Morrow, Neal place first in 1A-2A region tourney Seniors set sights on a state championship

February 25, 1996|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Northeast's Chris Morrow won't soon forget the heartache of last year's state wrestling tournament. Leading his first-round opponent by what he thought was a comfortable margin, he suddenly got caught in a pinning combination and saw his dream of a state title disappear.

His goal, this year -- to make amends by going all the way.

Last night in the Class 1A-2A regionals, the senior proved he's up to the task, pinning Rising Sun's Brian Price in 41 seconds to win the 135-pound region title and help host Northeast to a second-place finish.

"I should have won [that match] last year," said Morrow, 26-0. "My goal is to win the states. It's going to be tough, but I feel I can do it."

Said Eagles coach Al Kohlhafer: "I think he really wants it bad. It seems to me he's got a whole new outlook on how he goes about wrestling. He's staying very focused on what he wants to do."

Morrow and Southern's Tyrone Neal -- who won his fourth region crown -- were the lone Anne Arundel County wrestlers to win titles yesterday in a field comprised mostly of teams from Cecil County and the Eastern Shore.

Rising Sun won the team championship with 176 points, followed by defending champion Northeast (126) and Kent County (116). Other local teams included South River (10th) and Southern (11th).

"I thought we did an outstanding job," said Kohlhafer, whose team qualified eight for this weekend's state tournament at Western Maryland College -- James Flemming (103), Glenn Mosco (112), Morrow, Jay Queer (140), T.R. Flemming (145), Tyrone Eaton (152), Anthony Serio (189) and Scott Laumann (HWT).

Kohlhafer, whose squad has taken second in the states the past two years after winning in 1993, said he was especially pleased with the performances of his less experienced wrestlers.

"James Flemming is a ninth-grader, this is Anthony Serio's first year wrestling and Tyrone Eaton is a brand-new kid. I couldn't be more pleased," Kohlhafer said.

For Neal (28-1), who is seeking his third state title, winning never gets old.

Despite a 7-1 decision over Queer for the 140-pound title, the senior said he wasn't satisfied with his performance.

"I think I could've done better, but it's just a matter of going back to the drawing board and training harder than ever for the states," said Neal.

Other Anne Arundel County wrestlers to qualify for the states were South River's Gene Reid (119) and Dan Ogan (152). Both advanced to the finals before losing, Reid by pin to Mardela's Rodney Stine and Ogan by decision to Wicomico's Johnny Armstead.

The best match of the finals occurred at 145 where Northeast's T.R. Flemming and Rising Sun's Cory Hall were scoreless through the two periods before Hall scored on an escape with 36 seconds left. He then held on for a 1-0 win.

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