River Hill rides victory flood to title


The pressure was on River Hill's 189-pound wrestler, Jesse Fawcett.

The junior needed to pin Howard opponent Joe Sedilko to give River Hill a one-point victory over Mount Hebron at the 33rd annual Howard County Championships last night at Centennial.

Sedilko had taken Fawcett to double overtime earlier this season before Fawcett won. This time, second-seeded Fawcett pinned fourth-seeded Sedilko with a cradle move at 4:33. And River Hill completed an unlikely 14-point comeback in the finals to claim its second straight county championship, 242-241.

"This is something I'll always remember," said Fawcett (23-7). "I got beat in the finals last year, but I wanted to win this for the team. "When the day started, I never thought it would turn out like this."

River Hill lost the county dual-meet title to Mount Hebron and was intent on reversing things. The Hawks sent seven wrestlers to the finals, which they entered trailing 232-218. They needed five champions and got them.

Ryan Green (27-0) of River Hill became the sixth Howard County wrestler to win four county championships. Green decisioned Dave Nakasone of Centennial, 4-2, at 140 pounds. A third-period reversal was decisive.

Green was one of four River Hill wrestlers who moved up a weight class in a strategic move by coach Earl Lauer.

"I was really nervous and he wrestled strong, but I wrestled just good enough to win," said Green. "It really feels good to see all the time I've put in pay off with something good."

Mount Hebron was set back when its top-seeded wrestlers at 171 and 189 lost earlier in the day, Scott Bissett losing to Steve Sessa of Hammond, 4-0, and Chris Garrow falling to Sedilko, 12-4.

River Hill was set back when its 171-pounder, Mike Lignelli, failed to make weight for his semifinal bout and forfeited.

In the night's most sudden turnaround, Russell Tebeleff (32-5) of Hammond got revenge on top-seeded Matt Ennis of Wilde Lake, who beat him in the county finals last season and then went on to win a state title. Trailing 9-2, Tebeleff pinned Ennis at 3:41 to win his first county title and the Glenn Devane Most Valuable Wrestler Award. Tebeleff had beaten Ennis earlier this season.

In one of the closer championship bouts, Mount Hebron's Austin Laws took top-seeded Atholton junior Scott Radik to overtime at 112 pounds before losing, 8-4. Laws tied Radik 4-4 with two seconds left in regulation on a stalling call. It was Radik's first county title and his third win this season over Laws.

Neal Nakagama (23-4) of Oakland Mills won his third county title. The top-seeded junior decisioned Zach Wendel of Mount Hebron, 7-4.

Doug Ramsey (25-1) won the 103-pound title for the second year by decisioning Vince Cina, 10-2. It was his third win over Cina this season.

In a controversial match, Grant Gormley (23-7) of Mount Hebron won his first county title by decisioning Jeff Plasse, 4-2. Plasse was penalized a point for pushing Gormley off the mat with the score tied 2-2 in the third period.

River Hill's twin brothers, Nick and Ryan Shevland won county titles. Ryan (135) won on a second-period reversal over Zak Porta of Mount Hebron, 4-2, and Nick (152) defeated Jim Holtzman of Centennial, 10-4.

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