Wrestling preview: Aberdeen aiming for 9th straight county title

December 13, 1992|By John W. Stewart Bel Air

Aberdeen

Senior veterans Zack Fowl and Aaron Wanless head a team that will be seeking Aberdeen's ninth consecutive Harford County wrestling title.

Fowl, a two-time state champion at 119 pounds, and Wanless, a 275-pound athlete who was the county heavyweight champ two years ago and third in the county and region last year, were among the team's five winners at last weekend's Bel Air tournament.

The others were sophomore Kit Doran at 140, junior Chad Guerrera at 152 and junior Mike Grant at 171.

"This was the first time we've opened with a tournament, maybe ever, but it was a good opportunity and we could stay local," said coach Dick Slutzky. "It was a problem in the past, because a lot of teams had early tournaments, their wrestlers had more matches, and thus had seeding advantages later."

It was also a chance to work a group he calls "greener and younger than in the past," a factor that might lead to a more balanced chase for the county team title.

Senior contenders for starting roles are Dave Mumpower, Travis Thornton, Woody Carroll and Sir Charles Kirksey, the last getting back into shape after a football injury.

Juniors who will provide flexibility in moving among weight classes are Erik Fitzcharles, Giro Cristello, Frank Johnson, Don Ewing and Chris Allen, plus sophomore Mike Griffith. Bel Air returns a dozen wrestlers who started at one time or another last year, topped by Anthony Pasko, who was third in the county at 130.

Pasko, who wrestled at 130 pounds, was one of the team's four champions out of seven finalists in the Bel Air tournament. The other winners were Ryan Zimmerman, Franklin Jones and Matt Birth.

This is another young team, with Pasko and Jones among four seniors who are expected to play key roles. The others are Brandon Barrett and Andy Clark.

Zimmerman (103) is the lone freshman in the lineup, and Birth (125) is one of four sophomores. Both are former Junior League champs.

Among the other candidates are juniors Ken Storck, Joe Strazzire, Steve Thomas, Jeremiah Bowling and Dick Bowling, and sophomores Matt Carlson, Scott Canavan and Jason Smith. Carlson (pin) and Bowling (decision) had the team's points in a midweek loss to North Carroll.

"I was pleased with our showing in the tournament," third-year coach Gene Blizzard said, "and I'd say we are where we want to be.

"We had a chance to beat Aberdeen [the Eagles had 198 points to 188 for Bel Air], but lost it in the consolations."

Bel Air finished fifth in last year's county tournament and is one of several teams looking to move up.

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John W. Stewart

C. Milton Wright

C. Milton Wright will count on experienced seniors and juniors this season, as it looks to better its efforts of a year ago.

"We were second in the regular season, 9-6, and fourth in the championships," said sixth-year coach Carl Holston.

"Now, we have some good, young wrestlers to go with our experience, and I think we can do pretty well."

Last week, the Mustangs had seven place-winners and finished fifth, 2 1/2 points out of fourth place (behind highly regarded Eastern Vo Tech), among 17 teams at the Loch Raven tournament.

The top performers were a pair of veterans, junior Vince Tuccciarella, second in the county at 103 last year, who was second at 119, and senior Aric Schwab, second at 125.

The team's other place-winners included fourths by senior Ethan Kushner (160), junior Barry Mitchell (171) and sophomore Will Hanks (189) and a fifth by senior Gordon Reilly (145).

New members expected to contribute include freshmen Dave Schmidt and Jason Lentz, sophomores Brian Walter and Jeff Christie, junior Chris Young and seniors Bryan Reiss and Mike Brown.

"I was quite pleased with the early matches," Holston said. "At Loch Raven, every one of our wrestlers won at least one match."

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John W. Stewart

Edgewood

Some outstanding individuals but not as strong an overall team as last year is the picture at Edgewood, where former assistant Mark Zvitkovitz moves up as head coach.

Senior Mihn Dang heads the list of holdovers. At 125, he was first in Harford County, second in the region and second in the state tournament. He was 26-4, with his losses coming in tournaments.

Competing in the North East tournament and a dual meet with Elkton last week, he had two pins and ran his record to 4-0.

The team was fifth at North East, and Zvitkovitz considered that "satisfactory." Then he added, "Our problem is we're not deep. We just don't have the numbers."

Two county runners-up from last season are back, junior Dave Schimmel, up from 112 to 119, and senior Tim Beach, up from 152 to 171. The other seniors in the lineup are Noel Heuer (140) and Mike Watts (145).

In addition to Schimmel, the other juniors are Robert Loss (103), twins John (130) and James (135) Fortier and Russ Robar (152). The rest of the starters are freshman Jason Fields (112), sophomore John Cephalis (160) and senior newcomer Scott Hawk (189). At this time, the team does not have a heavyweight.

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