By ANDREW MASON
11:11 PM EST, February 21, 2013
The action on the mats certainly won’t be taken lightly as 32 Washington County wrestlers compete in the Maryland West region tournaments, which begin Friday night and conclude Saturday.
The wrestlers will either place in the top four in their weight classes to advance to next weekend’s state championships or they’ll be done for the season.
Boonsboro, Smithsburg and Williamsport will compete in the Class 2A-1A West tournament at Oakdale High School, while North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown are in the Class 4A-3A West tourney at Sherwood High School.
“The goal this weekend is definitely just to punch that ticket, get yourself to the state tournament,” Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said.
The county-champion Wildcats have a county-high 12 region qualifiers — Nick Miller (106 pounds), Justin Beckley (113), Tanner Canfield (120), Bryan Davis (126), Sinjin Shoop (138), Kobe Baker (145), Justin Kennedy (152), Jacob Cody (160), Austin Golden (182), Austin Keadle (195), Lasher Urciolo (220) and Brandon Iseminger (285).
“It’s really cool to bring most of the team along,” Rechtorovic said. “It’s helped to have practice partners, and it’s a good experience for the younger guys to qualify.”
Boonsboro and Smithsburg have five qualifiers each — Jake Stauffer (106), Charles Anoman (126), Dalton Hawkins (132), Brad Hull (160) and Davon Clark (170) for the Warriors, and Dylan Bryce (113), Dalton Condo (170), Bryce Scott (182), Travis Leopold (195) and Saul Herrera (285) for the Leopards.
Wrestlers seeded in the top four include Williamsport’s Miller (fourth), Davis (second), Keadle (second) and Iseminger (third) and Smithsburg’s Herrera (second).
Miller, a senior and first-year Wildcat who previously wrestled for Hedgesville (W.Va.), seemingly is in the toughest weight class at 106, where three of the top five seeds are returning state placewinners.
While Miller is only seeded fourth, based on a points system, he probably is considered the favorite by most. He dominated Catoctin’s Garrett Buckley, the top seed who placed third at states last year, in the Hub Cup finals last month.
In Class 4A-3A West, North has eight qualifiers — Collin Edwards (120), Brendon Colbert (132), Gene Balcita (138), Diantra Landry (145), Coleman McHose (152), Amont Hawkins (182), Antonio Rosario (195) and Aaron Dopson (285).
Isaiah Brooks (106) and Marquil Holt (220) will compete for South.
Colbert, a two-time state runner-up, has the county’s lone No. 1 seed, while Holt has a No. 3 seed and Balcita and Hawkins are each seeded fourth.
While the Hubs are the defending team champions at the tourney, repeating would be a monumental task.
“That was a year ago. I don’t think that’s on the radar right now,” North coach Greg Slick said. “The goal right now is just to get guys through this tournament and get them down to Cole Field House (where states are held at the University of Maryland).”
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