Spalding program emerges on top Nemeth, wrestlers cap turnaround

February 12, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Archbishop Spalding coach Jim Nemeth had mixed emotions after his wrestlers recorded the school's first-ever shutout last week, 74-0, over neighborhood rival Severn.

"I know what it feels like to lose like that," said Nemeth, in his sixth year. "But it feels good to be on the other side."

That's because the Cavaliers (10-1, 5-0) captured the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference title with Tuesday's 57-12 victory over Lake Clifton, capping the school's best dual-meet season ever.

The Cavaliers have outscored their opponents, 565-187, including victories over Carver, 46-21, and Southwestern, 36-33, of the B Conference, and over county rival Meade, 54-16.

Carver moved up to the B Conference after edging last year's 8-3 Cavaliers for the C title.

Spalding's closest league match was a 35-28 victory over Douglass, and its only loss, 33-28, to Severna Park, was an improvement over the 60-6 shellacking the Cavaliers took from Severna Park last year.

"He [Nemeth] deserves a lot of credit," said Spalding athletic director Domenic Pachence. "He's really put a lot of hard work into that program."

So have his wrestlers.

"The postseason program that we've established is starting to show. And things are obviously going better than they were four years ago," said Nemeth.

In Nemeth's tenure, the Cavaliers had records of 1-8, 4-6, 4-4 and 5-4 before setting a school record for victories last year.

"This is by far the best year we've had," Nemeth said. "After six years, I've got kids who have begun to get a feel for what I'm trying to do."

The individual records reflect Nemeth's sentiments.

Senior heavyweight Aleksi Baltins (16-6) leads the team with 13 pins, followed by sophomore Jason Hardman (125, 17-8) with 12 falls, and sophomore Dan Musiker (135, 19-12) and senior Taek Kim (189, 18-8), each with 11.

Others with winning records include seniors Mike Tekippe (171, 11-7), Ryan Neenan (145, 12-8) and Chris Snead (125, 12-9), junior Mike Reisner (119, 16-10) and sophomore Matt Gomes (160, 13-11).

Including senior Brian Zemanick (152, 4-6), sophomore Steve Shaffer (140, 6-11) and freshmen Brent Neenan (103, 10-13) and Tom Malloy (112, 7-12), 21 wrestlers are in the practice room daily.

"Those are the best numbers we've had here," Nemeth said. "And that also gives us more depth."

The Cavaliers also have enjoyed more success in tournament competition. They finished second at St. Michael's behind Annapolis Area Christian. Musiker won an individual title, Snead, Hardman, Ryan Neenan, Kim and Baltins were runners-up and Reisner was fourth.

A fourth-place finish by Kim (189) in the season-opening Catholic tournament helped Spalding score 40 points and earn its best finish (11th of 18 teams).

At Walt Whitman, Gomes was first, Riesner second and Musiker fourth. Hardman was fourth at Boys' Latin.

Only two Cavaliers have ever placed in the Maryland Scholastic Association tournament -- and both were fifth. When the two-day competition begins next Friday, the Cavaliers will be shooting to improve on the past efforts.

"We've kept our numbers up and we've got a good mixture of seniors and a good crop of sophomores and freshmen," said Nemeth. "The kids are really dedicated."

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