholastic Association championship. He had pinned all of his previous opponents.

Meanwhile, Ehemann, who lost, 6-5, to Bullis' Andy Butler in the championship bout, was a wrestler more known for his mistakes than his technical genius, although he finished fourth in the county and third in last year'sregional tournament.

"I think a lot of Votta's problem was that he didn't warm up before the match," said Ehemann (23-10 last season)."While I was warming up, I watched him sitting on the bleachers the whole time before the match. And when he came on the mat, he was coldas ice."

For last-place St. Mary's, Phil MacWilliams (135) was third and Scott Thompson (171) was fourth. Although Thompson has lost four times in 10 matches, three have come against Riverdale Baptist's David and the other in the consolation championship loss to Layman.

"I've seen the best that I'm going to see this year," said Thompson, a junior, who was a runner-up to David at Curley last weekend. "I think I have a shot at the MSA title. There's no one there as good as these guys."

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