Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Lions prevail in nail-biter over Railroaders

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When the Walkersville High wrestling team traveled to Brunswick on Monday, they found out how closely matched the two teams were—second tie-breaker close.

With Zach White’s 10-5 win at 152 pounds, the Lions tied up the meet at 33-33. Neither team was docked points for unsportsmanlike conduct, so Walkersville earned the bonus point for having exactly one more win that the Railroaders (21-4) to earn a 34-33 victory.

Brunswick head coach Trey Coates knew the match-up was going to be fast and frugal on points.

‘‘I expected it to be close, but I expected us to come out by six,” Coates said.

Out of the normal 14 bouts, only nine hit the mat. Brunswick won three weight classes by forfeit, while Walkersville had one forfeit win. At 119, it was a double-forfeit.

The Lions powered to an early lead when the match started at 160. Marc Neilson wrestled up a weight class to pin Brunswick’s Jarred Droneburg in 2 minutes, 54 seconds. And Jordan Walsh needed only 39 seconds to score a pin at 189.

Brunswick countered with Joey Fisher winning a decision at 171 and Andrew Tilles picking up a heavyweight pin in 4:10.

But the deciding match was at 215, where Walkersville’s Kyle Heppner got an upset win over T.J. Jones, taking a 11-7 decision.

Heppner had a thin 5-4 lead in the first period, nearly losing the match to an early reversal bid from Jones. But he recovered to control the second period, outscoring Jones 5-2.

Two of the more hotly contested weight classes in the county are at 125 and 130, and both Brunswick and Walkersville will have candidates available.

For a warm-up to the postseason, the Lions’ C.J. Cotterman pinned Zach Morris in 4:31.

Brunswick’s Mike Minch, one of the top wrestlers at 130, had to settle for forfeit points.

‘‘They’re two of the toughest weight classes in the state of Maryland,” Coates said.

Walkersville head coach Ralph Cotterman, who is also the father of C.J., noted that his son’s final weight will most likely be up in the air until the Frederick County Championship, which starts on Feb. 22.

‘‘He’ll probably mess things up all the way until the end,” Ralph Cotterman said. ‘‘He’s kind of a ‘tweener. He’s naturally in between the two weights, so he’s not fully sure what he’s going to do.”

Until the final call is made, a Minch-Cotterman match-up will have to wait.

Coates noted that Minch, now 28-0, has been able to take on some of the toughest members of the weight class, including South Carroll’s Rion Rieter and Frederick’s Adam Deitrich.

‘‘We’ve tried to get him to wrestle the toughest match for every dual meet we’ve been in,” Coates said.

At 140, Tyler White scored a 9-2 decision over Luke Dearing. Brunswick took a 33-30 lead when Brian Orye scored a pin in 49 seconds.

For dual meet records, only three of Brunswick’s losses count. Along with the Walkersville loss, they fell to Williamsport and South Carroll.