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Harford County wrestlers ready for regionals

John Carroll's Strappelli, Ritter win state crowns

BY RANDY McROBERTS, rmcroberts@theaegis.com

1:26 PM EST, February 21, 2013

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Fresh off last weekend's UCBAC tournament, Harford's high school wrestlers will turn their focus toward regional action this weekend, beginning today (Friday). Some will compete right here in the county, at Havre de Grace, while others will travel to Howard County's Wilde Lake High School.

Havre de Grace will host the 1A-2A East tournament. Joining the Warriors are Harford wrestlers from UCBAC champ Fallston as well as Joppatowne, Edgewood, Patterson Mill and Harford Tech.

Fallston wrestlers are Colin McDonald, 106 pounds; Eric Baranoski, 113; Joe Medicus, 120; Will Shipley, 138; Garrett Coburn, 145; CJ Austin 152; Austin Rutkowski, 182; Ridge Myers, 195; and Alex Helm, 285.

Joppatowne will send Teriq Moore, 106; Tyree Gibson, 126; and Kevin Kinyua, 160. Edgewood wrestlers are Noel Spencer, 120; Marcus Gash, 160; and Shawn Kluchinsky, 170. Patterson Mill will send Jake Nikkila, 126; Bryan Miser, 132; Thomas Trzeciak, 138; Jason Noss, 145; Connor McLeod, 182; Eric Eckstein, 220; and Mark Reuter, 285. Tech's entry is Nate Cook, 182, while Havre de Grace wrestlers are Daniel Peters, 132, and Justin Wolbert, 195.

At Wilde Lake, wrestlers from Aberdeen, Bel Air, C. Milton Wright and North Harford will go to battle. Aberdeen wrestlers are Dylan Morris, 113; Travis Hubler, 126; Daniel Velez, 132; Chris Banko, 138; Tyler Fletcher, 182; CJ Allen, 195; and Adric Turner, 220.

Bel Air will send David Reagan, 106; Gavin Rupprecht, 113; Brady Stafford, 120; Connor Nash, 126; Cameron Watts, 132; John Cross, 152; William Holder-Moore, 170; and Cyler Crawford, 195. CMW will send Nick DiMattia, 120; Mike Zito, 132; Ben Swanson, 145; Philip Flint, 160; and Doug Thier, 182.

North Harford's entries are Trevor Smith, 120; Logan Smith, 160; Mike Teller, 170; and Dustin Beall, 220.

Both tournaments begin today at 5 p.m. and resume Saturday. Top four place finishers in each weight class will move on to next week's Maryland State Wrestling Tournament in College Park.

Patriots are third

John Carroll entered 11 of a possible 14 wrestlers in the Maryland Independent State Tournament last weekend at McDonogh School. Missing for the Patriots were four-year starter Devin Davis and 220-pound rookie phenom Andy Reininger. John Carroll does not have anyone at 285 on the roster.

Regardless, John Carroll managed to place third out of the 36-team field, behind McDonogh and surprise champion, Good Counsel.

Individually, the Patriots were led by senior Scott Strappelli, 132, who won his second state title. It came against Daniel Sanchez of Georgetown Prep, whom Strappelli also beat as a freshman for the 112 title. Strappelli also won the award for Most Career Points Earned, given to the senior who has accumulated the most points for their team during his four years in the tournament. 

At 170, sophomore Hunter Ritter pinned the state's No. 1 ranked wrestler, Troy Murtha of Georgetown Prep, in 1:44 to win his first state tile. As a result, Ritter was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.

Sophomore CJ Skokwski came up short in his state title bid at 106, losing to Virginia junior champion TK Megonigal, who competes for McDonogh.

Other placers for the Patriots were: Austin Smith, fourth at 113; Zach Dwyer, third at 120; Artie Milner, seventh at 138; George Weber, third at 145; Chris Almony, fourth at 152; Christian Scott, fifth at 160; and Dan Kelble, seventh at 195.

The top six finishers from the tournament qualify to compete in the 77th National Prep Championships at Lehigh University this weekend.

Dwyer, Strappelli, Weber, Almony and Ritter are returning All-Americans.