After a tournament victory at Magruder last weekend, Hammond easily could have looked past last night's home tri-meet with South Carroll and Glenelg in anticipation of a highly competitive tournament this weekend at Lackey.
But the Bears kept focused and dominated those two teams in a way that left South Carroll coach Pete Olson shaking his head.
"We just ran into a buzz-saw," Olson said. "Hammond is a very impressive team. Solid. I was most impressed with how great they are on their feet. They had so much confidence in their take-down ability that they were letting us up."
Hammond was hungry for some pins and got its share against South Carroll.
Jared Zillmer (6-0), Josh Zillmer (7-0), Mark Read (7-1), Tim McGrail (6-1) and Todd Adams recorded pins against the Cavaliers. The first four wrestlers, as well as Matt Nelson and Adam Clark, also got pins against Glenelg.
"They are defending state dual-meet champs and are still a team to be reckoned with," Olson added.
Hammond coach Jeff Starnes figured his Bears would win both dual meets, their first of the season, but was surprised at the wide margin of victory. South Carroll was 5-0 in dual meets.
"The most important thing for us was to maintain momentum heading into a tough tournament this weekend," Starnes said. "Both Glenelg and South Carroll have good kids and programs, but we wrestled well."
Hammond held a 37-0 lead on South Carroll until the Cavs' 145-pound sophomore Mike Muller (7-2) won a major decision over Adam Clark, 13-1.
"We got a lot of people stuck [pinned] early that we didn't expect. We thought they might lose those matches, but not get pinned," said Muller, who made it to states as a freshman last year, when he was 27-6.
Sophomore Jared Zillmer pinned senior Tim Hymiller at 119 pounds for only the third time in Hymiller's high school career.
Muller, along with teammates Sean Douglas, Brian Douglas, Josh Elder and Tom Crown, all earned pins against Glenelg in a 40-24 victory. That match contained the most exciting bout of the night, an 8-6 overtime victory at 171 pounds by Glenelg's Kevin Ferguson over Jason Hamper.
Glenelg also was crushed by Hammond, 56-11.
"Jason got back points and a one-second count two times," Olson said. "That's the kind of match wrestling fans love to watch even if you lose it."
Jeremy Lignelli (160), Kevin Ferguson (171) and Dave Ferguson (189) were bright spots for the Gladiators with victories against both Hammond and South Carroll.
Pub Date: 12/13/96