SMWC's Wins Virginia Club Duals
Sunday, April 30th,2000

SMWC's junior team seemed a little light going into the Virginia Club Freestyle Dual Team Championships Sunday at Hayfield HS. Missing a 191, 220 lb and Hwt entry, plus suffering from proms and parties the night before, Coaches Jason and Ivan (left) didn't know what to expect from the competition. The field looked tough, nine teams with two others from Maryland and a couple of unknowns thrown in. Not to worry, SMWC looked tough on paper also. We knew it would take some extra effort to ensure our victory, and we knew those on the team were up to the task.

After the blind draw in the morning, our worst fears were realized. Our sister club Gunston was to be our first match. With SMWC and Gunston practicing together all the time, we knew we didn't match up well with their strengths and they would be tough for us to beat.

With lots of speculation going around, Coach Jason pulled everyone in (right) and let them know how our chances stood. We had a little flexibility going in. Kevin Gabrielson isn't fully recovered from his injury in Las Vegas, so the coaches planned to use him as our ace in the hole only if absolutely necessary. Kevin weighed in light, but Ryan Forman and Ryan Herwig, both tough as nails, were available at the weight below and either could be moved up to 165 as backup. Also, we didn't have a 191, but Adrian Bellicarrus is a solid contender who could be moved up or stay at 178 lbs depending on who was on the opposing team.

Against Gunston, we had to be far enough ahead that forfeiting the last two classes wouldn't upset our win. With only a slight lead after 154 lbs, Kevin Gabrielson was sent in against tough Jerome Villanueva. This proved to be a big break as Kevin got a pin and brought us up 4 team points. However, as expected, his injury started to act up and he couldn't wrestle additional matches for us. Gunston came back with their own pin at 178 but Adrian sent us over the top with a pin of his own at 191 lbs. SMWC won the match 28-20.

The remainder of team matches in Pool one went quickly with only Talon getting within 10 points of our score (30-20). The other win was 32-12 against Frederick International WC from Frederick, Maryland.

In the finals, SMWC faced Raptors WC from Colonial Forge HS. Raptors is coached by Bill Swink, and has some of Virginia's top contenders on their team. Not to worry. Our team was ready and everyone was focused on victory. Rudy Rueda led the surge with a tech fall against one of Virginia's best light weight wrestlers, John Erickson. Rudy and John have met many times in the past. Both John and Marty Erickson wrestled for SMWC a few years back before moving to Southern Virginia. Derek McDermott (above left) and Matt Eveleth also scored tech falls, then Jeff Eveleth scored a pin in a tremendous match against Bruce Ross. Jon Peters (below right) tech falled, Ryan Forman got a forfeit and Herwig pinned, before the big match with #6 ranked Kevin Collier against MD State Champ Adrian Bellicarrus. The match started out fast and furious but Adrian was hammered early on straight down to his back for the fall. Josh Maluk wrestled up at 178 for this match and captured a nice victory for us. Despite the final two forfeits, SMWC came away with a strong 30-16 team victory.

SMWC's full high school freestyle team is tremendously strong this season, likely the strongest in the nation. When it can get together, in addition to those below, it includes Maryland wrestlers Kevin Artis, Darian Kess, Luke Palumbo, Steve Lanciotti, Jason Kiessling, Garrett Black, Tom Boettcher, Mike Faust, and Akil Patterson, Virginia wrestlers Dan Vucci, Tomas Ovalle, and Floyd Wright, Pennsylvania wrestlers Evan Sola, Ryan McCallum, and Mike Waite, and Georgia wrestler Chris Rodrigues.

SMWC's Virginia Duals Championship Team:

98 - Rudy Rueda
105 - Derek McDermott
114.5 - Clint Parker
123 - Matt Eveleth (MD HS State Champ)
132 - Jeff Eveleth (MD HS State Champ)
143 - Jon Peters (MD HS State 2nd)
154 - Ryan Herwig (MD HS State 2nd)/Ryan Forman
165 - Kevin Gabrielson (MD HS State Champ)
178 - Adrian Bellicarrus (MD HS State Champ)/Josh Maluk
191.5 - open
220 - open
275 - open

Complete results with all individual scores can be found at Mat Talk On-Line