Old Mill, Northeast stand tall in defeat

March 07, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Though Old Mill was dethroned in its attempt at a sixth straight state title, and Northeast failed to repeat by a half-point, Anne Arundel County did little to tarnish it's wrestling reputation.

Yesterday at Western Maryland College, Northeast lost by only a half-point to champion Damascus, and third-place Old Mill was just 4.5 points out of first place behind champion Northern of Calvert (76.5 points) and Frederick (76).

Neither team champion had an individual titlist, while Northeast had repeat champs in the Kusick twins, top-ranked Mike (119, 30-0) and second-ranked Marty (112, 29-1), and Old Mill's third-ranked Jason Bryant (112, 32-3) also won.

In all, the county had a state-leading six individual champions, including Southern's second-ranked sophomore Tyrone Neal (125, 31-1), with 11 others placing in the top four of the 1A-2A and 3A-4A tournaments.

Even DeMatha's top-ranked, two-time National Prep champ Todd Beckerman (100-1 over two seasons) is from Crofton.

Because of injuries and ineligibility problems, neither Northeast nor Old Mill were ever at full strength in the biggest matches of the season.

Yet Northeast coach Al Kohlhafer, along with assistants Billy Royer and Duane Talley, and Old Mill coach Mike Hampe, along with assistants Jay Braunstein and Walt Puller, took their teams farther than expected.

"We thought we could be fairly high up in the standings, but with Damascus having 11 quality kids, that's a tough thing to overcome," said Kohlhafer. "It's going to take me a long while to get over this, but we were pleased with how hard the kids work. We just felt like it was taken from us."

Kohlhafer was referring to Damascus' tournament-clinching 160-pound triumph. Tom Horwat of Damascus won by default over Williamsport's injured Troy Straightiff, who was declared winner of his semifinal bout after it was ruled that an illegal hold TC by Rising Sun's top-ranked, two-time state champion Jason Townsend had caused Straightiff's injury.

In an earlier dual meet, Townsend had pinned Horwat in the first period.

Anne Arundel County's toughest weight class was 119 pounds, where Arundel's sixth-ranked Phil Meenan (28-6) -- unbeaten outside of the county -- managed only a fifth-place effort in the county tournament, but rebounded to win regional and state titles.

Meenan was one of three Arundel wrestlers to go to the states, and all three reached the finals. Arundel's Mark Chesla (152, 30-4) whipped two county and regional champs en route to the crown and fourth-ranked John Noon (heavyweight, 29-2) was a runner-up.

Two other county wrestlers beat previously undefeated opponents in the semifinals: Southern's county champ, Trumaine Graves (189) won his semifinal bout, 5-2, over Hereford's top-ranked county and regional champ, Roy Collins (37-1), and Chesapeake's Steve Davis (145) won 10-5 over Howard High's fifth-ranked Eric Paskin (31-1).

Davis finished second in the state, and Graves -- losing 5-3 to Collins -- was fourth.

In other matches, Chesapeake's two-time regional champ Doug Horton (135, 30-6) -- probably wrestling the best he has all season -- overcame a 4-0 deficit for a 6-4 victory over Wheaton's sixth-ranked, two-time Montgomery County champ Marc Tucker.

Horton used a four-point throw and an overtime takedown.

Old Mill's sixth-ranked Don Patterson (189) avenged an earlier loss to Poly's city champ Rashad Kitchen to take third, but Meade's state runner-up Adam Butts (160, 32-4) fell just short of revenge in his title-bout loss to South Carroll's Mike Chenoweth (31-1), who overcame a 6-0 deficit -- and survived nearly being pinned by Butts -- to record his school-record 27th pin of the


Butts, a junior who attempted to become Meade's first state champ, had a 22-bout winning streak entering the title match, losing the last time to Chenoweth on a first-period fall.

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