Spicer, Combs grab championships Sherwood takes team title

Westminster places third

Class 3A-4A wrestling

March 09, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

It was the same story for Westminster wrestler Dave Spicer and Old Mill's No. 2 Chris Combs: Hard work paying off. And each wrestler reaped the benefits with 3A-4A state titles yesterday.

Combs (103, 35-1) scored a pin, a major decision, and a default victory before grinding out a 7-0 decision over Annapolis' Dan Hemminger (25-5) in a rematch of last week's region final. The 16-year-old became the Patriots' 20th state champ and their first sophomore to win a crown.

Spicer (34-6), whose Westminster squad (86 points, third) placed highest among area teams, reversed the result of last week's region final, this time beating C. Milton Wright's Mike Reilly (135 pounds, 32-2), 2-1. Reilly had scored a pin, a technical fall and a decision to reach the title bout.

Sherwood of Montgomery County (116 points), coached by Severn resident Scott Beattie, won the overall team title by placing six wrestlers in the top six with Bobby Monday (112) and Graham Manley (heavyweight) winning titles -- Manley his second straight -- and Damion Powell (160) finishing second.

But Combs and Spicer did their part represent their respective programs.

A title next year would make Combs only the fourth repeat champ in the history of Old Mill (65.6 points, sixth place). Chuck Sturm (1982 and '83), Charlie Royer ('84 and '85) and Greg Wise ('88 and '89) won twice, but no Patriots' wrestler has won three times.

"I've got two more to go, and I'm gonna get those two," said Combs, who was pinned in the first round of last year's states. "I worked extremely hard all year, wrestling 112, coming down to 103. This shows that everything I've done has paid off."

Spicer's sentiments were similar.

"I have been working out so hard the last couple of weeks, it's made it hard to concentrate in school," said Spicer, a junior. "But all the work has paid off and made it all worth while."

He avenged an earlier loss, 10-7, over Damascus' Chris Richards in the quarterfinals, and edged Old Mill's No. 6 Gary Serago, 6-4, in the semis. He trailed, 7-5, against Richards -- who pinned him earlier -- before tossing Richards with a five-point lateral drop.

"I have been hitting that pretty successfully lately, so I went for it," said Spicer. "It was time to go for the home run -- sometimes you miss them, but you've got to go after it when it's on."

Finishing second were Kenwood's No. 2 Chuck Jones (130, 32-2, 23 pins), Franklin's Tim Groszkowski (140, 31-1) and Dundalk's Rich Reesey (112, 31-4).

Jones dropped an 8-6 overtime decision to No. 3 Dustin Bane (37-2) of Frederick to finish as runner-up for the second straight season. Jones, who was looking to become Kenwood's seventh state champ -- the first since Vernon Cooper ('83) -- pinned two opponents and beat No. 6 Anthony Gigliotti (Sherwood) by 13-6 in the semifinal.

Groszkowski reached the semifinals on three consecutive pins, then dropped an 11-10 decision to Frederick Douglass' Darren Black (30-2), who was ranked No. 6 in the state.

In his quarterfinal bout, Groszkowski pinned Leonardtowne's No. Chris Lefebvre, who entered at 29-1 and was a fourth-place finisher a season earlier. He overcame a 2-0 third-period deficit to deck Damascus' Sean O'Neill overtime. O'Neill also was fourth a year earlier.

Reesey upset No. 6 Kevin Potter of Damascus, a fourth-place finisher last year, in the quarterfinals, before losing his title bout, 7-4, to Montgomery County champ Bobby Monday (33-3). Reesey led, 2-1, before yielding six near-fall points in the final period.

No. 2 Arundel (51 points, seventh), ranked No. 4 in Maryland and the state duals champ, managed only Rob Connolly (160, third) and Brian Schroeder (125, fourth).

Third-place finishers were Westminster's Bobby Biden (112), No. Eastern Tech's DeMetrios Gourgoulianis (119), Annapolis' Andrew Hemminger (135), C. Milton Wright's Chris Schneck (145) and Centennial's Aaron Perkins (heavyweight).

Finishing fourth were Meade's Matt Pandullo (112), Perry Hall's Nick Sidiropoulos (130), South Carroll's Mike Muller (145), Westminster's Austin Lanham (152), Patterson's Leonard Bridgeforth (160), Dulaney's Justin Tagg (171) , Eastern Tech's Jamie Blankenship (189) and North Carroll's Ben Fleming (heavyweight).

Pub Date: 3/09/97

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