Few surprises greeted fans at last weekend's Harford County Wrestling Tournament.
The seeding committee did such a good job that only one of the top seeds fell in the finals on Feb. 22 at Fallston High. Only four second seeds failed to reach the championship round.
The team championship certainly was no surprise: Aberdeen won itseighth straight title.
The Eagles scored 146.5 points to beat second-place Edgewood, who had 110.5.
North Harford was third with 89.5 followed by C. Milton Wright, 84.5; Bel Air, 77; Harford Tech, 69.5; Fallston, 66.5; Havre de Grace, 43; and Joppatowne, 33.
Some ofthe other highlights of the two-day event:
* Flying eagles: Dick Slutzky's squads have won 14 team championships since 1976. Only three other teams have won team titles since the tournament began in 1970: Edgewood (1984), Bel Air (1982, 1970-1972) and North Harford (1977,1973-1975).
* Clean sweep: Aberdeen's Matt Slutzky became only the second wrestler in the 23-year history of the tournament to win four county championships. Slutzky joined former teammate Chris Franklin, a 1990 graduate, in the record books.
* Double trouble: The individual titles were spread around more than in recent years. Five teams had two individual winners each -- Matt Slutzky (135) and Zack Fowl(119), Aberdeen; Scott Birth (125) and Rob Smallwood (152), Bel Air;Minh Dang (119) and John Lamancusa (HVY), Edgewood; Derek Schwarz (140) and Max Dodd (145), Fallston; and Brandon Moore (103) and Marc Perrine (160).
* Champs, too: The other winners were C. Milton Wright's Ryan Arist (189), Harford Tech's Brian Johnson (130) and Havre deGrace's Tom Burdsall (171).
* Name game: Bel Air's Scott Birth can't forget that he was introduced as Chris Birth -- his brother -- ata dual meet with Edgewood earlier this season. By pulling off the only upset of the tournament finals, Scott did all he could to make people remember his name.
Scott defeated top-seeded Jim Ervine, of Havre de Grace, by a 10-3 decision to win his second straight title. Scott may spend more time in the shadow of his brother, a state champ and three-time county champ who graduated from Bel Air in 1990. But nobody was thinking about Chris last weekend.
Scott had wrestled Ervine 17 times going back to recreation leagues, but both knew this year's county final was the most important because it was the last time they would wrestle.
"No matter how many times I beat him before, Ihad to beat him this time. If I didn't, everything else would cancelout," said Scott, who holds a 14-3 lifetime edge over Ervine.
* Grapplin' cousins: To win his 103-pound title, North Harford's BrandonMoore had to beat his cousin, Vince Tucciarella, of C. Milton Wright. Moore, battling a bad case of bronchitis, won a 5-3 decision.
The two have only been wrestling for two years, but they spend a lot oftime practicing moves in Moore's basement. During the season, Moore,a junior and older by a year, won an 8-0 decision. Tucciarella has yet to beat his cousin. "He's just real quick on his feet, he's got a good shoot, and he's strong," said Tucciarella.
* Grapplin' cousins, Part