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|W.I.N. HIGH SCHOOL NOTES: Highland Park wins the battle, Coppell wins the war in Texas|
By Rob Sherrill Wrestling International Newsmagazine
Defending state champion Dallas Highland Park won the key dual meet of the Santa Slam Tournament at Coppell High, Dec. 15-16, edging host Coppell, 36-32, in the Friday night session. But in the end of the pooled event, it was Coppell coming out on top in a tight two-team race, 203-198.5, as some great reporting on the Inside Texas Wrestling web site demonstrated.
Highland Park fell behind 18-3 in its dual with Coppell, which started at 130 pounds. Zach Vick gave the Scots a 3-0 lead, but Coppell won the next five matches, highlighted by junior Dillon Horn's 6-4 victory over senior Chase Gallatin in a battle of returning state placewinners at 140. A first-period takedown and second-period escape gave Horn, fourth in state last year at 130, a 3-1 lead after two periods.
Gallatin, the 135-pound state runner-up last year, rebounded with an escape and takedown to take a 4-3 lead in the final period before Horn got an escape to tie the match, then the winning takedown with six seconds remaining.
Gallatin, by the way, earned a measure of revenge the following day in the individual finals in much the same way, scoring a takedown in the closing seconds to beat Horn, 3-2.
Horn's victory gave Coppell a 6-3 lead and Ben Robinson's pin at 160 made it an 18-3 cushion. Highland Park narrowed the gap to 18-15 on pins by Kyle Anderson (171), third in state at 152 last year, and Ted Gambordella (180), but Taylor Wilson and senior state champion Spencer Covey, up two weights from his state title run a year ago, answered with victories and it was 28-15.
Back came the Scots, regaining the lead as Will Shellenberger (285), Tobin Fulton (103) and Stephen Sharp (112) all scored pins for a 33-28 lead. Justin Johnston's major decision at 119 made it 33-32 and anyone's match going into 125, which Highland Park's Tommy Schober won, 15-8.
But Highland Park fell short in the overall team standings despite five champions: Schober (125), Chad Gallatin (135), Chase Gallatin (140), Anderson (171) and Gambordella (180). Coppell got titles from Johnston (119), Jordan Love (145) and Covey (189), voted the Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weights after scoring a 23-second pin in the finals.
Arlington High's junior standouts, Danny Luttrell (112) and Spencer Jernigan (160), were among the titlists. Luttrell, third in state at 103 last season, beat Lewisville High's Joey Goolsby 18-7 and Jernigan, a 2005 state champion, outlasted Coppell's Robinson 5-3.
State runner-up Josh Sandoval (130) of Colleyville Heritage High was voted the lower-weight OW.
How do you choose the starting weight for your dual meets? A few pieces of paper tossed in somebody's sweaty cap? Peas? Dice?
Somebody's come up with a better solution.
Steve Skorup, an assistant coach of Aurora (Ill.) Waubonsie Valley High and a computer drafting instructor, has invented a 14-sided plastic die - with one of the 14 weight classes on each of the sides - that looks like a winner. The die is about 1 1/2 cubic inches and should streamline pre-meet procedures. The cost is $5.00 per die plus $1.00 for postage and handling. To order or for additional information, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastern Guilford High needs your help
On Nov. 1, Eastern Guilford High in Gibsonville, N.C. was severely damaged by a fire. The wrestling team was among the school groups that was particularly hard hit. According to ncmat.com, the team lost everything, including their mats, two sets of singlets, wrestling shoes, and electronic scales. The school is wrestling its home matches at Eastern Guilford Middle School and their tournament, the Wildcat Invitational, will be wrestled at an alternate site also.
Many generous individuals and organizations have loaned the school enough gear to make it through this season. However, the school does need to replace its equipment on a permanent basis. Those wishing to donate, either financially or with equipment, can send it to:
Eastern Guilford High School Wrestling Team
415 Peeden Dr.
Gibsonville, NC 27249
Please specify that cash donations are for the wrestling program. The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro also is collecting cash donations on its Web site, cfgg.org.
Though we're talking about the wrestling team directly, the entire 1,059-member student body has been displaced. Freshmen and sophomores are attending classes at a former school for the deaf near Browns Summitt, northeast of Greensboro, with juniors and seniors at Guilford Technical Community College. The school building will be rebuilt, though school officials say a new building will not be ready before the 2009-10 school year.
The fire, which started in a chemistry lab office, has been ruled an arson, according to local media reports.