Unexpected loss spurs more wins

January 13, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

A shocking thing happened to Adam Butts on what he hopes is the way to becoming Meade's first state wrestling champion.

He lost a match.

He dropped a 7-2 decision to Northeast's Ron Katzenberger, the same Ron Katzenberger he had beaten three times before.

"That was a wake-up call," said Butts, who was runner-up to South Carroll's Mike Chenoweth at 160 pounds in last year's Class 3A-4A state championships and finished with a 32-3 record.

"If I want to win the states, I can't take a week or off, even a day. Losing to Katzenberger motivates me more than beating Chenoweth."

Indeed, it might have been the win over Chenoweth in Chesapeake's Cougar Invitational in mid-December that led to the letdown against Katzenberger last week.

By avenging his loss by pin to Chenoweth in the states with a 9-6 decision, Butts had accomplished one of his main goals only a few weeks into the season.

"The motivation wasn't exactly there after I beat Chenoweth," said Butts, who moved up to 171 this season and has a 14-1 record.

Meade coach Scott Jacoby nevertheless regarded the Chenoweth match as "a watershed" for Butts in that he not only proved he could beat his rival but could wrestle six hard minutes against the best and win.

"Adam couldn't do that last year -- go six minutes, yes, but not a functional six," Jacoby said.

Still, Jacoby felt fatigue was a factor in Butts' loss to Katzenberger and that there was one way to correct it: Give Butts more live wrestling.

Jacoby, 40 pounds heavier at 210 and 30 years old, and Meade assistant Sam Pandullo would provide it.

Pandullo wasn't up to it: "Adam threw me around like a piece of paper."

Jacoby, who wrestled in high school in Ohio but not in college, was.

"There's only one way to get better, and that's to wrestle someone bigger and better," he said. Jacoby is both.

"It's helped a lot, wrestling with the coach," Butts said.

"I've had trouble against guys with a big upper body. But he [Jacoby] has to give 100 percent to beat me."

Jacoby characterizes Butts as a "throw wrestler with exceptional strength, athletic ability, heart and intelligence." They're working on the fatigue factor.

Butts began wrestling in sixth grade in Norfolk, Va., when he was living with his parents.

The past five years he has lived here with his sister Jodey and her Navy lieutenant husband Gary, who have three children.

"I get better grades when I live with my sister," Butts said. "She pushes and supports me more."

Armed with a 3.67 grade-point average and membership in the National Honor Society, Butts is being recruited by Navy, Salisbury State and, Jacoby's alma mater, Kent State.

He also was a fullback and linebacker at Meade -- first-team All-County and honorable-mention All-State last fall -- but probably will stick to wrestling in college.

As Butts bids to become Meade's first state champion wrestler since the school opened in 1977, Jacoby sees improvement not only in Butts but in the team.

The Mustangs were 1-13 last season, needing five forfeits to beat Queen Anne's, but already have beaten Southern, with a possibility of "three or four more wins," Jacoby said.

"We scored more than 100 points in the Meade, Chesapeake and Arundel tournaments," said Jacoby, a first-year coach.

"We placed at least six kids in the top four in each tournament. That's a 180-degree turn from last season."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.