Southern's Neal, North County's Fowler join Old Mill in spotlight

February 22, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

History was made over the weekend at the Anne Arundel County wrestling championships at South River.

While Old Mill won its ninth straight county title, two wrestlers from the extreme ends of the county turned in highlights.

Southern's Sherrard Neal defeated Northeast's Steve Smiddy in the 130-pound final. It was not the Seahawks' first title, but it was a first. Neal's father and coach, Tyrone Neal Sr., won county championships 1971 and 1972, making them the first father-son combination to win county championships.

From the other part of the county, North County's Corey Fowler became the school's first county wrestling champ when he defeated John Noon of Arundel, 6-5.

Northeast's Marty and Mike Kusick successfully defended their titles in Edgewater. Marty, who advanced to the 112-pound final by picking up his 10th and 11th pins against Chesapeake's Mark Downey (1:55) and Meade's Rommell Pachoca (1:03), turned away Severna Park's Jamie Kuch (20-5, 11 pins), 6-0.

"I feel like I'm in a pretty good rhythm now," said Marty Kusick, who will enter next weekend's region tournament with a 27-0 record. "All I need to do now is keep that rhythm and motivation through the regions and states."

Top seed Mike Kusick was expected to meet Southern freshman Tyrone Neal Jr. in the 119-pound final, but Arundel's Dan Waters upset Neal, 4-2. Kusick then defeated Waters (23-3), 11-2.

Sixth-ranked 135-pounder Rick Oleszczuk of Old Mill (22-3) probably didn't expect to see Northeast's Matt Jewer in the finals, but Jewer's 6-2 upset of Chesapeake's top-seed Steve Davis brought them back together again. Jewer (21-9), who bowed to Oleszczuk, 5-0, during the regular season, fell in the final by an identical score.

Old Mill's Mike Hines (145) paid back Northeast's Jason Grunder. Hines, who was defeated by Grunder (23-6) during the season, 8-5, cruised to a 9-2 victory.

South River's Jaron Hairston captured the 171-pound title with little resistance. After picking up his 15th pin in nine seconds against Chesapeake's Paul Lauman in the quarterfinals, Hairston outscored his final two victims, 34-8.

Things weren't quite as easy for Chesapeake's Ron Alexander at 125. Alexander (23-4) needed an overtime period to defeat Broadneck's Charlie Bennett, who had defeated Alexander, 4-3, in an earlier meeting.

"I knew I could come out here and beat him this time," said Alexander. "I was a little more careful on my shots this time. Last time I tried to take all-out speed with the shots and I did get in on him, but he just hooked a spladle from the front and pulled me over. This time, you could tell, we were a little bit more cautious. We both knew that at any time, the other could beat the other."

Old Mill's Ken Seavey was awarded a forfeit in the 140-pound quarterfinal round, then needed every ounce of energy to win his last two bouts. He defeated Northeast's Ron Katzenberger, 4-2, and Meade's Michael Walker, 3-2, for the championship.

Defending county champ Marc Procaccini of Old Mill defeated ** defending region champion Al Grunder of Northeast, 11-3, in the 160-pound final.

Old Mill's Todd Hultgren, who made it to the semifinals last season, turned away Bill Katzenberger of Northeast, 11-6, for the 152-pound title.

Arundel's Greg Booth and Chesapeake's Chuck McConnell had the capacity crowd on the edge of its seat in the 189-pound matchup before Booth emerged with a 3-1 overtime victory.

After a runner-up finish last season, Old Mill's Jason Bryant (103, 27-4) was on the top step of the winner's platform after beating Northeast's Dale Bowers, 7-1.

"It's like someone's got to kick them in the head to get them started," said Old Mill coach Mike Hampe of the Patriots' slow start, which helped Northeast take the lead after the semifinal round. "One of the problems they do have, however, is that they're always under the gun and everyone wants a crack at us, and we appreciate that, but sometimes it makes them a little tentative."

Top 15

.` 1. Mount St. Joseph (12-0) 105

2. North Carroll (13-0) 94

3. Old Mill (12-1) 80

4. Owings Mills (14-1) 76

5. Francis Scott Key (12-1) 63

6. Northeast (12-1) 61

7. Randallstown (10-3) 60

tie. Hammond (11-1) 60

9. Boys' Latin (11-1) 56

10. Gilman (7-3) 46

11. Aberdeen (10-1) 36

12. Arundel (11-3) 27

tie. Dundalk (12-1) 27

14. Walbrook (12-0) 14

15. Oakland Mills (6-6) 10

Other teams receiving votes, with record and points in parentheses: Chesapeake-AA (8-5, 3), Franklin (4-6, 3), Wilde Lake (9-3, 1), EVT (8-4, 1), Howard (11-4, 1).

How the poll is conducted: The members of The Baltimore Sun's board of coaches for the 1992 season are: Dick Slutzky, Aberdeen; John Mayberry, Broadneck; Steve Carnahan, Oakland Mills; Dick Bauerlein, North Carroll; Jeff Langrehr, Randallstown; Paul Triplett; Mount St. Joseph; Lem Satterfield, The Baltimore Sun.

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