When St. Paul's last beat Mount St. Joseph in wrestling, Desi McNelis was in his next-to-last year as the Crusaders' assistant coach.
That was back in 1980, when the Crusaders tied the Gaels for the Maryland Scholastic Association tournament title after winning the A Conference dual-meet crown with a 12-0 record. And courtesy of yesterday's 50-18 loss to the No. 2 Gaels, the 10th-year coach still hasn't beaten them since.
McNelis' 10th-ranked Crusaders (2-1) led, 12-11, when sixth-ranked Shane McCarthy's second-period pin put the Gaels ahead, 17-12. The Gaels (1-0) then swept the next six bouts -- five by pin -- and led, 50-12, before defending MSA champ Troy Thingelstad scored a match-ending pin for St. Paul's.
"We had just worked up so much energy that when it was my turn, I was really high," said Jim Bruggy (160), whose pin put the match out of the Crusaders' reach, 38-12.
"I was hoping for a win at 160 pounds, so that [pin] was a surprise," said McNelis. "I thought there were some earlier matches that could have gone either way."
Others pinning for the 16-time league champion Gaels were 140-pound Chad Votta (12-1, nine pins), top-ranked 152-pound wrestler Kevin Neville (12-0, 10 pins), Dan Blachert (171) and Sean Ruane (189). Blachert trailed, 5-2, and Ruane, 2-0, when they finished their opponents. Ruane gained a measure of revenge over George Kirkpatrick, who had pinned him earlier.
The seven pins were sandwiched around an 11-4 decision by the Gaels' sixth-ranked freshman, Danny DeVivo (145).
* In another meet, unranked Overlea recorded five pins, including the second-period clincher by junior heavyweight Eli McClain, as the visiting Falcons posted a 39-33 victory over No. 3-ranked Owings Mills, the defending Class 2A-1A state champion.
"I just think it was our best lineup of the season and we wrestled tough," said 13th-year coach Pete Chakmakis. "We've had sickness, injuries and football players coming in late. So that, no question, makes the kids feel like we've got a shot."