Chesapeake enters state duals as 4th seed

Cougars face 15-0 LaPlata in wrestling semifinal


High Schools

February 14, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

One team that appears certain to be ready for tomorrow's Class 4A-3A State Dual Meet Wrestling tournament is the No. 8 Chesapeake Cougars, who have tested the waters this season and then some.

In the early going, coach Rex Miller took his team to the demanding Virginia Duals, put dual meets on the calendar against top-ranked Mount St. Joseph and northern Virginia power Herndon and threw in a visit to the Hammond Tournament - regarded as the best public schools' tournament in Maryland - for good measure.

And the Cougars, who earned their first Dual Meet State Tournament appearance with a 33-20 East region win over No. 9 Old Mill on Wednesday, have measured up.

At 12-6, Chesapeake, also the defending Class 4A-3A state tournament champion, will go in as the fourth seed, taking on top-seeded LaPlata (15-0) in a semifinal match set for noon tomorrow at Catoctin High School in Frederick County. River Hill will take on Northwest in the other semifinal at the same time on a second mat with the finals at 6 p.m.

Don't let the lowest seeding or modest record fool you.

"This is a young team, so I'm really surprised," said Miller. "Down at Virginia Duals, we may have been out of our league, but maybe it did us some good. I've told the guys all year long, you're there - I don't know what it takes to prove it. Maybe [a region title] does."

The Cougars - led by Corey Bowers (22-2 at 119 pounds), Steve Yaruta (19-6 at 125) and Chad LaPlanche (25-2 at 189) - have a balanced and set lineup that was focused in their decisive win over Old Mill, which beat them two days earlier.

"It feels real good," said Yaruta, following Wednesday's East region win. "The last three years, we've had good teams but couldn't win the dual meet."

Wrestling probation

South River's annual wrestling tournament was placed on a two-year probation because two Southern Maryland teams - Great Mills and Chopticon - participated illegally, said Duke Beattie, Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association wrestling chairman.

The teams did not compete in the tournament's first day, Jan. 17, because of snow emergencies in their area but did participate the following day.

National Federation of State High School Associations rules state that a forfeit shall eliminate a contestant from further competition in a tournament, except when it was due to injury or illness during the tournament.

Points earned at the tournament by Great Mills and Chopticon will not apply to the teams' respective county/district and regional tournaments.

Tournaments at Hammond and Stephen Decatur also had the same violation and were also put on a two-year probation.

Private schools

Senior 135-pounder Justin Pavlischek (28-8) will lead Annapolis Area Christian into the Maryland private schools' state tournament, scheduled to start this afternoon at McDonogh School in Owings Mills.

Last weekend, Pavlischek upset McDonogh's Bryn Holmes, 7-5, for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Conference Tournament crown. Pavlischek suffered a concussion in the final but can return today.

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