Southern Maryland Wrestling Club

Menlo Park South Africa

Laurel HS
Laurel, MD
April 2, 1997

In an exciting night of action, 18 time Grand National Club Champion Southern Maryland Wrestling Club soundly defeated South Africa's Menlo Park (Upper Transvaal Federation) National Freestyle Team in an informal exhibition match by a score of 73-29. The crowd of about 300 in the Laurel HS gym was entertained with a short clinic and jump-rope demonstration by World Jump-rope Champion, US Greco-Roman Olympic Team Member, and SMWC Coach Buddy Lee. Following the clinic, SMWC's three top open wrestlers took on South African National Champions and Olympic Team Members in tremendous matches.

At 187 lbs, Maryland Open Age/Wt Folkstyle State Champion Mark LaFond faced South Africa's Jurie Reichel. The match went about 1 minute with neither wrestler scoring when Mark executed a quick duck under and takedown for 2 points. With no subsequent score the wrestlers were returned to standing and Jurie attempted a single leg attack. Mark countered, executing an under arm throw and chin hook, taking Jurie to his back for a fall at 2:06 in the match.

At 167, two National Team Members, Troy Sunderland, the current US Naval Academy Assistant Coach and former US Freestyle Team Member, met Bennie Labuschangne, a member of South Africa's Barcelona Olympic Team. A great match followed with Troy continually executing trips and outside singles to score a technical fall at 3:48 in the match.

The final open match at 119 lbs featured #2 Nationally HS Ranked and All-Met Outstanding Wrestler Jason Gabrielson facing Francois Rocher, South African National Runner-up. Jason dominated the match with duck-unders, hip rolls, and gut wrenches to score a technical fall at 2:46 into the match.

In a second team event, Maryland's beltway youth league champion team, Golden Ring of Baltimore lost a very close 47-43 decision to the South African's. The key to the Golden Ring loss was the defeat of five of their first six wrestlers, several by tech falls. Their first win was at 105 lbs, but they were unable to capitalize with big scores in subsequent matches to catch the South African team.

During their area visit, SMWC Head Coach Bruce Gabrielson, presented a clinic on freestyle technique development, plus the team entered a local tournament on Saturday.

Non-open wrestlers were matched by age (within one year) and weight (within 4 lbs). HS scholastic team scoring rather than international team scoring was used. Results of the SMWC vs SA match are listed below:

Open Matches                                                    SMWC      MP

SMWC                                    Menlo Park                    
Mark LaFond              Fall           Jurie Reichel             6        0
Troy Sunderland          TF (11-1)      Bennie Labuschangne      11        1
Jason Gabrielson         TF (12-0)      Francois Rocher          16        1

Junior/under Matches
Kevin Gabrielson         TF (19-5)      Esterhuizen Rossouw      21        2
Chris Hanlon             0-2            Werner Gillmer           21        5
Marty Erickson           3-1            Adriaan Maree            24        6
Nick Alley               0-6            Berki Uys                24        9
Luke Rakley              TF (10-0)      Kendal Uys               29        9
Brent Jones              4-1            Daniel Lass              32        10
Ryan Forman              TF (10-0)      Jaco van Wyk             37        10
Jason Kiessling          TF (12-0)      Phillip van Vuuren       42        10
Bruce Ross               0-2            Jaco van der Wal         42        13
Jonas Bray               4-0            Otto Helberg             45        13
Luke Palumbo             5-2            Nardis Taljard           48        13
David Mahan              TF (11-0)      Jacques Schoombee        53        13
Danny Yates              Fall           Francois Conradie        59        13
Sam O'Hair               LBF            Jacques Rossouw          59        18
Rudy Rueda               4-3            Neels de Jager           62        19
John Erickson            4-6            Cornelius Smit           63        22   
Mike Rock                2-0            Ian van Wyk              66        22
Cameron Watkins          0-3            Willie Venter            66        25
Tony Mahan               2-10           Heinrich Barnes          67        28
Mike Rowe                2-1            Donavin Erasmus          70        28
Matt Jones               3-2            Rasmus Erasmus           73        29

SMWC Head Coach Bruce Gabrielson
Asst. Coach Buddy Lee
Asst. Coach Troy Sunderland
Asst Coach Rick Jones

MP Head Coach Bennie Labuschange
Asst Coach Dries van Heerden

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