Crofton's Beckerman not one to waste time, likes his bouts short and right to the pin Wrestling notebook

January 11, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

This little guy's winning all over the place.

With three straight pins in Saturday's Aberdeen tournament, Crofton resident Todd Beckerman (103, 25-1), a top-ranked wrestler for DeMatha, increased his pin total to an incredible 22 this season -- 20 of which have come in the first period.

Beckerman won a Nov. 1 Sombo world title in Canterbury, England, and won crowns in the Maryland Catholic Invitational at Curley, at Annapolis, at Lackey (Charles County), at Frederick Douglass (Prince George's County) and at Herndon (Va.). He'll be going for the Arundel tournament crown this weekend.

"I try to go for the pin," said Beckerman, whose only loss came by 8-7 to Northeast's county and regional champion Marty Kusick. "I like to get the match over quickly."

Up and down

Just try, if you can, to figure out No. 13 Chesapeake's heavyweight, Chuck McConnell.

Last Thursday, with the match on the line against No. 10 Arundel's 225-pound John Noon (13-0, nine pins), the senior blew a 7-3 lead in the bout's final 40 seconds before being pinned in 5:53.

Chesapeake lost, 34-27.

In the title bout of the Aberdeen tournament just two days later, McConnell faced a more experienced, 274-pound Aaron Wanless of the host team. Wanless, a former county champion, pinned his way to a 12-0 record to reach the final, and McConnell won a decision.

Yet McConnell (13-4) dominated in a 12-4 decision of Wanless. Instead of fading in the closing moments, McConnell scored a four-point takedown with 17 seconds remaining, hoisting Wanless in a bear hug and tossing him to his back.

His win helped Chesapeake edge No. 12 Aberdeen for second place behind DeMatha. He joined teammates Ron Alexander (125, 16-2), who won his third straight Aberdeen tournament, and Doug Horton (140, 9-1), who won his second straight.

"The difference was at Arundel, everyone got around him to fire him up," Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter said. "At Aberdeen, he went away from everyone to be by himself to get ready. It was the same situation as last year's Aberdeen tournament, when he had to win for us to win the tournament. He really needed this one."

Pulling rank

Two county wrestlers, Old Mill's Todd Hultgren (152, fifth) and South River's Jaron Hairston (171, fifth), placed in the latest Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings.

Arundel's Greg Booth (171) has dropped from sixth place at 189 to take the No. 3 spot behind Owings Mill's two-time, 2A-1A state champion Grant Johnson, and Riverdale Baptist's Greg David.

No. 4 Northeast has climbed to the No. 7 spot in the MSWA's top 10 team rankings, but coach Al Kohlhafer insists his team has a "ways to go" before he classifies it among the state's best.

"Someone today asked me about a possible meeting with Old Mill [ranked No. 2 by The Sun and No. 6 by the MSWA]," Kohlhafer said. "We're really looking forward to it. We've got nothing to lose, and the pressure's on Old Mill."

The Eagles (9-0) have two wins over No. 13 Chesapeake, and another over No. 10 Arundel in a match that included three overtime bouts. Kohlhafer and assistants Bill Royer and Chuck Yoakum aren't gloating over last week's 75-0 shutout of Meade.

"They gave up five forfeits. It's not fair to rub in something like that," Kohlhafer said.

The squad's three seniors are county runner-up and regional champion, Al Grunder (160, 10-3), county runner-up Bill Katzenberger (152, 5-0) and Jeremy Funk (171, 6-0).

Sophomore Kusick twins, Marty (112) and Mike (119) are both 13-0. The other sophomores are Ron Katzenberger (140, 10-4) and 260-pound heavyweight Dan Defenbaugh (4-7), who is improving.

The juniors are Steve Smiddy (130, 11-2), Matt Jewer (135, 11-4), Jason Grunder (145, 11-3) and Ken Fowler (189, 9-4), with freshmen Dale Bowers (103, 12-2) and Chris Morrow (125, 10-4).

Pin collector

Jason Shefrin is on the rampage.

Until recently, the 145-pound senior Howard wrestler had gone unnoticed.

But his 44-second pin of Boys' Latin's Mike Cangemi in the championship bout of Saturday's Boys Latin Invitational was an eye-opener.

It was Shefrin's 10th first-period pin of his 13 victories -- all of which have ended with the referee mercifully slapping the mat.

That's right, he's 13-0 with 13 pins. And now the Maryland State Wrestling Association lists him as the sixth-ranked 145-pounder.

"I didn't do much in the regionals last year, and I didn't really start wrestling until I was a sophomore," said Shefrin, whose last loss of 1992 came by 5-2 against Broadneck's Chris Gauthier.

Top 15

1. Mount St. Joseph (1-0) 105

2. Old Mill (3-0) 98

3. North Carroll (5-0) 89

4. Northeast (9-0) 77

5. Boys' Latin (3-0) 67

6. Francis Scott Key (6-0) 66

7. Owings Mills (5-0) 64

tie Randallstown (6-0) 64

9. Gilman (3-1) 55

10. Arundel (4-2) 32

11. Dundalk (5-0) 30

12. Aberdeen (3-1) 29

13. Chesapeake-AA (2-4) 28

14. Wilde Lake (5-0) 11

15. Hammond (4-1) 08

Other teams receiving votes, with record and points in parentheses: Overlea (4-1, 2), EVT (3-2, 1), South Carroll (7-2, 1), Dulaney (4-2, 1).

How the poll is conducted: The members of The Baltimore Sun's board of coaches for the 1992 season are: Dick Slutzky, Aberdeen; John Mayberry, Broadneck; Steve Carnahan, Oakland Mills; Dick Bauerlein, North Carroll; Jeff Langrehr, Randallstown; Paul Triplett; Mount St. Joseph; Lem Satterfield, The Baltimore Sun.

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