Aberdeen pins its hopes on another strong squad Perrenial power isn't slowing down

January 10, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

One month into the high school wrestling season, the winning tradition at Aberdeen High School seems to be right on track.

Three wrestlers are undefeated, another has lost only once, and the team has won one tournament (Bel Air), finished second in another (John Carroll) and posted a 3-1 dual-meet record, beating Poly, Northeast and Oakland Mills, and losing to Oxford, Pa.

Seniors and four-year starters Zack Fowl and Aaron Wanless and junior Chad Gurrera are the individual leaders, each with a record of 10-0, with six pins. Fowl (119 pounds) is a two-time state champion (career record of 95-10), winning at 103 pounds two years ago and 112 pounds last year. Heavyweight Wanless was a county champion two years ago.

Sophomore Kit Doran (140) ran off nine successive wins, with five pins, before losing last week to Adam Seidman, an Oakland Mills senior, 11-2.

"Zack came through the county's Junior League, and hung around with my son Matt," said Dick Slutzky, in his 21st season as head coach of the Eagles. Matt graduated last June as the first four-time state wrestling champion.

"We spent a lot of time together going to meets, and there was never any question about Zack. He had the experience, the desire, and the tools. He's done everything to make himself good," Slutzky said.

Wanless has come to his success from the opposite end of the wrestling spectrum, not having been in volved with the sport before high school. Since being attracted to it, "he has learned very well what he can and can't do," Slutzky said.

"As a freshman, I found out about the reputation of the wrestling team and wanted to be a part of it," the 267-pound Wanless said.

Aberdeen's reputation comes from 14 Harford County team titles in the past 18 years, including the past eight in a row. Along the way was the unprecedented feat of three straight Class 2A-1A state championships.

All four wrestlers went to the state tournament last year, but aside from Fowl, the others lost in the first round. The year before, Wanless had been one match away from a final placing.

Slutzky is still impressing into not only this group, but also his entire squad, that so much goes into a match -- such things as awareness of score and time remaining, and when to give up points -- and it is often such things that determine the outcome.

Slutzky has had to go back to basics with some members of his team, because only six starters had wrestled before reaching high school, "and that's very unusual for us. We're younger and greener than before," he said.

` And still winning.

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