Old Mill wrestling coach Mike Hampe was hoping history wouldn't repeat itself a third straight time in last weekend's fifth annual Chesapeake Cougar Invitational tournament at Chesapeake High.
Baltimore's Mount St. Joseph had won three of the four previous titles, with Hampe's Patriots creeping a step closer each year. The Patriots were fourth in 1986, third in 1987 and finished runner-up the last two seasons.
"It has come down to the finals the last two times," said Hampe, just before the last round of the 15-team tournament began Saturday evening.
"Last year, we were winning by one point going into the last match and their heavyweight pinned a guy who had beaten him twice. We lost by six points. They just always found a way to win."
Not this time.
Instead, it was Old Mill racking up 220.5 points compared to 214 for Mount St. Joseph. The Patriots grabbed five individual titles compared to the Gaels's four and locked up their first Chesapeake title.
Winning titles for the Patriots were: Steve Lundstrom (103), Brent Layman (140), his younger brother Brian Layman (160), Ernie Longazel (171) and heavyweight Don Marco.
Lundstrom (8-1), ranked No. 3 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, and Brent Layman (9-0), ranked No. 1, were also titlists at the Annapolis tournament a week earlier.
The Gaels got titles from Paul Scott (112), Shane McCarthy (119), Chad Votta (135) and Kevin Neville (152).
Seven Old Mill wrestlers and six from Mount St. Joseph reached the championship round and there were two head-to-head championship bouts between the two squads.
Scott beat Old Mill's Vytas Dulys, 7-1, for his 112-pound title and Brian Layman led, 4-3, before decking the Gaels' Brian Bennett in the second period. Layman's victory was worth six points, but the Patriots were still behind, 214-210.5, with four bouts left.
But the Patriots secured the victory two bouts earlier than the Gaels did last year.
Longazel's 9-5 decision over Archbishop Curley's Vince Okoye gave him the 171-pound title and also gave the Patriots four points for a half-point lead.
Longazel, a junior, is getting used to the pressure of being in a must-win situation. He was in a similar position in Old Mill's 38-24 victory over Gilman last Tuesday when the Patriots needed his third-period pin to put the match mathematically out of reach.
"I guess I'd better be used to the pressure situations," said Longazel.
"We've got a pretty tough schedule and we could be in that situation a lot this year."
Old Mill's sixth-ranked heavyweight, Don Marco, padded the victory with a third-period pin in the final bout of the evening.
Chesapeake posted its highest finish in the tournament's five years, placing a distant third with 151.5 points.
Returning county champion Brian Evelith (125) won the Cougars' only title with a controversial overtime decision over the Gaels' John Mack.
When their bout was still tied, 4-4, after three regulation and overtime periods, the referees went to the rule books and declared Mack the winner via criteria No. 6 -- stalling points.
Since a penalty point for stalling had gone against Evelith with three seconds left in the third overtime period, Mack -- according to the rules --was the winner.
Later, coach Hampe took a closer look at the rule book and discovered that criteria No. 5 -- the greater number of escapes -- pre-empts No. 6 in deciding a match.
Evelith was ahead, 4-3, when the stalling point was awarded, and also had escaped in regulation. Mack had one escape. Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter informed the tournament officials of the error and the decision was reversed.
"I knew I had been warned for stalling once, but there were only eight seconds on the clock when I sprawled (from Mack's takedown attempt). I didn't think the ref should have called stalling," said Evelith, who is 5-0 this year after last year's 25-0 season. "I'm glad I won, but I'm not satisfied with the way I wrestled. I just hope that I get to see him again."
The only champion for seventh-place Meade (125 points) was 145-pounder Luther Scott. Scott decisioned Old Mill's sixth-ranked John Bliss, 7-1, to remain unbeaten at 8-0 with six pins. He beat his semifinal opponent in just 43 seconds.
"At this point last year, I was still on the junior varsity squad. I was in a wrestle-off and lost," said Scott, who placed fourth in last year's county tournament before winning a regional title. "I just want to keep doing well this year."
Severna Park (66.5 points) took 11th place overall, with third-place finishes from Scott Woodland (135) and Aaron Cree (171). Also placing third was North County's 189-pound Ji Kim, who paced his squad to 12th place overall with 64.5 points.
Old Mill's victory came only a week after being dethroned by the Gaels for the 16-team Annapolis tournament title. Old Mill had won that title two straight years.