The county tournament offered some interesting grudge matches as well as one milestone and a surprise victor. Here is a bout-by-bout sketch of the championship finals.
103 -- Lundstrom-Bennett: Broadneck's fifth-ranked sophomore Charlie Bennett (26-2) had hammered Old Mill junior Steve Lundstrom, 10-0, in their regular-season bout.
Lundstrom (24-3) trailed, 2-1, with 15 seconds left in the first period when his five-point takedown gave him an insurmountable 6-2 lead en route to an 8-2 victory. Said Lundstrom of his first county title: "I got slaughtered the first time, but I was more prepared. I worked upper-body takedowns and counters on the mat." That was the difference.
112 -- Miller-Whitcher: Simply put, Broadneck's top-ranked junior Shawn Miller (27-0, 22 pins) just overwhelmed South River junior Billy Whitcher, pinning him in 3:18. The victory was surprising because Whitcher (24-5) had been one of just three wrestlers to go the distance with Miller, losing a 6-2 regular season bout in which Whitcher scored two back points. "I wasn't looking for the pin, it just came. This proves I can stick the good wrestlers," said Miller, a two-time county champion.
119 -- Sugden-Brazeau: Old Mill senior Bob Sugden (20-9) had taken his share of beatings this season, including oneagainst North Carroll's top-ranked Tommy Dell, Gilman's No. 5-rankedJohn Kim, Poly's No. 2-ranked Malcolm Compton and Mount St. Joseph'sNo. 2-ranked Shane McCarthy. In winning his first county title, Sugden used an overtime reversal to win, 4-2, and avenge an earlier 2-0 loss to Broadneck senior Roy Brazeau. It was Sugden's first title. "I just wrestled at a moderate pace and used my conditioning. It's been a long time, and I thought this would never happen."
125 -- Eveleth-Trader: In scoring his third technical fall of the tournament, 20-4,over Southern's Keith Trader (20-5), Chesapeake senior Brian Eveleth(26-0) won his second county title and showed improved conditioning."I haven't been in that great a shape this year, so that's what I'vebeen doing to tune up for the states."
130 -- Woodland-Horton: Severna Park junior Scott Woodland (23-7) became the Falcons' first county titlist since Yves Archey in 1986, dominating Chesapeake's Doug Horton, 6-0. Horton dropped to 17-3-1. Woodland had taken his lumps from the likes of Eveleth and Mount St. Joseph's fifth-ranked Maryland Scholastic Association champ Chad Votta (twice). "I knew we hadn't hada champion for a long time, and I was really pumped up for this match," said Woodland, who qualified for last year's state tournament. It's a safe bet he'll be there again.
135 -- Layman-Sfakiyanudis: Themotivation for Old Mill senior Brent Layman (28-1) was that he couldnot pin Annapolis' Tom Sfakiyanudis (18-8-1) during their regular season match. "I was going for the pin this time, but it took a while to get going and he was tough fighting off of his back," said Layman, who finished Sfakiyanudis in 4:39 this time for his second straight title and his 18th pin of the year.
140 -- Cochran-Bliss: Annapolis'sixth-ranked junior Chip Cochran (26-1) had beaten Old Mill's John Bliss (24-6), 5-3, during the regular season. At that time, Bliss was ranked sixth and Cochran was unranked. However, with his second-period pin of Bliss, Cochran may have erased all doubt as to who is better. Said Cochran of his first title: "I tried to forget about our last match and wrestle a totally new one. I was just a lot more intense."
145 -- Flynn-Scott: Annapolis' top-ranked Pat Flynn (26-0) defeatedMeade's Luther Scott (23-2) the same way he beat him earlier in the season: by a 4-0 decision.
"He was tougher because he knew the things that I was going to do," said Flynn, a two-time county champion. "But then, everybody knows what I'm going to do and they haven't beenable to stop it."
152 -- Hunt-Braithwait: South River's Brian Hunt, ranked No. 2 at 145, decisioned Southern's second-ranked 152-pounder Jason Braithwait, 2-1, for his first county title. "I took away hisswitch this time, but both of us wrestled smart," Hunt said. The twowrestlers tied, 3-3, during the regular season. Hunt (25-1-1) was a 140-pound state tournament runner-up last year, and Braithwait (24-1-1) was last year's 140-pound county champ and a 145-pound state runner-up.
160 -- Layman-Williams: Top-ranked Brian Layman (23-0) defeated Meade's Pat Williams (20-6) for the second time this year, 11-2, gaining his second county title. "I settled down more than in the first time we met," said Layman, a junior.
171 -- Boston-Booth: Southern's third-seeded junior Chris Boston (20-4) was the surprise of the tournament, winning his first county title. He used two pins -- including one over Old Mill's second-seeded Ernie Longazel -- to reach thefinals, where he scored an 8-5 decision over Arundel sophomore Greg Booth (22-4). Boston led, 6-5, with 11 seconds left in the match whenBooth tried a takedown that backfired.
189 -- Anderson-Park: Old Mill's seventh-seeded senior Sun Park (15-5) used two pins and a 3-0 upset victory over Arundel's second-seeded senior Brian Richards to reach the finals. But that's where his luck ended. South River's Brian Anderson (18-2) nailed down his third straight pin of the tournament to win his first county title.
Heavyweight -- Marco-Burley: Old Mill's second-ranked junior Don Marco (26-1, 20 pins), a county runner-up last year, would not be denied his first county title -- even if itmeant overcoming Southern's staunch and sturdy Robert Burley (21-4)."I was more scared in this match than any of my matches this year," said Marco, who won a grueling 2-0 decision. "He was quick, and he was smart." Burley had pinned Arundel's fifth-ranked Pat Beach in the semifinals.