He pins heavyweights with speed, endurance Warriors' Mance a quick study

January 26, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

In neither style nor size does Woodlawn wrestler Darrell Mance resemble most heavyweights.

Unlike the typical big guys who must pin or be pinned before losing steam, the quick-moving Mance trains to go the distance.

Take last week's 10-4 victory over Randallstown heavyweight Jevon Dolan, which secured the Warriors' 33-32 upset of the then No. 7-ranked Rams.

"He was fast, but he didn't have the knowledge. Quickness and knowledge are No. 1, so I just kind of predicted what he would do," said Mance, who is 6 feet 2, 221 pounds.

Instead of getting frustrated with his inability to get a pin, he simply displayed the cat-like stealth that typifies the majority of his matches.

"My theory is, if you take someone down and can't turn them, you're only staying on top for one of two reasons," said Mance, who remains unranked by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. "Either you're tired or you know it [the takedown] was luck and you'll lose the next one."

It's no coincidence that Mance's style bears a striking resemblance to that of another successful heavyweight, Oakland Mills' two-time state champion, Monte Spencer. The 230-pound, two-time All-Metro performer was often outweighed but remained top-ranked by the MSWA for two straight years.

"Mance wrestled with Monte a lot during the summer, and he's very similar," said Cornell Bass, director of the Northwest Wrestling Club at McDonogh School, where Mance worked out over the summer.

Mance is more likely turn a bout into a one-sided takedown clinic in his favor than allow it to dwindle into a shoving match between two tired wrestlers.

"What I do depends on my opponent. My first match of the season, I got, like, 14 takedowns and scored, like, 20 points," said Mance, 16. "If he's big and goes upper body, I'll get lower, use duck-unders or jack-ups. If he shoots takedowns, I'll snap his head down."

Mance, who was 12-8 last season, improved to 16-1 (four pins, one technical fall) with Saturday's Overlea Tournament title.

"He's quick, has good leverage and has work ethics that you rarely see among heavyweights," said Bass. "He's anxious to learn, and wrestles heavyweights like a middleweight fighter."

Mance masks his intentions with upper-body movement and fleetness of foot.

He's smaller than most opponents, but Mance blocks offensive charges with powerful arms (he bench presses 280 pounds) and is fluid on takedowns.

Mance won the Dec. 29 Francis Scott Key tournament, 7-3, over the host team's 273-pound Mark Smith, once tossing Smith a couple of feet. "The bigger they are, the harder the takedown. I just used my technique and speed," Mance said.

"He [Mance] gave up like 40 pounds, but looked like a pretty physical kid," said Francis Scott Key coach Bill Hyson. "We're working with Mark to use his weight advantage, but [Mance] moved well enough to offset that."

Equally large obstacles stand between Mance and a county title, most notably Pikesville's Wayde Ezell (275 pounds), who placed fourth in last year's state tournament, and Dundalk's Don Forbes (270), who is 1-1 against Ezell. Owings Mills' Clint Helphenstine (fourth, county) shares Mance's dimensions.

Mance has faced two of the state's best this season, Walt Whitman's top-ranked Emil Dolzeal, last year's 4A-3A state runner-up, and Rockville's fourth-ranked Andy Stroud.

He wrestled a close match against Stroud until being pinned in the third period at the Hagerstown tournament. After wrestling to a third-place finish, Mance watched Stroud narrowly lose the title bout to Dolzeal.

"Darrell wrestled well against Stroud on his feet," said Woodlawn coach Bill Webb. "Darrell was going for the win when he forced a move and got caught. He has a loss, but he's dedicated and gaining confidence, which is half the battle."

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