Light weights help Owls make early impression Westminster's fast starts put opponents in hole

February 23, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With all the success the Westminster Owls had in the lighter weights in winning last season's Carroll County Wrestling Tournament, they figured they'd go one better and then some this time around.

So instead of Jimmy Reiter getting things started in the finals at 103 for the Owls, it was his younger brother, Chris, who came away with a pin.

And just like last year, Bobby Biden was his usual steady self at 112 yesterday and Grant Lindsay won his second straight county title at 119.

Kyle Burger wanted in on the action, a natural 119-pounder who has moved up to 125 this season to crack the starting lineup. His 4-0 decision over Key's Clint Day gave the Owls four county titles in the first four matches.

Last year, the Owls won their first county title in 10 years with wins in the first three bouts. This time around, it wasn't as big a surprise.

"They did a heckuva job and we're definitely used to it," said Westminster coach Henry Mohlhenrich. "It's a luxury we're fortunate to have and one other teams would like to have."

Biden, a junior, is the leader. With his major decision over Key's Ronnie Howard yesterday, he became the Owls' all-time leader in wins, improving to 90-15.

"He came in as a freshman and I was talking about him all the time and now he's being taken for granted," Mohlhenrich said. "We just expect him to go out and win and he does. He's only a junior, so he could reach around 140 wins and hopefully a couple of state titles."

After Chris Reiter came back with his first county title to get things started for the Owls, he got some words from his brother, Jimmy, who took second this year at 130 behind Key's Matt Yinger.

"He was teasing me. I came back gassing and my lip was busted up a little," Chris Reiter said. "I know we need me to start the team off right and get everyone pumped up for the rest of the match."

Burger, a sophomore who wrestled in the Junior Leagues last season, has been the big surprise for the Owls this season, improving to 27-9 in his first varsity season. Right now, he's wrestling -- and winning -- on a broken toe.

"We're real strong at the lower weights and we basically know we have to come out and win to break our opponents' confidence right from the start," he said.

The Owls have plenty more than just their lighter weights with Dave Spicer (30-5 at 135) and Ray Henry (26-3) leading the way after, but it's an important first impression they make.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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