Sixty-four of the state's best wrestlers were honored yesterday by the Maryland State Wrestling Association at its first annual Outstanding Wrestlers Banquet at Friends School.
Among the honorees were Gilman's John Kim (135 pounds), Mount St. Joseph's Kevin Neville (152) and Randallstown's Mike Jenson (171), each ranked No. 1 by the MSWA.
Kim, 39-0 this season, said the banquet -- the first of its kind in state wrestling history -- was a step in the right direction.
"Wrestling in Maryland isn't overly supported like basketball or football," said Kim. "It's good to see this kind of thing for wrestling. You get to see all the wrestlers on a friendly basis, and it's a nice way to end the season."
One wrestler from each of the 64 participating schools was chosen by his coach as Outstanding Wrestler. They received certificates and plaques.
It was the first time in the 72 years of state-sponsored wrestling that participants have been honored in a postseason awards ceremony.
"It's the first step," said MSWA assistant state chairman Mike Worthem, who said the organization is looking for a sponsor to help defray the cost of the banquet in the future. "For a first-time venture, I think we have a pretty good turnout. There are some outstanding wrestlers here."
An estimated 300 people attended the banquet, including more than 100 wrestlers from across the state.
MSWA Outstanding Wrestlers:
Donnell Jones, Southwestern; Rashad Kitchen, Poly; Leonard Parker, Walbrook; Rick Staab, Dundalk; Jake Hollis, John Carroll; Dave Vernier, Quince Orchard; Chris Kretsinger, Smithsburg; Michael Brammer, Loch Raven; David Kessler, Pikesville; Eric Unkart, Sparrows Point; Chris Mercurio, Hammond; Jason Batchlor, Lackey; Kwabena Bohanan, Douglass; Joe Neville, Glenelg; Alex Gardner, North Hagerstown; Gary Harris, Milford Mill; Mike Malinowski, Parkville.
Bill Whitcher, South River; Jamie Mantegna, Dulaney; Joey Greegor, Maryland School for the Deaf; Darren Ginsberg, Owings Mills; Kevin Groszkowski, Franklin; Tony Lignelli, Northern; Aaron Cree, Severna Park; Mike Jenson, Randallstown; Rick Gladwell, Arundel; Thurman Clay Scott Chesapeake-BC; John Leslie, Catonsville; Wayne Gast, Eastern Vo-Tech; John Bliss, Old Mill; Shane Harmon, Liberty; Tony Kelly, Woodlawn; Michael Pitts, Lake Clifton; Kenneth Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt; Lamont Gibson, Forest Park; Phillip Goodwin, Carver; Troy Graves, Mervo; Phil McWilliams, St. Mary's; Marc Perrine, North Harford; Brian Antonelli, McDonogh; Todd Helman, Friends; Steve Moss, Overlea.
Doug Horton, Chesapeake-AA; Chad Vosburg, Kent County; Joe Horwat, Bullis; Jeff Peach, Perry Hall; Chris Kopalchick, Towson; James Stump, Westminster; Mynor Herrera, DeMatha; Anthony Heath, Edmondson; John Kim, Gilman; Ralph Ellis, Archbishop Spalding; Kevin Neville, Mount St. Joseph; Dave Daniecki, Loyola; Gary Mryncza, Archbishop Curley; Myisha Dashiel, Patterson; Brian Page, Bladensburg; Chris Wimer, St. Paul's; Bruce Pendles, Dunbar; Tom Dell, North Carroll; Chris Smith, Boys' Latin; Jesse Channell, Hereford; Brian Persinger, Kenwood; Greg Knox, Calvert Hall.