`Big 4' makes Cougars serious tourney threat

Eveleths, Guthrie, Mosca have 30 pins, just 1 loss


January 13, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake's 11th-ranked wrestling team has a "big four" few, if any, teams in the state can match.

The Eveleth brothers -- state champion Jeff (119 pounds) and runner-up Matt (112) -- and Melvin Guthrie (189) are all 16-0, with John Mosca (160) at 17-1. Collectively, they have 30 pins.

And collectively, with a supporting cast that's stepping up with every week, the Cougars could make a strong run at a state title.

Proof of what a strong tournament team the Cougars are came over the weekend with their 257.5-point, first-place showing at the Aberdeen Invitational.

Their big four all won their third individual tournament titles of the season, and Ernie French (140) gave Chesapeake, which placed in every weight class, a fifth titlist.

"Those four guys are definitely our leaders. They've been pretty instrumental in tournaments, and the rest of the guys are following suit," said coach Tom Slichter.

Even Slichter is following suit, dying his hair yellow with his team in a form of unity.

"Parents are coming up and saying how much fun the kids are having this season," said Slichter. "That says a lot. Wrestling can be pretty tough at times, but we're working hard and having fun."

Arundel first-year coach John Miller recalls a Wildcats team from the mid 1990s that sent three wrestlers to the state tournament and made the most of the trip.

"We had two state titlists and a runner-up and finished third as a team," said Miller, who was an assistant to former coach Buddy Hepfer at the time. "With the Eveleth brothers, Melvin and John Mosca coming on strong, [Chesapeake] will definitely be in the running."

French (13-6, eight pins), Steve Yaruta (14-4 at 103) and Mike Slichter (11-6 at 152) could help provide the necessary boost that just might put the Cougars over the top come March.

Mat showdown in Gambrills

Teams from two schools plenty familiar with state wrestling titles -- No. 4 Old Mill and No. 8 Arundel -- will continue their rivalry in Gambrills tomorrow night.

The visiting Patriots, who improved to 5-0 with solid wins against Broadneck and Hammond over the weekend, have a big edge in experience.

Heavyweight Dave Kim is 12-0, with Antoine Cooksey (171) and Adam DeCosmo (130) coming in at 16-1.

Miller said his Wildcats, coming off a win in their Arundel Invitational over the weekend, will have to be at their best and then some to get past Old Mill.

Their strength is in the middle weights with Ryan Lowder (14-2 at 130) and Mike Money (11-3 at 135) leading the way.

"[The Patriots] have an extremely balanced team up and down their lineup -- no weaknesses," said Miller. "Can we step on the mat with them? Yes. We'll have to get some extraordinary efforts. Their kids have been there, where ours have not, so we'll find out."

Saints win academic honor

The St. Mary's girls soccer team will receive the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas High School Team Academic Award for its combined 3.26 grade-point average.

The award -- granted to 156 boys and girls programs this season -- is based on the academic performance of a team during the previous school year.

To be eligible, a team must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 for the year based on a 4.0 scale. All players on the varsity roster must be included in the calculation.

This is the second straight year the Saints, coach by Jerry Tobin, have earned the award.

Smear gets Ivy award

Yale freshman guard Maria Smear (St. Mary's) has been named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.

In the Bulldogs' 85-73 win over Lafayette on Jan. 3, Smear matched her career high with 19 points in 21 minutes. She followed that performance with a 12-point effort in a 72-69 loss to Lehigh. Although six teammates have played more minutes, Smear's 8.4 points a game ranks second for the Bulldogs.

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