Oakland Mills wrestling coach Dan Ricker likened his team's season to a pickup riding down a long, bumpy road with a cargo of potatoes.
"It's like this: The smaller potatoes filter to the bottom, and the big ones rise to the top," he said. "Some of our potatoes fell out of the wagon, but the ones who stayed have enjoyed the ride."
Saturday at Hammond, Ricker watched his biggest potato, defending heavyweight state champion Monte Spencer, edge Southern's Rob Burley, 4-2, in their championship bout, capping the Scorpions' 2A-1A Region III tournament victory.
Spencer, ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, was one of four champions helping the Scorpions (120 points) outdistance second-place Hammond (98) in the 15-team field.
No. 8 Oakland Mills also got titles from two-time county champion Mike Maughn, three-time county champion Adam Seidman (130) and Marcus Myles (145). The Bears had two champions, Chris Mercurio (135) and Pat Brennen (189).
Meanwhile, at the Class 4A-3A Region IV tournament at Meade High, three-time defending state champion Old Mill placed 12 of 13 wrestlers in the top four of their weight classes to win its eighth regional crown by 120 points and qualify those wrestlers for the state tournament. The Patriots, top-ranked by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, eclipsed the record for total points (225.5) that they had set in 1990. Their qualifying 12 wrestlers for the state tournament is believed to be a state record.
Brian Layman (171, 25-2) and Ernie Longazel (189, 27-1) captured their second straight titles, and John Bliss 145, 26-0), Marc Procaccini (160, 21-2-1) and heavyweight Don Marco (27-2) were first-time winners for Old Mill.
Second-place Annapolis (147 points) edged Chesapeake (146.5) for third place, but the Cougars qualified more wrestlers (seven) than the Panthers (five). Annapolis' Chip Cochran (152) improved to 28-1 with his title, and Chesapeake sophomore Doug Horton (130) moved to 26-3.
For Broadneck, Shawn Miller (119, 31-0) and Charlie Bennett (112, 27-3) were repeat champions, while Arundel's Phil Meenan (103, 23-3) and South River's Billy Whitcher (125, 30-1) were first-timers.
In Class 4A-3A Region I, the winner was No. 7 Randallstown (168), with titles from defending state champions Mike Jensen (171, 29-0), Johnny Montgomery (145, 29-1) and Kent Morrison (152, 23-6-1). Randallstown qualified nine wrestlers.
Second-place Aberdeen (116) got titles from three-time state champion Matt Slutzky (135) and defending state champion Zack Fowl (112). Bel Air's Scott Birth (125, 20-0) pinned his way to the title.
In Class 2A-1A Region I, champion North Carroll (177.5) qualified nine wrestlers, including champions Jeremy Myers (103), Andy Rill (125) and Tom Dell (135), to outdistance Smithsburg (153.5). Francis Scott Key freshman Randy Owings (119) also won a title.
In Class 2A-1A Region II, Owings Mills qualified six wrestlers with five champions to win its second straight title at Fallston.
The Eagles' title winners were Darren Ginsberg (112), Corey Setlen (119), defending state champion Gregg Kessler (130), Sigmund Fraser (171) and heavyweight Clint Helphenstine. But the Eagles' defending state champion, Grant Johnson (160), suffered his first setback, 5-4, to North Harford's unbeaten Marc Perrine.