Cooper, Binder lift Owings Mills to 2nd crown in row

M. Taylor's title, 4 finalists lift Harford Tech to 2nd

Class 2A-1A state wrestling

High Schools

March 07, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Rob Cooper repeated his winning ways in the 119-pound weight class, and teammate Sasha Binder's title at 140 made up for lost time as the seniors led Owings Mills to its second straight Class 2A-1A state tournament championship, and its sixth overall, last night at Cole Field House.

Cooper (38-2) scored eight takedowns in a showdown of state champions with D.J. Scarponi (34-7), and his 18-6 victory was his fourth over the Hereford wrestler. Binder (37-0) earned his third win of the season over Harford Tech's Brad Dreyer (32-4), his 4-2 victory joining two one-point wins over the two-time state runner-up from Harford County.

Fellow Eagles Mike Kessler (145) and Eric Fishel (171) both placed second, the former losing, 3-2, in a rematch of his earlier overtime victory over Walkersville's Dan Caywood (33-3). Owings Mills had 133 1/2 points to runner-up Harford Tech's 99.

"While everyone was having fun during the summer, I was working hard in the rooms, going to tournaments," said Binder, who was expelled from school and ineligible to wrestle last season. "It's all paid off with the accomplishment of a dream."

Harford Tech moved a school-record four wrestlers into the finals, crowning Mike Taylor (130) and getting runner-up finishes from Dreyer, Mike Long (112) and Josh Taylor (152).

A state runner-up last year, Mike Taylor (33-2) defeated Alex Wolverton (21-3) of Havre de Grace for the third time this season, becoming the Cobras' second state champion.

South Carroll (third) crowned Andrew Winfield (171) and Tim Ferguson (189). A state runner-up last season, Winfield (30-0) pinned three opponents before winning the final, 6-1, over Fishel (39-1), a third-place finisher last year. Ferguson (24-1) pinned his 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st rivals, decking previously unbeaten Mike Wagner of Elkton in 1:40 of their semifinal and Rockville's Patt Haddon in 3:57 of the final. Wagner has 14 straight falls.

Joppatowne's Jeremy Navarre (heavyweight, 37-0) scored a 49-second pin in his first bout and beat his next three opponents by a combined 38-1, including a technical fall. Navarre, who has allowed only five points all year, became his school's first two-time champion with his title bout win, 13-1, over Southern-Anne Arundel's John Hickox (27-6).

Navarre's father, George, a Joppatowne assistant, had been the school's only state champion, going 20-0-1 in 1981.

"I knew [Hickox] had wrestled a lot of tough guys, and I wanted to wrestle perfect to beat someone like that," said Jeremy Navarre, who went 30-2 last year and won the 215-pound title. "I wanted to go undefeated to live up to my dad."

A state finalist for the second straight year, Liberty's unbeaten Chris De Vilbiss (35-0) escaped with 1:07 left in a 4-3 victory over Josh Taylor (30-5) that made him his school's first champion since Kevin Jefferies in 1996.

"He had wrestled and beaten a lot of good guys, so I didn't have any predictions for the match. I just took what I could and didn't get greedy," said De- Vilbiss, who has gone from being a fourth-string junior varsity freshman to champion. "What I've accomplished shows that you should never sell yourself short."

Vince Taweel (125, 35-5) became Hammond's seventh state champion, the second underclassman and the first freshman to win a state title. He escaped with eight seconds left for a 1-0 victory over Oakland Mills' Jeff Plasse (29-3), whom he also defeated for the Howard County and regional crowns after losing their first meeting.

Spurred on by coach Pedro Barbosa and assistant Ryan Mackin, a Hammond state champ in 2001, Taweel edged Overlea's state runner-up, Kyle Krumholtz, 5-2, in the semifinals and wants to join Steve Kessler and Matt Slutzky as the state's only four-time champions.

Pikesville's Alex Prezenchuk (112, 34-3) avenged last week's overtime loss to Harford Tech's Mike Long (30-4), winning, 2-1, in his second straight state final berth. Francis Scott Key junior Tom Rush (215, 23-2) earned a 5-3 victory over Walkerville's Billy Burke in the finals.

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