River Hill wears county crown again

Hawks, with five champs, top Centennial by 42 for fourth straight title


High Schools

February 23, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill won its fourth straight Howard County wrestling tournament championship last night at Wilde Lake.

This one wasn't as close as last season's one-point victory over Mount Hebron, as the Hawks breezed, 246.5-204.5, over runner-up Centennial.

The No. 4 Hawks placed eight wrestlers in the finals and won five individual titles.

River Hill's four straight titles matched streaks of Oakland Mills from 1977-1980 and 1985-1988, and Hammond from 1996-1999.

Nick Shevland and Jesse Fawcett of River Hill, along with Grant Gormley of Mount Hebron repeated as county champions.

Junior Vince Cina pinned Hammond's Ethan Cohen in 5:16 at 103 pounds to get the Hawks off to a good start in the finals. Cina (30-1), a national junior champ, won his first county title. He had beaten Cohen twice previously this season.

Dave Brindza became Glenelg's second county champ in the past five years with an 11-7 decision over Sean Vorsteg of Hammond at 112 pounds. Brindza (26-6), undefeated in county competition, had pinned Vorsteg earlier this season.

Anthonio Josiah of Oakland Mills scored the biggest upset of the tournament by beating Ryan Lauer of River Hill in the 119-pound semifinals, 18-8. He had lost to Lauer by disqualification earlier this season. Josiah (13-8), a sophomore from Ghana, went on the win the county title by beating Sean Smith of Hammond, 16-7.

Dominic Ventura of Centennial edged two-time county finalist Jeff Plasse of Oakland Mills, 3-2, to win the 125-pound title after finishing fifth last season. The junior (27-1) had beaten Plasse two times previously this season.

Gormley added a bright note to an otherwise disappointing Mount Hebron season by winning the 130-pound title. The senior (29-3) decisioned Mike Stromberg of River Hill, 11-1.

Kevin Cannon of River Hill overcame perhaps the greatest obstacle of any wrestler in the tournament by defeating Evan Bulger of Centennial, 6-5. The junior's house burned down in January.

"For two weeks, I just showed up at practice. I didn't have shoes or shorts to wrestle in," he said.

Shevland (30-1), a senior, repeated as county titlist by scoring a takedown with four seconds left to decision Rob Richardson of Centennial at 140 pounds, 10-8.

Centennial's twins, seniors Mark (28-0) and Dave Nakasone (27-0), won their first county titles and stayed unbeaten. Mark, third in the state last season, pinned defending county champ Ryan Shevland of River Hill in 3:45 at 145 pounds. Dave, a state champion last season, major decisioned Zak Porta of Howard at 152 pounds, 17-8.

Senior Hamp Fields of Wilde Lake won the 160-pound title by decisioning Thomas Perkins of River Hill, 9-3. Perkins had beaten him previously, 4-3. Fields (22-7), the quarterback of Wilde Lake's football team, said it was especially nice to win in front of the home fans.

Sean Kendig of Oakland Mills edged Pat Wallace of Hammond, 3-1, at 171 pounds. Wallace had upset his way to the finals but fell to a first-period takedown and second-period escape. Kendig (23-5), a sophomore, was fifth in the county last year.

Steve Sessa of Hammond (26-3) at 189 pounds won a grudge match by defeating Howard's Phil Thomas, who beat Sessa in the 171 finals last year. Sessa won, 7-6, on a third-period escape.

"Phil put up a heck of a fight," said Sessa. "It felt incredible to win."

Fawcett, a senior, (26-2) won his second straight county title by pinning Austin Merson of Hammond in 2:49 at 215 pounds.

And senior Daniel Stahovic of River Hill (14-1) won the heavyweight title, 9-7, over Doug Smith of Wilde Lake.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.