Cooper takes a turn as county titlist


In Kenwood's state runner-up Kyle Krumholtz, Rob Cooper faced an opponent against whom his prior efforts had been futile.

But the Owings Mills junior's winless streak ended three seconds into the second overtime, his escape earning a 2-1 victory and the 119-pound Baltimore County title last night at Pikesville High.

"He's beaten me like five times, and last year he pinned Dave Jacovsky," said the third-ranked Cooper (31-1), a former backup to Jacovsky, who has graduated. "It was a tough match, a big win, but I plan to do a whole lot more than this."

Cooper was joined on the victory podium by Mike Kessler (145) and Eric Fishel (171) as the No. 2 Eagles won their second straight Baltimore County title and their seventh overall under 21-year coach Guy Pritzker.

Eric Vinores (112) and John Demchick (135) were second, fourth-ranked Jason Jacovsky (103) was third, and Olu Awodipe (152), Nikolay Geraskin (189) and John Sparklin (heavyweight) were fourth as the Eagles outdistanced runner-up Dulaney, 204-162.

Kessler (30-1), ranked No. 2, blanked state runner-up Dan Fouts, 9-0, to become the fourth sibling to win a county title. Older brother Steve, a four-time champ, was among Kessler's three brothers who combined for eight individual state crowns.

Fishel (29-0) pinned three opponents and won his title bout, 19-2, over Sparrows Point's John Stallings.

"We have a lot of kids stepping up," said Fishel, a junior, "kids who weren't expected to do much this year."

Dulaney crowned second-ranked James Knox (103), top-ranked Andrew Schlaffer (135), Steve Turner (152) and Jordan Lair (160).

Perry Hall crowned top-ranked Jimmy Van Daniker (112) and third-ranked Nick Ramsel (140), with Ramsel (33-3) winning his third straight title, 11-4, over Catonsville's Alex Broadwater.

Knox (33-1) had a pin and two major decisions, including one of 11-2 over Kenwood's sixth-ranked Eric Robinson (30-3, 20 pins) to earn the title that eluded him in last year's final. It was the second time this year Knox has beaten Robinson, who was coming off a semifinal pin of Jacovsky.

Knox is the younger brother of former Dulaney county champ Chris Knox, 21, and Greg, 27. The older Knoxes were National Preps champs at Calvert Hall.

"I could hear them up there yelling, 'score, score, score,' " said Knox, 16. "They're always hard on me to get it right."

Schlaffer (33-1), a region and state runner-up last season, won his second straight title by pinning all four opponents in a combined 4:19. "I just wanted to get this done," said the senior, who has allowed only three of his wins - all major decisions - to go the distance.

Turner (28-3) won a wild one, 13-11, over state runner-up Dan Sexton of Overlea, and Lair (29-3) prevailed, 14-5, over Dundalk's Kenny Kingsborough (22-4).

Van Daniker (32-1), a two-time region champ who was county runner-up the past two years, had two pins and a 6-0 title-bout win over Vinores. Van Daniker, who allowed only two points to be scored against him all day, hails from a long line of wrestling relatives. His uncle, Bill, won titles in 1982 and '83 for Patapsco.

"There's lots of pressure," said Van Daniker, a senior. "I wanted to come in and dominate and I think I did a good job."

Other champs were Lansdowne's sixth-ranked Ryan Brown (125, 31-1), Kenwood's Mason Krumholtz (130, 27-3), Patapsco's third-ranked Eric Hood (189, 30-2), Woodlawn's Brandon Jones (215) and Pikesville heavyweight Phil Thomas, with Jones and Thomas becoming their schools' first champs since '95 and '96, respectively.

Brown earned his second win of the year, 3-0, over Woodlawn's Corey Lawson (23-2), who beat Eastern Tech's state runner-up Chris Clark, 12-6, in the semifinal. Mason Krumholtz had a pin and two decisions; Hood had four pins, raising his fall total to 19 on the year; both Jones (22-2) and Thomas (31-4) had two pins and a major decision.

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