Five semifinalists have Chesapeake sitting pretty

No. 6 Cougars holding 22-point lead at states

Class 4A-3A wrestling

March 02, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Once again, a familiar face is the front-runner.

Five Chesapeake wrestlers advanced to the semifinals to propel the No. 6 Cougars to the top of the Class 4A-3A state tournament at Western Maryland College in Westminster last night.

Shane Fraser (103 pounds), Steve Yaruta (119), Matt Eveleth (125), Chris Grove (135) and Jason Shehane (189) earned berths in the semifinals to pace Chesapeake to a team score of 53 points.

The closest competitor, Northern of Calvert County, compiled 31 points and has four semifinalists.

"Everybody still has to do their part [today]," said Cougars coach Rex Miller, who has five athletes participating in wrestlebacks today. "I still want to place everybody. The other five have a long fight, but they've battled back before."

Eveleth, who is seeking his third consecutive state championship, said the team is poised to add a state tournament title to the two Chesapeake captured in 1981 and 2000.

"I think we set ourselves up real well," Eveleth said. "It would be pretty awesome to see five finalists [today]."

Seventh-ranked Annapolis is tied with McDonough of Calvert County for third (27.5 points). The Panthers from Anne Arundel will be represented in the semifinals by Ben Graham (125), Bill Vollono (140) and Joe Mihoces (152).

Annapolis might have finished higher if sophomore Andrew Smith hadn't been disqualified for head-butting Wilde Lake senior Matt Ennis, last year's 119-pound state champ, in their quarterfinal.

The Panthers forfeited the points Smith had accumulated up to the quarterfinal match and lost two more team points for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"It's a blow," Annapolis coach Tom Sfakiyanudis. "That kid definitely could've placed in this tournament. Now the kids have to work twice as hard to catch up."

Dulaney is fifth with 24.5 points and has two semifinalists: Andrew Schlaffer at 130 and Konstatinos Kosmakos at heavyweight.

North Carroll, Wilde Lake, South Carroll, and Westminster are tied for ninth with 19 points.

North Carroll will be represented in the semifinals by Tyler Graham at 130 and Fran Jackson at 152. Wilde Lake boasts two semifinalists in Ennis and Pat Burns at heavyweight.

Other area semifinalists include South Carroll's Andrew Gold (103 pounds); Old Mill's Doug West (112); Perry Hall's Jim VanDaniker (112); Franklin's Matt Schuster (130); Fallston's Nathan Bachmann (135); River Hill's Ryan Green (140); Northeast-AA's Chris Dyke (145); Mount Hebron's Mike Mengel (160); Westminster's Nick Burger (160); Patterson's Chris Price (171); and Bel Air's Tim Kassouf (189).

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