Chesapeake won yet another round of its wrestling backyard brawl with Pasadena neighbor Northeast over the weekend.
The Cougars (216 points) downed the second-place Eagles (158.5) for the title in Saturday's 13th annual Arundel holiday tournament. They dethroned the host and 10-time champion Wildcats (143.5), who edged fourth-place Glen Burnie (142).
"We placed 11 guys in the top three of their weight class, which will win tournaments for us," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter, whose 3-0 Cougars finished third in the eight-team event last year. "We had three runners-up. Steve Shirk (119), Rob Zittle (125) and Steve Davis (135) made the finals and they're sophomores."
For Chesapeake, senior Steve Kopp (145, a 10-1 record) decisioned Northeast junior Bill Kazenberger, 13-5, in his title bout and sophomore Doug Horton (130, 8-2) collected his fifth pin over Meade's Bill Fisher, the 112-pound champ of last year.
Chesapeake had six third-place wrestlers:Mark Downey (103), Rich Brown (112), Ron Shirk (152), Tony Perillo (160), Shawn Somers (171) and Chuck McConnell (189).
Four of the Eagles' five undergraduate finalists captured titles. The freshmen Kusick twins, Marty (103) and Mike (112), and sophomore Steve Smiddy (119) all remained unbeaten at 11-0. Northeast junior Al Grunder (152, a 10-3 record) built a 10-0 lead over Wilde Lake's Robert McGrain before getting his fourth pin of the year.
"Northeast is looking prettygood," said Slichter, who has not lost a dual meet to the Eagles in his seven-year tenure. "I may have to retire before next year."
InMarty Kusick's come-from-behind 12-6 semifinal victory, the Cougars'Downey blew a 5-0 lead after almost pinning Kusick in the first period.
The Cougars' Steve Shirk nearly handed Smiddy his first loss in their title bout before Smiddy's third-period reversal gave him the6-5 victory.
Another match that didn't go the Cougars' way was Somers' 171-pound, 6-4 semifinal loss to Arundel's county runner-up Greg Booth. The two wrestlers were a combined 18-0 entering the match, but Booth scored three points in the bout's final seven seconds to overcome a 4-3 deficit.
Booth planted Wilde Lake's Howard County champion, Nate Casella, in the second period of their title tilt. Booth'sArundel teammate, Phil Stratton (160), blanked Glen Burnie's John Wehn, 7-0, for the crown.
Glen Burnie senior Mark Nevin (125) decisioned Zittle, 4-3, to stay unbeaten at 8-0.
Last year's 189-pound runner-up, Meade heavyweight Jeff Katona (8-0), also remained undefeated but had an even tougher time than Nevin. A mere 220-pounder, Katona edged North County's 230-pound Corey Fowler, 6-5, in the semifinalsand Glen Burnie's 240-pound Paul Musil, 3-1, in the title bout.
North County coach Chuck Markiewicz is somewhat dumbfounded by the awkward style his 189-pound champion Ji Kim (6-1, five pins) used to win. The lanky wrestler draws on his skills as a judo black belt in the cumbersome and even risky style in which he posted a 22-2 record with18 pins last year.
Kim built a 13-2 lead on Dundalk's muscular James Tyler before getting a third-period pin.