Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Contagious Krop spreads energy to Hawks

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Gathering his team around him, Urbana High wrestling coach Ben Arneson pointed to the recently victorious Adam Krop, telling his team to follow what his 119-pounder had done.

Krop’s success proved to be contagious, as the Hawks battled back from an early12-0 deficit to edge out Liberty 36-31 in Monday’s Senior Night matchup for the host Hawks.

‘‘It didn’t start out too well,” Krop said. ‘‘I was a little nervous at first but knew if I could get the win it would spark the rest of the wins and get us back into the match. And that’s exactly what it did.”

Liberty took the first three matches of the meet. Travis Lowery got Urbana’s first win with a decision at 103. After a pair of Lions’ victories, Krop, who wrestled up a weight class, began the Hawks’ rally with a 12-4 decision at 119. Pins from Billy Herring (125) and Peter Tatanish (130) as well as a decision by Lucas Pangburn (135) gave Urbana its first lead at 19-18.

Spencer Strube (140), Brian Dressler (145), Trey Curry (152) and Stephan Edmands all came out on top as the Hawks escaped with the win. At one point, the Hawks took 23 straight points.

On Monday, it was Krop that got the ball rolling. The next match who knows whom it will be. Someone new always seems to come to the forefront for Urbana (8-2).

‘‘We’ve actually had a lot of kids who’ve shown up in each individual win and just picked the team up,” Arneson said.

The Lions failed to capitalize on the momentum of their early success. While wrestling is predominantly a solo endeavor, harnessing the energy of teammates is a part of what successful programs accomplish with regularity. It is also a notion Liberty head coach Mike Flemming regularly speaks of.

‘‘We talk about that a lot,” Flemming said.

Liberty (18-5) dominated the heavier weight classes. Joe Riebau (171), John McHale (189), Zach Croft (215) and Sam Issermoyer (285) all knotted falls. Luis Banegas (112) tallied the Lions’ other victory with a pin.

Coming off a weekend tournament, Flemming was proud of his kids’ effort and despite losing regards the match as a building block for the stretch run.

‘‘We look at it this way,” Flemming said. ‘‘Urbana is supposed to be one of the best teams in the state and we lost to the 36-32. We still think we can get that win.”

Urbana hopes Monday sets the tone for the remainder of its season.

With two defeats, the defending Frederick County Champions believe they will likely need to win its last four matches is order to qualify for the Class 3A West Region Dual Meet.

‘‘It [the Liberty victory] didn’t get us in,” Arneson said.

‘‘We have to win four more matches. This was a big test for the boys to have to win them to have to get into the duals.”