Panthers in favorite spot for county tournament

February 19, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

It's lonely at the top.

North Carroll wrestling coach Dick Bauerlein has discovered that fact all too painfully over the last two weeks. His unbeaten and second-ranked Panthers (13-0) are favored to win a seventh straight Carroll County wrestling tournament championship .

tomorrow at Liberty.

Bauerlein obviously hasn't enjoyed some of the talk from opposing county coaches who have said they wouldn't mind seeing No. 5 Francis Scott Key (10-1-1) knock off mighty North Carroll in the five-team tournament to even the score this year.

North Carroll won the county dual-match title with a 31-24 victory over the Eagles at North Carroll.

"I understand it," said Bauerlein. "People root for the underdogs. That's the American tradition. I can handle it and my wrestlers can handle it. We'll be ready."

The Eagles' hopes for an upset tomorrow were dealt a setback this week when it was learned that junior Chris Beale would miss the tournament with mononucleosis.

Beale is 20-3 and seeded second to North Carroll's Corey Rill (17-6) at 135 pounds. Rill got the top seed by scoring a 4-2 decision over Beale in the Feb. 3 dual match.

Beale didn't wrestle Wednesday night when Key was tied by Smithsburg, 33-33, in its final dual match of the season. That draw cost the Eagles a chance to win the Monocacy Valley League title outright.

Key will share the MVL championship with Smithsburg.

Beale is expected to return to action Feb. 26-27, when the Eagles and North Carroll compete in the state Class 2A-1A Region I tournament at Boonsboro.

Key coach Bill Hyson believes his team may get some extra incentive for tomorrow from Wednesday night's disappointing performance against Smithsburg.

"We had five wrestlers pinned by Smithsburg and that should fire us up for the tournament," said Hyson.

Bauerlein said all his wrestlers should be set for tomorrow despite an outbreak of virus and flu that has struck three of his competitors.

Unbeaten and top-seeded Doug Dell (22-0) at 103, Shawn Utz (15-8) at 160/171 and Aaron Skinner (1-1) at 189 have been sick this week and missed some practices.

Panthers heavyweight Ricky White has been slowed by a knee injury the past two weeks but is expected to wrestle tomorrow.

In addition to Dell and Rill, the top-seeded Panthers are Jeremy Myers (22-0) at 119, Chris Boog (22-0) at 171/189, Tommy Kiler

(22-1) at 125 and Eric Hott ( 21-2) at 145.

Francis Scott Key has five wrestlers seeded first: Randy Owings (22-1) at 130, Zac Yinger (20-2) at 140, Ed Null (23-1) at 160, Dale Bloom (18-6) at 189 and Mark Smith (18-5) at heavyweight.

The supporting cast for the second North Carroll-Key showdown will be South Carroll (9-5), Westminster (6-6) and Liberty (4-11).

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