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Chesapeake decisions Aberdeen hosts


With five individual champions to four for host and No. 5 Aberdeen, unranked Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County dethroned the Eagles, 209.5-206.5, in Saturday's fifth annual Aberdeen Invitational wrestling tournament.

The lead changed hands three times in the championship round before Chesapeake's 171-pound Shawn Somers (13-1, nine pins) decisioned Aberdeen's Charles Shannon, 7-0, and the Cougars' 189-pound Chuck McConnell (12-3, 10 pins) picked up his third first-period pin of the day over Aberdeen's Mike Grant.

Those two victories put Chesapeake (3-0 in dual meets) out of reach of the Eagles, 209.5-200.5. Aberdeen's county champion heavyweight Aaron Wanless (9-1) recorded his seventh pin, but the four-time champion Eagles were runners-up for the first time in five years.

"I knew they were bringing in a good team. I watched some of their guys wrestle during the summer," said Aberdeen coach Dick Slutzky, who has a 208-31-1 record in his 20 years.

Wrestling on the 2A-1A level two years ago, Slutzky's Eagles (2-1) were the first team to win three outright state titles. Aberdeen has moved into Class 4A-3A this year and entered Saturday's meet ranked No. 7 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. The loss dropped Aberdeen to No. 10, behind No. 9 Chesapeake.

"We matched up well against Aberdeen," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter, whose Cougars won seven of the nine head-to-head bouts with the Eagles.

"We wrestled like a team last weekend and won the Arundel tournament, and we did the same thing here," he said.

Chesapeake sophomore Steve Shirk (119) scored a first-period pin over Aberdeen senior Brett Johnson, and Cougars junior Ron Alexander (125) decisioned Eagles sophomore Frank Johnson, 8-2, for their titles.

Chesapeake's sixth-ranked 130-pound sophomore Doug Horton, a county runner-up last year, improved to 11-2 with two pins and a decision.

North Harford's 140-pound Matt Petza (12-4) had pinned his rivals in his previous victories, before running into Aberdeen's top-ranked, three-time state champion Matt Slutzky and dropping a 10-0 major decision.

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