Owings Mills, Randallstown renew battle for county supremacy HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING PREVIEW Baltimore County

December 06, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Owings Mills wrestling coach Guy Pritzker compares the leadership on this year's team with the one that won the first of two straight 2A-1A state titles two years ago.

Randallstown coach Jeff Langrehr, whose Rams dethroned Owings Mills, 180.5-175.5, for last year's Baltimore County title, said he's trying to "toughen up" his squad after last year's fourth-place finish in the 4A-3A state meet.

Toward that effort, the Rams wrestled in yesterday's 18-team Annapolis tournament, which featured four-time 4A-3A state -Z champion Old Mill, state runner-up McDonough of Charles County, and 17-time Maryland Scholastic Association champion Mount St. Joseph.

Later this season, the Rams will face Delaware power St. Mark's.

Both coaches realize they are favored to win their respective divisions in the county, and that the Baltimore County tournament is widely viewed as a two-team race between their clubs.

Neither, however, is willing to come right out and say it.

"I'd say us, Dundalk, Franklin and Randallstown are the top four teams in the county," said Pritzker, whose Eagles went 15-2 in dual meets last year, including an upset loss to Overlea.

"As far as the states, I guess that's wide open."

Langrehr is balancing his coaching duties with family responsibilities. With a baby due in a few weeks, Erik Cohen -- Langrehr's assistant last year -- has been promoted to co-coach.

"We're just trying to keep the kids focused -- one week at a time," said Langrehr. "We reached a very high level last year and I think it's critical that we try to maintain that level. In fact, we'd like to do a little bit more."

Leading the way is the Rams' county regional and state champion Johnny Montgomery (152 pounds), along with county runner-up and regional champ Kent Morrison (160), who was a state semifinalist.

Adding depth are the Grodnitzky twins, Justin (135, county champ, third region) and Brandon (130, fourth county, second region), and Javin Rudolph (145, fourth county, third region).

Pritzker's squad returns two of three state champions in Grant Johnson (171) and Gregg Kessler (135), with a third, Corey Setlen (125), ineligible for now.

Pritzker also is buoyed by senior heavyweight Clint Helphinstine (third county, fourth region), junior Victor Saez (130), who was third in the county and fourth in the regional tournament, as well as Stan Leazer (119), who was fourth in the county.

Dundalk returns seven starters from last year's 10-4 squad, led by county, regional and state champion Rick Staab (145), who is the Owls' first-ever state champion.

He is joined by 275-pound heavyweight Don Forbes (fourth region), veterans Joe Marshall (119) and Rich Estes (152-160).

With 11 returning veterans, including two of its three county champs from last year -- Matt Rendleman (125, third region) and Jerry Hudson (125-135, region champ, third state) -- Franklin is a threat.

Hudson pinned Setlen for his county title, sophomore Sean Groszkowski (103) was fourth in the region and sophomore Jimmy Hudson (130) had an 11-1 record before suffering an injury.

"I've got some holes," said Franklin coach John Tartal, whose Indians went 5-6 last year. "I think we can win some of the big matches we lost last year."

Around the county, there are several individuals who stand a chance at winning individual titles.

Milford Mill's county and regional champion, Gary Harris (112), was unbeaten in 30 matches before losing the 2A-1A state championship bout to North Carroll's Jeremy Myers in a 7-4 decision.

Harris should be challenged at 112 by last year's county runner-up, Steve Boothe of Perry Hall, and by Eastern Vocational Tech's Wayne Gast (112), who was third in the county and a regional champion.

Gast pinned his way into the 4A-3A finals, where he dropped a 9-7 decision to Frederick's Tim Novak, and Boothe finished second to Gast in the regional.

Hereford's Jesse Channel (160) was third in both the county and regional tournaments, but won the 2A-1A state title. That's something Pikesville heavyweight Wayde Ezell (275 pounds) hopes to do after taking fourth in the states and third in Baltimore County and the region.

Loch Raven's Mike Brammer (160) was a regional runner-up, and Towson's regional champion, Shawn Kapalchick (140), was one victory away from finishing in the state's top four of his weight class last year.

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