Matt Yinger made it four straight titles and Francis Scott Key teammates Chris Putman and Jason Wiles came through with late victories to help the No. 9 Eagles win the team title in their 30th annual Christmas tournament last night.
Yinger, who missed the early part of the season with a shoulder injury, then opened with a win in the school's dual meet with Westminster 10 days ago, pinned Dave Hicks of Old Mill in the semifinals, and put down Catoctin's Chad Dewees with one second to spare in their 135-pound final.
Yinger, named the seven-team meet's outstanding wrestler, had won earlier titles at 112, 119 and 130. His older brother, Zac, a two-time state champion (1994-95) on hand for the program, had also earned the "outstanding" award during a run of three successive titles after a third-place finish as a freshman.
Key, the 1994 and 1995 champion, won the team title with 201 points to 197.5 for Old Mill. North Hagerstown (125) was third, followed by Catoctin, 99; Bel Air, 96; Long Reach, 63, and Glenelg, 56.
Two other wrestlers shared the spotlight, Jimmy O'Connor of Glenelg and Eric DeCosmo of Old Mill. O'Connor, last year's state Class 1A-2A champion at 135, ran his undefeated string to 43 bouts, including 11 this season, when he pinned Key's Steve Cahoon at 5: 01 of their 145-pound final.
DeCosmo pulled off one of the meet's biggest upsets when he turned back highly regarded Jeremy Fuss of Catoctin in the 152 semifinals, 4-3. DeCosmo (12-4), a senior with two undistinguished seasons behind him, said he has "picked it up this year." He pinned Tim Beale of Key in the final.
Going into the finals, Key (181) and Old Mill (170.5) had outdistanced the rest of the field. Old Mill, which had won team titles here in 1993 and 1996, put eight wrestlers into the finals to seven for Key, and the former won both of the head-to-head encounters.
The Patriots from Anne Arundel County won their first six bouts, and needed to win only one of the last two to earn the team title by a half point. It didn't happen.
Aside from the two head-to-head losses, Key lost one other pairing and had two wins heading into Putman's match at 160. The senior broke away from a 2-2 tie in the third period to defeat Peter Bourg of Glenelg, 7-4.
Thomas Horton of North Hagerstown stopped Old Mill's Derrick Dawson at 4: 32; The Eagles' Wiles, who had won two JV titles at 189 in this event previously, reversed an earlier pin by Catoctin's Dan Miller, when he collected a 6-2 decision, a bout where all the points were on reversals.
Old Mill won early, as younger brother Adam DeCosmo beat defender Brad Stone of Bel Air at 103, followed by junior Eric Hill at 112; Josh Liston at 119; and Chris DeAdder at 125. DeAdder, upset the state's No. 6 J.C. Porter of Long Reach, 12-1.
The other champions were Old Mill senior Rich Sampson at 140, and Key junior Clint Day at 130.
Pub Date: 12/30/97