The latest Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings show North Carroll and Old Mill tied for No. 1. They'll square off tomorrow night (7:30) in the featured attraction of a tri-meet with Glen Burnie.
"I think we're the underdog," said North Carroll's Dick Bauerlein. "I hope the result will be close."
North Carroll will have two veterans in the lineup with stitches in their heads. Andy Rill (130 pounds) was in an auto accident last weekend and Scott Bruce (135) cut his eyebrow in a head-butt accident.
"Scott will wrestle with a face mask," said Bauerlein. "He should be fine. Andy has his stitches in the back of his head."
The Panthers will be counting most on junior Tommy Dell (119) and seniors Justin Deibel (125), Jason Myers (140), Dave Foster (152) and Bill Lubking (171).
Coach Mike Hampe's Old Mill squad boasts Steve Lundstrom (103) and the Layman brothers, Brent (140) and Brian (152).
Will the coaches shift around their lineups to avoid certain matchups?
"I thought about it," said Bauerlein. "But I honestly think we'll go with what we have. I know what Hampe's got and he knows us pretty well, too. As I said, I just hope we can keep the score close."
Count on both coaches to weigh in more than one wrestler in a particular class. The key for both will be to get by Glen Burnie with a victory and not get anyone injured or overly tired.
"I just hope everyone is healthy," said Bauerlein. "We've had a lot of sickness going around up here [Carroll County] and I'm sure it's all over. I was ill with a virus and my wife had it, also. We don't have anyone ill now and I'm just hoping nothing changes that before Friday."
A look at the other MSWA rankings finds Mount St. Joseph and Owings Mills tied for third, ahead of Smithsburg, Gilman, Bullis Prep, Aberdeen, Broadneck and Lackey.
The next MSWA individual ratings are expected to be released Monday.