Old Mill wrestlers seek 3rd straight state trip in 4A-3A dual meet

No. 7 Patriots will meet Annapolis in first semi


High Schools

February 05, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For three county wrestling programs, the Class 4A-3A East region dual-meet wrestling championship at Chesapeake High tomorrow offers a rare opportunity.

For No. 7 Old Mill, which earned the top seed after completing a 14-0 season by edging Chesapeake Friday for its fifth straight county dual-meet title, the regional offers a chance to make a third straight trip to the state championship.

The Patriots, who have captured two state dual-meet crowns in the last four years, are hoping the momentum sustained from Friday's title-clinching victory carries over to tomorrow.

"I don't know if it gives us an advantage, but it's nice," said first-year Old Mill coach Jim Grim. "We're using it as a first step. The next step is the regional duals, then state duals, and then the [county, regional and state] tournaments."

The Patriots will meet No. 9 Annapolis in the first semifinal. The Panthers, seeded fourth by virtue of a 12-2 overall record, fell to Old Mill, 31-22, on Jan. 4, but they have defeated their last six opponents.

"[Friday] was a big win for them, but we have some momentum coming into this as well," said Annapolis coach Tom Sfakiyanudis. "It's going to be a great match any way you look at it."

A few key bouts will revolve around Old Mill junior Josh Baynham (25-4) vs. Annapolis junior Brett Cherba (19-5) at 119 pounds; senior Dominick Grossi (19-4) vs. senior Joe Mihoces (19-5) at 152; and senior Chris Bonner (19-3) vs. senior Paul Macknis (21-3) at 171.

No. 8 Chesapeake earned the second seed after compiling a 13-1 mark and could get an emotional boost with the return of senior duo Jason Shehane (189 pounds) and Josh Aburn (heavyweight), both of whom missed Friday's meet.

Cougars coach Rex Miller said one of his responsibilities this week was to help the team forget about losing the county dual-meet crown.

"I'm going to let them know that it's a new season now," he said. "We have to go in gung-ho and not look back."

Chesapeake will face No. 14 Patterson, which drew the third seed as a result of its 12-1 record. The Clippers reached this stage last season, narrowly losing a tiebreaker against Arundel in the regional semifinal.

Patterson has claimed five straight Baltimore City dual-meet championships, but may need to wrestle the meet of its season to upend the Cougars, according to Clippers coach Troy Stevenson.

"We have to have a few upsets and lose some by decision," he said. "If we can keep the pins to a minimum, we may have a chance."

A few pivotal matches include Chesapeake junior Steve Yaruta (20-6) vs. Patterson senior Warren Brown (16-2) at 119 pounds; sophomore Chris Grove (14-2) vs. senior Dante Lovell (18-3); and Shehane (16-5) vs. sophomore Thomas Smith (17-4).

The semifinals start at 5:30 p.m., and the finals are expected to begin two hours later.

Girls basketball race

With two weeks left in the regular season, both the Severna Park and Chesapeake girls basketball teams appear to control their own futures to earn a berth in the county championship game in two weeks.

The No. 14 Falcons are 11-1 in the county (14-4 overall) and a game ahead of the Cougars and two games ahead of Arundel. But Severna Park must endure a four-game stretch that includes the Wildcats, South River and Broadneck, who sport a combined 24-12 mark in the county.

The Falcons visit Gambrills today at 5:15 to face Arundel, which has won the last four county titles. The Wildcats dropped the first meeting between these two teams, 66-62, on Jan. 22.

No. 19 Chesapeake is in second place with a 10-2 county record (14-4 overall) and will meet only one team with a winning county mark - Meade at 7-5.

Not far behind is No. 15 Arundel, which is 9-3 in the county (13-5 overall). Still, the Wildcats have perhaps the toughest four-game schedule in the Falcons, South River, Annapolis and Broadneck, who are a combined 33-15 against county opponents.

South River is in fourth with an 8-4 county record (11-6 overall).

Old Mill seeks coaches

Old Mill High is still looking for a head and assistant tennis coach and an assistant gymnastics coach. Interested applicants can call athletic director Bruce Lawton at 410-969-0837 for more information.

Key sailors finish

Jimmy Praley and Jimmy Attridge, two members of the Key sailing team, finished 19th out of 21 boats in the Olympic Class Regatta race in Miami last week.

The juniors, who were the youngest sailors in the international 470 class, returned Sunday night a little exhausted and a little disappointed with their performance.

"We didn't end up with the finish we were hoping for," said Attridge. The top five boats were eligible for the U.S. Olympic trials, and of those, one will represent the United States in Athens, Greece in the 2004 Olympic Games.

"It kind of showed us what it will take to succeed," he said. "That was definitely eye-opening."

The Annapolis residents ran into some trouble on the first day of competition. A balky rudder forced the two to drop out of one race.

But Attridge said the problems did not dim their desire for another shot at Olympic-class competition.

"It's still early," he said. "We have high hopes for next year."

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