5 pins give Hammond big cushion

January 13, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Hammond wrestling coach Bill Smith sensed an unusual feeling in the locker room before last night's match against rival Oakland Mills.

"I've never seen a Hammond team with that air of confidence before," Smith said.

Maybe it was the knowledge that Oakland Mills, the perennial county champion, is suffering with one of its younger, more inexperienced teams. Maybe the Golden Bears were feeling strong after a lopsided, tri-meet victory last weekend over Liberty and Chopticon.

Whatever the reason, Hammond looked crisp and confident, as it took control in the middle of the match, pinned five Scorpions and rolled to a 39-23 victory.

In the league opener for both teams, Hammond improved its record to 6-1. Oakland Mills, still looking for its first victory, lost its sixth straight. It was only the Scorpions' second loss to a county opponent in five seasons -- they lost to Hammond last year -- but their struggles probably will continue.

"I just want to hide right now," said 140-pounder Adam Seidman, who gave the Scorpions their brightest moment when he pinned Nakia White in the first period to pull the Scorpions to 15-14, the closest Oakland Mills would get.

"Right now, I don't know what to think," Seidman said. "Our young guys have to get better. We've got to put this match behind us. We'll just have to get them [Hammond] at the county tournament, like we did last year."

After Seidman's pin, Hammond put the match away. Josh Stokes (145) pinned Roy Parker in 80 seconds to push the Golden Bears' lead to 21-14. Oakland Mills' Geoff Henderson edged Erin Woodward, 2-1, in the 152-pound bout to close the gap to 21-17. But Hammond went to work on the Scorpions' most inexperienced wrestlers.

First, Brian Triantaffilos (160) pinned Damion Smith in the second period. Then, Mac Goudy (171) and Pat Brennan (189) pinned Van Dang and Ryan McNeil, two first-year wrestlers, in the first period to increase the lead to 39-17. Oakland Mills heavyweight Justin Wethington pinned Toke Barbosa to make the score respectable.

The match amounted to a changing of the guard of sorts. Oakland Mills, which has won four straight county tournaments and 15 of the past 18, will need dramatic improvement to pull off that feat next month.

Hammond, which has shown steady progress during Smith's five seasons, is wrestling better than ever before with perhaps its deepest team. The Golden Bears already have six wrestlers -- Dan Proulx (119), John Motley (130), Stokes, Woodward, Goudy and Brennan -- with at least 10 victories.

The Golden Bears will need all the talent and confidence they pTC can muster tomorrow night, when they will play host to Wilde Lake in a match that could decide the county's dual meet championship.

The match will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m.

"As far as believing they can win this thing, the kids are over that hurdle," Smith said. "I know we could come to a screeching halt on Thursday, but we are primed and ready to go."

Added Goudy, "I think we're real good, but there's always room for improvement. This is just the first step."

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