Kessler, Owings Mills make move toward title Senior improves to 146-0

Eagles take early state lead

March 08, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Steve Kessler took another step toward completing a perfect career, and his seventh-ranked Owings Mills teammates took a tentative step toward their third straight state title last night in the opening rounds of the state championship meet at Western Maryland College.

Owings Mills stood in first place in the Class 1A-2A competition with 34.5 points, just ahead of Southern of Garrett (31), Sparrows Point (29), Glenelg (29) and Northern (27).

Leading the way for the Eagles was Kessler at 152 pounds. The senior three-time state champion improved his season mark to 37-0 and his career record to 146-0 with two victories.

Kessler pinned Joe White of Poly at 4: 44 in his first-round match. He then had little trouble with Louie Schadt of Fort Hill in round two, scoring a 16-1 technical fall.

The Owings Mills star jumped on Schadt right away, bewildering him with his quickness and a variety of moves. Kessler had an 11-1 lead after one and finished the job with 1: 13 left in the second period.

Only two other Eagles made it through to today's semifinals. Drew Bowers (135) and Ari Dolid (140) advanced. Bowers barely broke a sweat, pinning J. P. Giles of Atholton in 21 seconds and taking down Russel Drake of Easton at 1: 00.

Dolid scored an 8-2 decision over Brian Price of Rising Sun and topped Josh Zillmer of Hammond, 7-1.

But the Golden Eagles also had some bad luck. Steve Kellner (125) topped E. J. Scofield, 11-5, and jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the quarterfinal dual with Darren Hollingsworth of North Caroline.

L Hollingsworth rallied, however, and pinned Kellner at 5: 37.

In addition, both Hayden Myers (189) and heavyweight Anthony Smith suffered tough losses. Tony Serio from Northeast of Anne Arundel defeated Myers by criteria after a battle to a 2-2 tie.

Smith suffered the same fate at the hands of Howard's Brian Neal. Smith used a third-period escape to tie the match at 1 and send it into overtime. But the two were even again, and Neal

took the victory by riding criteria.

"You feel for those kids," said Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker.

The Eagles still have people left in the consolations, where Pritzker has long believed the tournaments are won. But Owings Mills will need a big performance.

"It's going to take a lot of heart," said Dolid. "We have to wrestle our hearts out."

Sparrows Point is a bit of a surprise in third place. The Pointers, led by Tommy Free (125) have three still alive in the semifinals.

Free topped Clint Day of F.S. Key and pinned Rock Abdullah of Mardela. He's set to take on Eric Rexrode from Southern of Garrett in the semifinals today.

Billy Weber (112) beat J. C. Porter from Long Reach and pinned Richie Dean of North Hagerstown. Mike Young (130) scored a pin and a decision to make the semifinals.

Sherwood leads the Class 3A-4A portion with 51 points. Defending champion Damascus is next with 38 points, followed by Old Mill (36.5), Frederick (36) and Westminster (34).

Old Mill has four wrestlers still alive in the semifinals while Westminster has three left.

For Old Mill, Chris Combs (103), Chris DeAdder (119), Gary Serago (135) and Ben Hines (189) still have shots at state titles today.

Westminster pins its hopes on Bobby Biden (119), Dave Spicer (135) and Austin Lanham (152). Spicer will meet Serago in one of the 135-pound semifinals.

This has been another year of improvement for the Owls, who breezed to a second consecutive regional crown last weekend at River Hill.

With four other wrestlers left in the consolations, coach Henry Mohlhenrich hopes for a good showing today.

"I think we'll finish somewhere in the top four," said Mohlhenrich. "A lot can happen, and we'll see what does."

C.M. Wright stands in seventh place with 25 points. The Mustangs will be relying on Mike Reilly (135), Chris Schneck (145) and John Thorton (152).

Jamie Blankenship of Eastern Technical kept his perfect season alive. The 189-pound Maverick upped his mark to 35-0, but had a close call in the quarterfinal, an 8-7 win over Linganore's George O'Brien.

Pub Date: 3/08/97

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