Resurgent Atholton pins loss on Oakland Mills

Raiders improve to 2-0 with surprising 50-24 win

Wrestling

High Schools

December 17, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Senior captain Nick Colabucci has experienced the ups and downs of wrestling at Atholton.

His Raiders posted a 12-2 record his freshman year before enduring two straight horrendous seasons in which they won a total of six matches. Last season they forfeited five weight classes at nearly every match and won just twice.

After yesterday's surprisingly easy 50-24 victory over host Oakland Mills, however, his team is once again a force to be reckoned with, a fact that has him smiling.

Oakland Mills, wrestling its first match this season, featured three first-team All-Howard County returnees, two of them county champions. But the supposedly formidable Scorpions lost five of the first six bouts, three by pins.

As a result, the Raiders improved to 2-0, including their season-opening victory over rival Hammond Dec. 9.

"In my four years we had never beaten Hammond and that really got us fired up for today," Colabucci said. "We've never been so fired up before matches as we've been this year."

The coaches for both Atholton and Oakland Mills agreed that yesterday's opening match was the key one.

Senior Kyle Davis, who had a disappointing season for Atholton a year ago, not even placing at the county meet, pinned Mike Clarke at 140 pounds on a half-nelson in 5:32.

Tony Chadwick evened the score with a pin in 49 seconds at 145 for Oakland Mills, but Josh Burke and Colabucci earned back-to-back pins and Brandon Gardenhour and Curtis Crouse earned decisions for Atholton. The Raiders led 24-6.

County champion Sean Kendig, a champion at the Ray Oliver Tournament last weekend, earned six points for a pin at 215 for Oakland Mills. The momentum swung right back to Atholton, however, when sophomore Michael Krason pinned William Flores at 275.

Vincent McClain, wrestling his first varsity match, gave Oakland Mills a boost with a pin at 103, and Scorpions stalwart Jeff Plasse, fourth at states last season, won by pin at 125.

Another key Atholton win was at 119, where Andrew Brazis filled in for ailing outstanding teammate Jeff Zillmer (flu), who finished third in the region as a freshman last year. Brazis beat Jimmy Snyder, 6-0.

"Atholton wrestled a good match," said Scorpions coach Brad Howell. "They won matches we should have had and we showed our inexperience by giving up some bonus points. They matched up well with us."

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