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Rams, Eagles are perfect in wrestling meet


By Dennis Atwood - sports@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Seven other schools joined host Strasburg for the Ram 2010 Round Robin wrestling event on Saturday.

The Rams and Clarke County Eagles took top honors with 5-0 team records.

Stonewall Jackson and Harrisonburg tied for second place at 3-2, Madison County, Parry McCluer and Bishop O'Connell went 1-4, and Central was 0-5.

The Rams and Eagles benefited from the efforts of wrestlers who are new to their squads.

Strasburg has a strong wrestling tradition and finished second in the state Group A tournament last year. They also got a bit of good fortune with an athlete new to wrestling.

Rams senior Andrew Clements (215) went 4-1 on the day and started the day at lightning speed, by pinning Madison County's David Snellings.

"I hit a low single off the start [against Snellings] and he went direct to the mat," Clements said. "I think he hurt himself on the way down.

"This my first year and I'm liking it. I was playing football [offensive guard], and teammate Cody Cooper [145] is on the wrestling squad, and his mom said 'come on and wrestle.' So, I showed up to practice after football season."

Clements obviously found a pleasant niche, and used the mat as a pin cushion, pinning four opponents to help the Rams to their first place tie.

Strasburg had six wrestlers with perfect 5-0 records for the day: Lance Ford (103), Bobby Rager (119), Daniel Reynolds (125), Todd Dean (135), Seth Williams (152) and Colin Barnes (171).

Although not new to wrestling, the Eagles benefited from a new squad member when senior Rob Wallace's family moved from Bucks County, Penn. His brother, sophomore William Wallace (285), also joined the program.

Rob Wallace (189) swept his opponents with four pins and a 6-4 overtime win over Stonewall Jackson's Ricky Tisinger. Rob Wallace has also been selected by his teammates as one of the Eagles captains.

"I was hoping to win today," Rob Wallace said. "This was my second time wrestling Tisinger. The first time I beat him by seven points. I was more intense in practice in preparing for a day like today."

Joining Rob Wallace with 5-0 records, to help Clarke County to its fist place tie, were Tommy Cleary (140), Joe Nappi (145), Teddy Long (171) and Logan Large (215).

"They've been the ones leading the way [this season], and they were consistent again today," Eagles head coach John VanSice said. "We only have 19 guys on the squad, and everybody wrestles everyone else in our practice room."

While victory was beyond their grasp, Central gave the Eagles their closest match of the day, 39-32.

The 215-pound class was last on the card for the last round of the day. The Strasburg-Bishop O'Connell contest was the last to be completed.

Clements closed out the tournament with his fourth pin, at the 2:36 mark, against Michael Conrad.

"I thought it was going to be a tough day, but it turned out for the best," Clements said. "I wish I had gotten into wrestling earlier."

"Overall, we're very pleased. We wrestled well today, and it's a nice day for us," Strasburg head coach Rick Bowley said. "Some of that pre-season and early season hard work that we put in is paying some dividends for us right now. And hopefully, we can kinda keep it going. Success sometimes breeds success, and let's hope that works out that way for us."



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