Hammond surprises with easy Lackey victory Mackin takes 125 title

5 other Bears win seconds

December 14, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

INDIAN HEAD -- Hammond's tournament season started with fireworks last night in a tune-up for next weekend's national competition in Delaware.

The No. 2-ranked Golden Bears easily won their second straight Lackey Christmas tournament, which was the 10th annual. This time, unlike last season, they hope it carries over when they meet the Chargers in later Class 1A-2A tournaments.

After winning the tournament last season, Hammond went on to lose to Lackey of Charles County the next four times they met. The two teams have been rivals since the 1992-93 season and may still be pushing each other before this season is over, despite Hammond's dominance last night.

"Lackey will get stronger," Hammond coach Bill Smith said. "But we haven't hit stride yet. We won a prestigious tournament without a lot of champions, so that says we can only get better."

The Bears placed six wrestlers in the finals and won by the unexpectedly large margin of 231-173 over runner-up Lackey. "To some people this margin of victory would be a surprise, but we came in expecting to win," said Smith.

The biggest disappointment for Hammond is that it won only one individual title, Ryan Mackin at 125. Josh Law (140), Adam Clark (160), Randy Curtin (171), Kyle Peddicord (189) and Matt Nelson (HW) were runners-up.

Smith was surprised that Mackin and Law got to the finals.

Mackin, a sophomore, dominated his 125-pound class with a technical fall, a major decision and two lopsided decisions to win his first tournament title.

He wrestled junior league last season instead of varsity, because he was academically ineligible. "I surprised most of the people watching, but I always have confidence in myself," said Mackin. "I was a little upset that I was put in the same bracket as the defending regional champ, Jacob Kirby, so I felt I had to prove myself."

Mackin defeated Kirby in the semifinals, 11-5.

Law couldn't quite pull off a title upset against regional runner-up and Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champ Casey Fitzpatrick of Thomas Stone, losing a 6-3 decision.

But for someone who couldn't crack Hammond's varsity lineup last season, the senior showed great heart.

"I didn't want to be the first Hammond guy to lose in the finals, but I'm glad I made it this far," Law said. "Second in the Lackey my first season is not too shabby."

Pub Date: 12/14/97

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