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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 11 Returning grapplers show promise for strong 1998-99 wrestling season Vikings host tourney Saturday, Dec. 12 By Mary Beaman Three times must be the charm for the Cape Henlopen wrestling team, for after three trips to the Haverford Invitational Tourney in Pennsylvania, the Vikings finally crowned its first champion on Sat- urda, Dec. 5. Heavyweight Matt Graviet ad- vanced his way into the finals with impressive 30-second pins in the first periods during his first two matches, to reach the champi- onship round. Graviet then domi- nated the finals&apos; action against a defensive opponent from Owen J. Roberts High School, winning 7- 3. Senior grappler Straughn Gor- man, wrestling at 119 pounds, also reached the finals. In a back-and- forth battle that was decided in the waning seconds, Gorman lost the nail-biter, 7-6, to an opponent from Penncrest High School. "The juniors and seniors wres- tled well, but the freshmen and sophomores were ov&whelmed," said coach Chris Mattioni about his team's performance. Accord- ing to Mattioni, this was the first varsity competition for all but one of the underclassmen. Overall, Mattioni said; this was a valuable learning experience for the team. A slow start by many of Cape's wrestlers hampered the Viking overall placement. Cape grapplers lost in the early round but eventu- ally came on strong to soundly, beat the same opponents in subse- quent rematches. For its effort, the team pulled itself up into fifth place, out of 10 participating schools. -One parent observer noted that there were glimmers of hope throughout the tournament. There also appeared to be good freshmen talent, which speaks well for the Vikings' future. One surprising newcomer standout was freshman Greg Catts, who at 189 pounds, lost a couple of close matches, and as one parent put it, "showed a lot of courage and perseverance." Other wrestlers reaching the fi- nals were Clint Haxton, 135, plac- ing third, and Brian. Travis, 160, placing fourth. The Vikings are currently preparing for their next challenge, when they host the first Viking In- vitational Tournament, Saturday, Dec. 12. Seven teams from Mary- land, Pennsylvania and Delaware will be competing. Wrestling be- gins at i0 a.m., with the finals scheduled about 5:30 p.m. Wrestling action continues Wednesday, Dec. 16, when Cape hosts .the Golden Knights from Sussex Central in its dual-meet season opener. JV wrestling starts at 6:30p.m., with varsity to fol- low. As one last pre-Christmas wrestling event, Cape will travel north of the canal Friday and Sat- urday, Dec. 18-19, to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Clas- sic (Beast of the East) at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark. The tournament will feature 38 of the best high school wrestling teams along the Mid-Atlantic coast, in- cluding eight of the top teams from Delaware. Forty-eight na- tionally ranked individuals are al- so expected to compete during this two-day event. All proceeds from the classic benefit the Academic Wrestler's Scholarship Fund for Delaware Wrestlers. For ticket information, contact Vic Leonard at 995-0850 or e- mail <wrestler @ midatlanticclas- sic>. STANLEY Yellow Jackets fare well at Junior Olympics place finish. The group represents about a fifth of our team. Many of our youngsters are involved in other fall sports and were not available due to other commit- ments. Others were excluded due to a lack of a novice or tot bracket. I am looking forward to another great year for coach Benny Mitchell's charges, once the sea- son heats up. Mitchell's teams of the past have always been strong closers and with this kind of start, it's "Katy, bar the door!" There was one very sad circum- Pee-wee wrestlers aim high for season wins By John McDonald If the opening tournament of the Delaware Junior Olympics wrestling season held in Smyrna, Dec. 5, is any indication, the local squad is in for a very big year. Twelve local wrestlers weighed in with high hopes, and each of them gave his or her all, bringing home five first places, two second places, one third and a fourth- stance that I feel compelled to re- port: several of our kids were knocked out of the tournament by creative seeding. This practice is becoming more and more preva- lent in youth sports, and it is a real shame. In our state, grown men who coach children in the pursuit of team tournament trophies and bragging rights have knowingly pitted teammates against each oth- er in the early rounds. This practice assures that only one of the two will continue to the finals. In the Tulsa nationals and in several other prestigious events, all out-of-state wrestlers appeared in one bracket, while all in-state wrestlers were in another, assur- ing that one in-state wrestler made it to the finals. At Tulsa, there is a challenge round, where the third- place finisher may challenge the loser of the championship round. It is illuminating to see how many Oklahoma boys end up in third place. In 1997, we went all the way to Oklahoma, and my son, Daniel, drew Matt Catalano from New Jersey in the first round. They had just wrestled each other in Cape May with Catalano win- ning 6-5. Catalano won again, 7-4, and went on to finish in first place. I'm still curious as to how my son would have done in a different structure. In major events, such as the Olympics, and in all fairly run tournaments, the seeding structure is controlled by drawing chits or by a published format, pitting the less impressive records against Continued on page 82 - December 17, 1998 - 81 24 Piece Socket & Bit Set features 1/4" reversible ratchet. 10 sockets, and 12 bits. 991 Tape Rule with Free Utility Knife Tape rule is 1" x 25 and knife is retractable. A Oa 2092831 DO M[M-U Lite Adjusts from broad light to narrow beam. Uses 2 "D cell" batteries. (not included) 12" M ALl'r Choose from a 5" utility/boning knife and multi-purpose kitchen shears, parer and chef CHOICE knife or two steak knives. Made from high quality carbon stainless steel. With walnut handles. 6055776, 6065007, 6055651 12 Cup Coffeemaker Automatic pause 'n serve. Removable swing-away basket, lighted on/off switch and cord storage. 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