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County champions

Posted 2/27/03

103 — Vincent Cina (30-1), River Hill, pinned Hammond sophomore Ethan Cohen (18-7) in 5:16.

The first two periods weren’t to my plan, the way I thought they’d go down, but the third period I stepped it up and started going back to what I was doing right, said Cina, last year’s county runner-up.

The junior was leading, 8-3, at the time of the pin.

112 — David Brindza (25-6), Glenelg, beat Hammond junior Sean Vorsteg (13-12), 11-7.

Vorsteg, a 2002 JV county champion, scored the first takedown and had a 2-1 lead after the first period. But Brindza, a junior, overpowered him in the final two periods, scoring four takedowns to Vorsteg’s one.

I just wrestled for six minutes, Brindza said.

119 — Anthonio Josiah (13-8), Oakland Mills, beat Hammond’s Sean Smith (18-7) by a 16-7 major decision.

Josiah, a sophomore originally from Ghana, has only been wrestling for two years. He outmuscled River Hill’s top-seeded Ryan Lauer in the semifinals, 18-8, then did the same to Smith, a senior, in the finals. Josiah scored six takedowns, a reversal and two backpoints.

It feels good to be champion, he said.

125 — Dominic Ventura (27-1), Centennial junior, edged Oakland Mills junior Jeffrey Plasse (22-3), 3-2.

Plasse had beaten Ventura every time they met prior to this season but has lost in all three of this year’s meetings — twice by a single point.

I knew how I had to wrestle to beat him. I just stuck with what I’ve been doing all year, Ventura said.

With 50 seconds left in the second period, Plasse took a 1-0 lead. Ventura evened it up early in the third period with an escape and took the lead by catching one of Plasse’s legs and completing the takedown. Plasse was able to escape again with 37 seconds left but could not score the winning takedown.

130 — Grant Gormley (29-3), Mt. Hebron, recorded an 11-1 major decision over River Hill senior Michael Stromberg (21-10).

Gormley, a senior winning his second title, scored three takedowns before putting Stromberg on his back several times in the second period.

I was going in there hoping to pin him, but I couldn’t get him. He just wouldn’t go, he said.

135 — Kevin Cannon (24-7), River Hill, won a 6-5 decision over Centennial junior Evan Bulger (21-10).

Bulger tied the match at 5-all with a takedown late in the third period, but Cannon scored the winning escape with 20 seconds left in the match.

I just stood up and turned away, and then I just had to keep a good base, Cannon said.

140 — River Hill’s Nick Shevland (30-1) fought off Centennial senior Rob Richardson (21-5), 10-8, to repeat as county champion.

Richardson led, 6-5, after the first period, but Shevland used a crowd-pleasing front flip to escape early in the second and then took the lead on a takedown.

After Richardson tied the score, Shevland, a senior, got the winning takedown with three seconds left.

He’s a good opponent, he held his own, Shevland said.

145 — Mark Nakasone (28-0), Centennial, earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award by pinning River Hill senior Ryan Shevland (24-5), in 3:45.

He used the Nakasone brothers’ signature move to pin Shevland, the 2002 county champ.

It was a cradle. We do drill that a lot, Nakasone said.

The senior had beaten Shevland, 8-3 and 14-5, this season.

I have a lot of videos of him. I learned how to counter his moves really well, and that’s how I got him, said Nakasone, who was third in the county and state last year.

152 — Dave Nakasone, Centennial, (28-0) defeated Mt. Hebron senior Zak Porta (29-3) by major decision, 17-8.

Nakasone, a senior, won a state title last year but not the county title, which he lost to four-time county champion Ryan Green of River Hill, 4-2.

Porta was also a county runner-up last year.

Porta was kind of hard to turn onto his back, Nakasone said. He was moving around a lot.

The Nakasone brothers are the second pair of twins to win titles in the same year. The Shevlands did it last year.

160 — Hamp Fields (22-7), Wilde Lake, defeated River Hill junior Thomas Perkins (26-7), 9-3.

Perkins, a 2002 JV champion, had upset Fields, 4-3, during their regular-season match.

I think I was in better shape this time, said Fields, a senior. Last time I wasn’t setting up my shots. This time I finished them, and it helped me take him down. A lot of my points come from takedowns. I just worked on my stand-up, and that’s it. Just a couple basic moves.

The match was a near-stalemate in the first period, with Fields scoring one point on a fleeing the mat call. But Fields scored a takedown in the second with 10 seconds left and three more points in the third to break it open.

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171 — Sean Kendig (23-5), Oakland Mills, won a grudge match against Hammond senior Pat Wallace (17-8), 3-1.

Kendig, a sophomore, had six years of junior-league wrestling experience when he entered high school.

It feels great to win. My name will go up on the wall in the wrestling room forever. That makes me feel great, he said. Now I’ve just got to focus on regionals and states.

Kendig scored the only takedown with 5 seconds left in the first period.

I knew he liked to grab the underhook, so I just posted up on his head and just pulled my arm out. I just kept going at his legs, stayed on the offense, and it paid off. I didn’t give up anything big, he said.

189 — Stephen Sessa (26-3), Hammond, edged Howard senior Phil Thomas (21-3), 7-6.

Sessa and Thomas did not disappoint in one of the tournament’s most highly anticipated match-ups.

Sessa scored two takedowns to open a 4-1 lead, but by the beginning of the third period, Thomas had fought back to a 6-6 tie. The returning county champ cut Sessa loose with a minute left to try to score the winning takedown in regulation, but Sessa held him off for the win.

When he cut me, he probably had confidence that he was going to take me down, but that was a big gamble. At the end, I couldn’t take him down, and he couldn’t take me down, said Sessa, a sophomore.

Last year, Sessa and Thomas competed for the 171-pound crown, with Thomas earning a 7-2 decision. The rematch was delayed until the county tournament because Thomas had a skin infection at the time of the Howard-Hammond dual meet.

This year I have a lot more experience and a little more strength, Sessa said.

215 — Jesse Fawcett (25-2), River Hill, pinned Hammond senior Austin Merson (10-9) in 2:49.

Last year, Fawcett’s pin clinched the team title. This year, his title was not quite as significant to the team standings, but it did mean a lot to Fawcett.

That one [last year] definitely had everything. I wanted to win this title, second time, to get my name in the book, said Fawcett, a senior. Two-time county champions get their names permanently listed in the county tournament program.

Fawcett pinned his way through the tournament, with his first two clocking in at less than one minute.

Merson was the JV county champion at heavyweight last year.

I threw in double legs, then a power half and just cranked him over using the legs, Fawcett said.

275 — Daniel Stahovic (14-1), River Hill, defeated Wilde Lake senior Doug Smith (23-4), 9-7.

In a wild tussle, the larger Stahovic put Smith to his back early on to secure a 5-1 lead going into the final period. Smith then used his quickness to take Stahovic down twice in the third period, earning two backpoints along the way. Stahovic, however, reversed on both takedowns, the second with only 15 seconds left, to earn the decision.

Coach Earl Lauer just kept telling me to slow him down with my hands, keep posting on him just to make sure he doesn’t shoot on me, because that’s where he’s fast, said Stahovic, a senior. I always dreamed of being first-place heavyweight, for JV.

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