Dominant Old Mill cruises to 3rd straight county crown

No. 2 Panthers send eight to finals, producing five winners, 12th title

February 20, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Old Mill piled up points just about everywhere last night, sending eight wrestlers to the finals and coming away with five individual champions to win its 12th Anne Arundel County Championship at Broadneck High.

It was the third straight county crown for the No. 2 Patriots and their second straight big weekend. At this time last week, they were celebrating a thrilling, come-from-behind 30-28 win over River Hill to take the Class 3A-4A Dual Meet State Championship.

This weekend's assignment wasn't as difficult for the Patriots, who enjoyed a 220-187 margin over runner-up Chesapeake. Host Broadneck finished third for a second straight year with 155 points.

Old Mill took a 28-point lead into the final round and then got titles from Adam DeCosmo (130), Nick Liston (140), Dave Hicks (145), Antoine Cooskey ( 171) and heavyweight Dave Kim to win going away for a second straight year. Last season, the Patriots won by a 209-137.5 margin against second-place Arundel.

"I honestly believe this county is loaded in all the weight classes and I'm real proud of my kids with the depth we showed. To have eight kids in the final and five champions really says a lot. Chesapeake is tough -- a great tournament team," said Old Mill coach Vern Hines.

In a county stocked with quality programs, the Patriots remain decisively at the top. So just how do they do it year after year?

"They are so solid up and down the lineup and they also have studs on their team," said Arundel coach John Miller. "They have the three things that make a solid program: Hard work, dedication and teamwork. They always have excellent competition in the practice room."

Hicks' methodical 5-1 decision over South River's Brian King gave him three county titles and the tournament pushed him over the 100-career win mark. The senior is looking for more with regions and states to follow.

"All we have to say in practice is `state championship' and that motivates us," said Hicks. "I don't think we have one bad wrestler throughout our lineup. Everybody goes out and does their jobs and I think because we know each other so well, we know what to expect. That makes us that much tighter as a team."

As expected, runner-up Chesapeake dominated the lighter weights. Freshman Steve Yaruta scored a 6-2 decision over Old Mill's Josh Baynham at 103 and the Eveleth brothers -- Matt and Jeff -- both got pins at 112 and 119, respectively.

Matt stopped Meade's Matt Harvey late in the first period to win his second straight county title with older brother Jeff, a state champ, following with a second-period pin against Old Mill's Dwayne Jones. Both improved to 27-0 on the season.

The Cougars got a fourth county champ later at 160 when John Mosca (28-10) decisioned Broadneck's Reid Bloomfield, 6-3.

"This was great, everyone came in and wrestled well," said Jeff Eveleth. "I was happy for Matt and that got me fired up. I was ready wrestle a whole match and was able to keep my cool. [Jones] stood up on me and that's when I caught him. He's a tough wrestler."

At 125, Severna Park senior Dan Fitzgerald, seeded third, came from behind to claim a 3-2 decision and avenge a regular-season loss against top-seeded Ricky Boulay of Broadneck.

Trailing 2-0 going into the third, Fitzgerald (22-5) got an early escape and then a takedown and then was able to hold off Boulay for the remainder of the period.

The Falcons got a second champ at 189 when Dan Seger was able to sneak past Old Mill's Adam Dayton, 2-1. Dayton provided the upset of the tournament with a 6-5 decision over top-seeded and previously unbeaten Melvin Guthrie of Chesapeake in the semifinal.

Arundel senior Mike Money (24-3) took the 135-pound class with a sturdy 11-5 decision over Broadneck's Jimmy Melton.

The tournament surprise came at 152, where Northeast's Ken Kanownik upset South River's top-seeded Kyle Ogan, 7-3 in the semifinals and then beat Meade's Kareem Fernandez in the final, 10-5, to win as a fourth seed.

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