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Unexpectedly, Mervo wins crown


Mervo coach Dwight Warren enjoyed a major surprise at the Baltimore City District 9 Wrestling Tournament yesterday at Southwestern.

His Mustangs won the meet with 168 points, coming from behind to edge Poly by three. Northern, Dunbar and Walbrook finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

"We realized after the consolations that we were 16 points down, so we really didn't expect anything," Warren said.

But that was before Wayne Lucas (125 pounds), McAnthony Thompson (130) and Shawn Grodie (heavyweight) each recorded victories in the finals.

Their performances, along with those of Millard West (119) and Carlos Levin (152), both finalists, were enough to propel Mervo over the top.

Warren said that Lucas' win was the key to victory.

"He was the one we needed to come through," Warren said of Lucas, who scored an 11-1 decision over Edmondson's Larry Dix.

"We needed to win three championships to have a shot at winning the meet, and I didn't know if he could do it. I was very pleased with the way he wrestled."

Other champions were Southwestern's Dorian Paul (103), Walbrook's Kevin Hughes (112), Dunbar's Bruce Pendles (119), Dunbar's Hermondoz Thompson (135), Edmondson's Maurice Simmons (140), Dunbar's Lyde Henry (145), Northern's Marion Sterrett (152), Carver's Robert Horton (160), Walbrook's Jamil Stoakley (171) and Poly's Rashad Kitchen (189).

But one of the big stories at the tournament involved a wrestler who finished second.

Douglass' David Vaughn is known as "Duckman." It's not because of any personal quality. But rather to give the senior a measure of respect as captain of the Ducks' wrestling team.

Yesterday, the 171-pounder went a long way in earning even more respect.

Entering the day as the No. 8 seed, Vaughn scored upset wins over second seed Jermaine Clark of Carver and third seed Arthur Peace of Poly before finally being pinned by top-seeded Stoakley in the finals.

For Vaughn, however, just making it that far was a victory in itself.

"When I found out I was in the finals, I couldn't believe it," Vaughn (5-3) said. "The first thing I did was I went over and called my mother and grandmother to tell them. I really surprised myself."

For Vaughn, however, not winning the top prize didn't seem to matter a whole lot.

Recently, at the Eastside Invitational at Mervo, he and then top-seeded Clark shared some words in between matches.

From that day on, Vaughn said he vowed to beat the Bears wrestler. Yesterday, in his first match of the tournament, he accomplished that goal with a pin in under a minute.

"Now people will start to know who I am," Vaughn said. "I'm sort of earning their respect and making a name for myself."

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