Manassas Journal Messenger 02-16-01


wrestling notebook — Tigers loaded for district meet


Jim Crowley



MANASSAS – For Bull Run District wrestlers, it all starts or ends at

Clarke County High School, site of the 2001 district tournament Saturday.

The top four grapplers in each weight class advance to the Region B

tournament next weekend – the last stop before the Group A state tournament

on March 3. The Bull Run District tourney begins at 11 a.m. and continues

throughout the day.

Of the seven teams competing in the Bull Run District tournament, Brentsville

boasts the most top-four seeds. The Tigers have 13 of their 14 wrestlers

seeded fourth or higher, while Clarke County offers 10, Strasburg has eight

and Madison County seven. Manassas Park has five in this category.

But don’t tell Brentsville coach Thad Kiesnowski his team is the favorite.

Kiesnowski quickly mentioned the Tigers’ only district loss which came at

the hands of Clarke County in a dual meet this season.

Then again, Kiesnowski agreed that dual meets and tournaments are completely


“They’ve still got to win some matches,” Kiesnowski said.

“We’d like to see all of our kids go to regionals.

“(But) we’re just taking it like we’re going to the next round.”

So is Brentsville’s Zak Thompson. The district tournament is

old hat for the senior, who was a state-title winner at 140 last season.

“Nothing much changes,” said Thompson, who is just focused

on keeping his last journey fun.

“It’s going to be interesting, we have a lot of young guys. …

(But) we’re real good in tournaments.”

Thompson, Dan Brown (171) and Ben Truschel(130) all have

No. 1 seeds. And Thompson is one of two Brentsville state champions who

hopes to make a repeat bid. Fellow senior Brian House won a state

title at 119 in 2000.

House, who is at 125 this season, leads a cast of second-place Tiger

seeds, including Luke Siler (119), Jimmy Kenner (135), Steve

Yanchuk (189) and Bert Schlegel (215).

Jesse White (103), Charlie Peele (140) and Jason Cook

(heavyweight) are seeded third in their weight classes while Brian Borror

(112) and Dan Easley (160) are positioned fourth.

Kiesnowski is optimistic on his wrestlers’ chances. In his estimation,

if the Tigers can place nine wrestlers in the finals – which is plausible

– Brentsville should prevail. He added, though, it’s up to his kids to make

that happen. And with a 10-day break in competition, the Tigers’ coach is

a little leery.

“Most of the pressure is on them,” Kiesnowski said. “If

we perform the way we’re capable of, we can do real well in the tournament.”

Manassas Park’s Shaun Guttridge is the favorite at 152 – not

only in the district, but in the state. The Cougars’ senior standout has

amassed a remarkable 28-0 record this season, supporting his top-billing

in Virginia.

Cougars coach Richard FitzSimmons expects Guttridge to take the

title at 152 and has the same hopes for Mike Spaulding, who is top-ranked

at 119.

Walter Lerchenfeld (135) has good positioning as a third seed

while Billy DePugh (103) and Everritt Kline (heavyweight)

also plan to advance as fourth seeds in their weight classes. Wess Howell

(125) is ranked sixth, but has a solid chance at advancing while Mike

Peacock will try to do the same as a seventh seed at 171.

The Cougars have had to deal with injury and lack of numbers all season

long. It has forced Manassas Park to forfeit six classes for Saturday, including

its 112-pounder Mike Harms. The senior, who won the 103 state title

a year ago, will not wrestle as the district’s top 112-pounder.

Harms suffered a knee injury during football season, causing him to

miss most of the 2001 season.

Two weeks ago there was a glimmer of hope Harms could compete in the

tournament by delaying knee surgery that scheduled sometime in mid-February

until the end of the postseason. However, the team learned Wednesday Harms

would officially miss the tournament.



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