McConnell giving Chesapeake heavy look at 189-pound class @

February 01, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Chuck McConnell is losing it -- weight, that is.

As a heavyweight for No. 14 Chesapeake, McConnell has amassed a 17-4 record with 11 pins. He captured the Aberdeen Tournament crown with a 12-4 decision of the host team's previously unbeaten Aaron Wanless, a 275-pounder. He also finished second in the Chesapeake Cougar Invitational and third in the Arundel Holiday tournament.

But the area's 189-pounders had better beware, because as of Friday, McConnell weighed just 197 pounds -- down from a puffy 223 at the season's outset.

"He's been doing a lot of extra running and training on his own," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter. "We hope to have him down by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. I think he could do very well there [189 pounds]."

Despite the loss of county and regional champion Doug Horton (140), whom Slichter said quit the team for personal reasons, the Cougars (6-4) have maintained the respect of area coaches.

The Cougars' Ron Alexander (125, 16-4) has nine pins, Steve Davis (130, 16-4) has 10, Rob Zittle (140-145, 16-5) has eight, and Steve Shirk (135-140) has an 11-6 record with three falls.

Mark Downey (112) has decked seven of his opponents, Keith Weaver (152, six pins) is 13-8, Matt Howard (103) has nine pins, and his practice partner and sometime varsity wrestler, Travis Gottlich (103), has three.

Little man update

The mighty mite from Crofton, DeMatha's top-ranked 103-pounder, Todd Beckerman, mowed down three more opponents in the first period to win the gold medal in Saturday's Gilman Duals.

The muscular 14-year-old raised his overall record to 35-1, including 30 pins and a technical fall over Old Mill's former junior league state champion, Phil Schliefer.

With machine-like efficiency, Beckerman has earned tournament titles at Curley, Aberdeen, Frederick Douglass, Annapolis, Herndon (Va.), Arundel and Lackey high schools, in addition to a Nov. 1 Sombo world title in England.

In the Stags' dual-meet victory over Metro Conference rival, Paul VI of Fairfax (Va.), Beckerman faced an old junior-league foe in Quinn Foster. Beckerman built an early advantage before clinging to an 11-7 victory.

"I had a 7-0 or 9-0 lead on him and he started coming back," said Beckerman. "It was a good match for me because I may see him three more times at our Metro Conference tournament, at St. Albans or at the National Preps."

Beckerman had a 6-1 series advantage over Foster when they were junior leaguers a year ago, losing his only bout, 6-2, to his Virginia rival.

As Booth goes . . .

No. 11 Arundel improved to 9-3 last week, with a loss to No. 2 Old Mill (8-0) and a tri-meet victory. Like his team, the Wildcats' third-ranked Greg Booth (171, 19-2) went 2-1 -- 1-1 against wrestlers who are ranked by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

In the Wildcats' loss to Old Mill, Booth was out-slicked, 13-3, by the Patriots' No. 2-ranked, defending state champion, Marc Proccacini.

Two days later in a tri-meet victory over South River on Friday, Booth had to wrestle one of his best friends -- the Seahawks' fifth-ranked Jaron Hairston -- whom he pinned in the second period.

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