Mt. St. Joe's Neville loves a good fight Senior finishes career with 67 pins Wrestler of the Year


Mount St. Joseph wrestler Kevin Neville always is seeking challenge.

Take Tuesday's Senior All-Star Classic at Johns Hopkins, where the 152-pound National Prep runner-up scored a technical fall over his first of two opponents -- Old Mill's fifth-ranked state champ Todd Hultgren.

The next opponent for Neville, a two-time Maryland Scholastic Association champ, was Loch Raven's sixth-ranked, two-time regional champ, Mike Brammer. Neville entered the event ranked No. 2 behind Rising Sun's Jason Townsend, a junior who just three days earlier had pinned Brammer in 1:40 for his second straight 2A-1A title.

Knowing an impressive performance could earn him a No. 1 spot, Neville finished Brammer in 44 seconds.

For Neville, The Baltimore Sun's Baltimore City Wrestler of the Year, it was career pin No. 67 -- one more than last year's Baltimore Sun All-Metro Wrestler of the Year, Mike Jenson (Randallstown).

Neville, who scored a first-period pin of Annapolis state champ Chip Cochran a year ago, considers the season a success despite a season-ending technical-fall loss to a Blair Academy post-graduate in the title bout of the National Preps.

Neville, who will be attending Blair in the fall, has studied tapes of the defeat in the National Preps.

"I'm always trying to learn new things," said Neville, who is 101-11 over his three seasons with the Gaels. "I didn't try to make Brammer look bad, but I wanted to be ranked No. 1. I never go out to embarrass anyone -- I just pin people."

Midway through the season, Neville -- an All-Metro pick last year -- vacated the top spot at 152 to wrestle at 171, saying, "I want to be known as one of Maryland's best."

One of his first 171-pound matches was a pin of Boys' Latin's Chris Smith, who was third in last year's MSAs. Later, Neville went to 189, winning, 6-3, over McDonogh's 15-time national champ, J. R. Plienis. Poly's City-Wide and regional runner-up Rashaad Kitchen. lost, 12-3, to Neville. St. Mary's sixth-ranked Scott Thompson (30-4) was pinned in 3:19 of his MSA title bout with Neville.

Neville's biggest victory, however, came by 6-4 in overtime over Riverdale Baptist's then No. 2-ranked 171-pound Greg David.

"He's very confident," said Gaels' coach Paul Triplett. "He's got a pretty good understanding of what he can do."

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