No clear-cut favorite has emerged for this weekend's 1A/2A state wrestling tournament at Western Maryland College.
North Carroll will contend for the state crown after winning a region title and placing nine wrestlers in this weekend's tournament.
Action begins Friday, with the first round at 2:30 p.m. and the quarterfinals at 7:30. On Saturday, semifinals start at 11 a.m., with the consolation finals slated for 5 p.m. and the championship round immediately following.
Smithsburg (second in Region I), Oakland Mills (Region III champion) and Francis Scott Key (third in Region I) all qualified eight grapplers, while Owing Mills (Region II winner) hasseven headed for the state tournament. North Carroll won the Class 1A/2A Region I title, 177 1/2-153 1/2, over second-place Smithsburg Saturday; Key was third with 113.
The Panthers finished with three regional champions -- Jeremy Myers (103), Andy Rill (125) and Tom Dell(135), while three others finished second.
Runner-up Smithsburg finished with four individual titles at the regionals, and North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein says the Leopards may be the team to beat.
"Smithsburg's got a good shot, but it's not clear cut," he said. "Ifall nine of our wrestlers get a first-round win and we can have a couple of state champs, we could be in the running."
Key had one region champion in Randy Owings (119) and could finish in the top five in the state meet with a strong showing. Liberty qualified two wrestlers.
In Class 3A/4A action, Westminster will send four to the statetournament, while South Carroll qualified two for this weekend.
In other sports this week:
* The Western Maryland College men's lacrosse team will get a stern early test when NCAA Division III runner-up Salisbury State visits today. (Area lacrosse fans also could travel a few miles west on Route 140 to watch defending NCAA Division I champion North Carolina at 4 this afternoon at Mount St. Mary's.)
The Sea Gulls are ranked fifth in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's Division III coaches' preseason poll. Last year, they finished 15-1 and suffered their only loss in the NCAA Division III championship game against Hobart.
The Green Terrors finished last season with a 6-6 mark -- including a 24-7 loss to Salisbury.
Four Carroll high school grads may see time in the matchup -- senior midfielder Dan Gourley and freshman attacker Jeff Doolan (both Westminster High grads) for Salisbury, and sophomore midfielder Ken Higgs (Westminster) and freshman attacker Jeff Doolan (Liberty) for the Green Terrors.
* Sixteen Carroll Special Olympians will compete in individual basketball skills Saturday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Students competing from the Carroll County Education Center will be: Brian Burroughs, Ray Clark, Tori Eshelman, Jennifer Doyle, MarcusTaylor, Ron Zambelli, Jennifer DeBoy, Greg Allen and Price Hollman.
The Therapeutic Recreation Council has been training these participants: Carolyn Gately, Adam Dunn, David Peak, Bruce Martin, Bryan Peeling, Ron Morningstar and Megan Roland. The athletes will be competing in shooting, passing and dribbling skills events.
(All times p.m. unless noted)
Men's lacrosse: Salisbury State at WMC, 3
Wrestling: State tournament at WMC, 2:30
Men's lacrosse: WMC vs. Widener at Ridley (Pa.) High, 7
Special Olympics: State basketball individual skills competition at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, 9 a.m.
Wrestling: State tournament at WMC, 11 a.m.
Baseball: Gallaudet at WMC, 2
AH No clear favorite in state event at WMC