Matt Slutzky set two goals at the beginning of his senior wrestling season -- to win a fourth state title and to go undefeated.
Wednesday night, Rising Sun sophomore Jason Townsend made sure Slutzky wouldn't achieve one of those goals. Townsend spoiled Slutzky's unbeaten season with a 5-3 victory.
The night before the match, Townsend sat down for a long talk with the best authority on Slutzky he could find -- his brother Willie Townsend, the only wrestler to beat Slutzky in 33 matches last year. Jason ended up beating Slutzky by the identical score his brother had.
"It wasn't so much that he told me what to do in the match -- he just prepared me for it mentally. My attitude won it for me. I reallywent in thinking he had everything to lose, and I had nothing to lose," said Jason, who wrestled at powerhouse Oxford, Pa., last year along with his brother.
In the match, Townsend (17-0) scored on a takedown with 1:26 to go in the match and controlled Slutzky (17-1) the rest of the way.
"I had a bar lock on him," explained Townsend. "Ilooked at the score and it was 5-3 and I had it under control. He's tough to turn, so I just thought I had to hold him down and go for the win."
Slutzky had taken a 3-2 lead with an escape and a takedownin the second period. But the three-time state champ made a criticalthird-period error. He let Townsend shoot, and once Townsend had Slutzky's legs, he controlled the match.
"The other kid knew Matt wasleaving him the opening," said Aberdeen coach Dick Slutzky, Matt's father. "(Matt) let him in on his legs. He didn't give (Townsend) the respect, and that's what happens. It happens once a year."
Slutzkyand Townsend will not meet again this year.
They will go after state titles in different weight classes. Slutzky has been ranked No. 1all season at 140 pounds by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. Townsend is ranked No. 6 at 135.
Despite Slutzky's loss, Aberdeen had little trouble with the rest of the Cecil County team. The Eagles dropped only three matches in the meet and tied two as they defeated previously unbeaten Rising Sun, 40-16.
The Tigers have never beat Aberdeen. Of all the teams in Cecil County, only North East has posted a single win over Aberdeen.
Wednesday, Zack Fowl (112), BrettJohnson (119), Frank Johnson (125), Kit Doran (130), Dave Mumpower (135), Chad Guerrera (145), Todd Jones (152) and Charles Shannon (171)won their matches for Aberdeen.
The team (10-2) is ranked No. 6 by The Baltimore Sun and No. 10 by the MSWA.