Cavaliers make noise on wrestling front


January 26, 1994|By BILL FREE

Look out North Carroll and Francis Scott Key.

The South Carroll wrestling program appears to be on the verge of joining the Panthers and Eagles as high school wrestling powers in Carroll County in the next few years.

Especially if the Cavaliers add a few more premier wrestlers such as Mike Chenoweth over the next few years.

All the ingredients of a super wrestling program are in place in Winfield.

The stands are packed for every match with never-say-die fans, they cheer even when the Cavaliers are getting blown out by North Carroll, young wrestlers from the junior Warriors feeder program show up in full force to watch, the air is always filled with electricity the night of a match, and, in general, every match is an event in the community.

Chenoweth, a sophomore 160-pounder, has been responsible for a lot of the excitement this season.

He was virtually untouchable in his first 14 bouts (14-0, 12 pins) heading into last night's match against Francis Scott Key.

"A lot of boys in the area come out just to see Mike wrestle because he's so good," said South Carroll athletic director Fred Baker. "We've always had good wrestling teams with 8-2, 10-2 records, but we're just a step below North Carroll and Francis Scott Key."

But that didn't deter the South Carroll faithful from taking part in a special moment 13 days ago during a match against North Carroll.

A person almost had to be in the stands to appreciate it. The Cavalierswere being shut out by North Carroll, 36-0, with just four bouts left, and the outcome had been determined two bouts earlier.

Then Chenoweth headed for the mat and the place became a madhouse. South Carroll fans got to their feet and roared as if the Cavaliers had just won a state championship.

The fans continued to cheer for the next 66 seconds, all the time it took Chenoweth to pin North Carroll's Jeff Meyers, giving South Carroll its first six points of the match it lost, 48-12. After the lopsided loss, some wide-eyed youngsters surrounded Chenoweth and called him "great" several times.

They didn't seem to care that the Cavaliers had been spanked pretty good by the Panthers.

Several minutes after the match ended a man by the name of Jerry Little poked his head in an office at South Carroll and told a reporter: "South Carroll will be back."

Little is a coach in the Warriors youth wrestling program that feeds the Cavaliers. Optimism rides high for the future.

However, South Carroll wrestling coach Pete Olson refused to get too caught up in any boastful predictions about catching North Carroll or Francis Scott Key.

"North Carroll is a big step ahead of us," said Olson. "I know for us to beat them any time soon, they would need to have sickness and injuries on their team. We could put all the talent together here to beat them and it still might not happen because North Carroll is North Carroll. When those guys walk out on the mat, they say, 'I'm from North Carroll, I'm better than you are, and I'm going to whip you.' "

Olson said the major difference between North Carroll and South Carroll's wrestling programs is the quality of the technical ability of the coaches in the Manchester junior wrestling program that feeds the Panthers.

"Those coaches send youngsters to North Carroll already highly skilled in their technique," he said. "Then Dick [Bauerlein, Panthers coach] takes them a step further. We have outstanding coaches in our Warriors junior program who work hard, but they aren't advanced as far as the Manchester coaches."

This season, South Carroll was 8-2 before last night's match and was getting a lot of mileage out of three sophomores -- Chenoweth, Charlie Conaway (12-4 at 145) and Dan Alberter (5-2, 119).

There is only one senior, 140-pounder Tim Hinsche, on the squad.

"As good as we are this year, we ought to be better next season," said Olson.

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