Arundel's win puts Hepfer on pedestal Victory over Northeast is 250th for veteran coach

December 18, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Arundel coach Buddy Hepfer was on his knees wiping blood off the mat midway through his team's dual meet with unranked Northeast when fan not so discreetly asked him how many wins he needed before he was removed from his maintenance duties.

Apparently, the number is greater than 250.

Hepfer, a member of the Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame, reached that milestone last night when his No. 4-ranked Wildcats downed Northeast's Eagles, 41-15, in Gambrills.

"I don't really worry about that stuff," said Hepfer, attempting to down-play his achievement. "I didn't even know it was 250 until a couple of kids said something to me today. It's nice, but beating Northeast was nicer."

Rob Connolly made it official and upped Hepfer's dual-meet record to 250-86-5 by pinning George Fold 82 seconds into his 160-pound bout. Connolly's pin gave the Wildcats a 33-9 lead, mathematically eliminating Northeast.

Shannon Webber opened the meet by registering a 16-1 technical fall over Derek Northup, and Shaun Bond followed by pinning his 112-pound opponent in the second period.

The Wildcats' next four victories were decided by five points. In a battle of defending Anne Arundel County champs, Arundel's Pat Ortman (119) claimed a 4-3 decision over Bobby Couch. Greg Klinger used four penalty points to claim a 7-5 win over Don Jarmer at 125, and Mark Tribett (135) and Steve Banvard (140) each escaped with one-point victories.

Tribett was four seconds away from suffering a defeat when he escaped from Josh Diffendal and registered a takedown as time expired for a 4-3 victory.

"We know Northeast likes to take down, get back up and make a lot of escapes, and, basically, we knew we had to go at them offensively," said Hepfer. "If we didn't, they would have eaten us alive. We had to take it to them on their feet."

Matt Neidig's escape with 19 seconds left in the first overtime period earned him a 2-1 decision over Tom Cain and put Arundel (3-0) ahead 36-9 with two matches remaining.

Northeast, which was hit hard by graduation, closed out the meet on a good note as James Taylor, the county's JV champion last season, pinned Anthony Dennis in 2: 47.

"Everyone was pumped up about Coach Hepfer winning number 250, and we didn't want to let him down, because he means a lot to this team," said Ortman. "This year's team has a lot of heart, and if somebody loses, the next person in line comes through."

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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