N. Carroll weighs in as favorite in mat showdown

February 02, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Just what is this celebrated North Carroll-Francis Scott Key wrestling thing all about?

"We're like cats and dogs on the mat, but off the mat the kids are always goofing off with each other," said Francis Scott Key's Bill Hyson who will be coaching his 14th dual match against North Carroll tonight at Key at 7:15.

As usual, the Carroll County dual-match championship will be on the line and the No. 2 Panthers (10-0) are favored over the No. 5 Eagles (9-0-1).

The match is the first of a stretch drive for the two teams that will see them duel for supremacy not only in Carroll County but in the 1A-2A regionals and state championships.

There is an added attraction for high school wrestling fans this season, as the state association will conduct a state dual-match championship as well as a tournament championship.

The advent of a dual-match championship seems to put North Carroll in a strong position to win its first state title under the guidance of master dual-match strategist Dick Bauerlein.

Bauerlein's unbeaten team will face a stern test tonight from Francis Scott Key, which has been inching closer and closer to the North Carroll dynasty over the past few years.

Key reached a high point last season in its drive to overtake North Carroll. The Eagles took first place ahead of the Panthers in the 1A-2A regional tournament at Boonsboro.

However, North Carroll came back to finish ahead of Key in the state tournament at Western Maryland.

Neither coach wanted to pinpoint key bouts in the match for fear of putting too much pressure on their athletes.

But certainly there are some bouts that will go a long way in determining if Key can upset North Carroll amid the roar of a packed house of fans in Uniontown.

The headliner tonight sends defending state 130-pound champion Randy Owings (17-0) against Tommy Kiler (18-1) in what should be a spectacular 135-pound bout.

Owings, a junior, is coming off a 5-3 decision over Kiler, a sophomore, in last weekend's Rebel Invitational. It was the first loss of the season for Kiler.

Owings was chosen the Wrestler of the Year in Carroll County last season and was the lone state champion from the county.

Another top bout pits Key's Zac Yinger (19-1) against Erik Hott (16-3) in the 145-pound category.

Among those wrestlers favored to win bouts tonight are North Carroll's Chris Boog (19-0 at 171 pounds); North Carroll's Saidrick Lewis (18-1 at 152); Key's Chris Beale (17-3 at 140); Key's Ryan Etzler (15-2, 103); Key's Steve Lessard (18-2, 125); and North Carroll's Corey Rill (17-2, 130).

Bauerlein said: "We have a couple of givens and they have a couple of givens. If we come out on top in most of the others, we'll win."

According to Bauerlein, North Carroll is solid from top to bottom and doesn't expect to run into any major problems except at 103 pounds, where Tim Parry is out with a broken hand.

"Key is tough," said Bauerlein. "But our kids will rise to the occasion."

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