Johns handling extra burden in new weight class for Terriers


Zach Johns has many of the attributes it takes to become a top-flight wrestler for Boston University.

Determination, strong work habits and a vast knowledge of the sport have carried Johns through his high school days at McDonogh and his first two years in college.

However, his Boston U. coach, Carl Adams, said if the 165-pound junior hopes to advance to the top level of collegiate competition, "Zach needs to improve his offense on his feet. He needs to become aggressive when he goes against people at the top level."

Adams said Johns has been a defensive wrestler throughout a career that began as a 7-year-old.

"He has a lot of pins that way," said the Terriers' coach. "He's had a lot of great support from his parents. I say he's been supported, not pushed, by his parents."

Johns recently moved up to the 165-pound weight class from 157 because Adams believes "he handles himself better at that weight."

In the prestigious Wilkes Open last week, Johns lost his opening-round match to Oklahoma's Jarrod King but came back to win four straight consolation-bracket matches. Three of those victories came by pins.

Johns' winning string at the Wilkes Open ended when he was pinned by Rutgers' Robert Kaiser, leaving Johns with a 9-5 record at 165/157 this season. One of those losses came by a 4-2 decision to Hofstra's Mike Patrovich in the 157-pound weight class in a dual match.

Hofstra was ranked No. 8 at the time of that early December bout won by the Pride, 36-9.

Strickland strikes

Former South Carroll standout Marshall Strickland is averaging 8.0 points, a team-leading 3.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds for Indiana entering tonight's Big Ten opener against Northwestern.

The 6-foot-2 Strickland is the starting point guard for the Hoosiers (5-6), but has committed 34 turnovers compared to 32 assists.

Lewnes shines

Second-year freshman Sam Lewnes (Mount St. Joseph) is off to a strong start for the Oklahoma State junior varsity wrestling team, compiling a 12-6 record that includes two pins in the 157-pound class in open tournaments.

The Cowboys' varsity team is ranked No. 1 in the nation with a 6-0 record.

Et cetera

Ashland (Ohio) University junior linebacker Devin Conwell (Long Reach) has been selected to the 2004 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team after making 118 tackles, three sacks for losses of 24 yards and intercepting three passes. His average of 11.8 tackles a game was second best in the league.

Sophomore wide receiver Will Staples (Atholton) played in four games for the Delaware Valley College football team, which advanced to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals before losing to Rowan (N.J.) University, 56-7. Staples caught one pass for 14 yards this season. Freshman offensive lineman Stephen Dombroski (Bel Air) was a member of the Delaware Valley junior varsity team.

Robert Collier (Catonsville) led Middlebury (Vt.) College to its first dual-match swimming victory over Amherst, 126-117, with victories in the 200 backstroke and 500 freestyle. Collier, a sophomore, was clocked at 2 minutes, 3:12 seconds in the 200 backstroke and 4:58.51 in the 500 freestyle.

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