Bears looking to take another step forward Hammond HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING PREVIEW

December 06, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Hammond's wrestling team has made strides every season '' under third-year coach Bill Smith.

Last season, the Bears enjoyed a 13-1 season, which included a 7-0 mark against the county and a rare victory over Oakland Mills. It was Scorpions coach Dan Ricker's only dual-meet loss in four seasons. The Bears followed that by finishing second in the county and regional tournaments.

If the Bears are going to take it one step farther -- say, by going undefeated and winning the county tournament, -- they should do it this season. Hammond has enough depth and returning talent to get the job done.

"We have varsity-caliber wrestlers who are going to wrestle on the JV. In that way, we're a lot stronger than last year," Smith said. "I feel real good about this year."

Senior Erin Woodward (140 pounds) sets the tone for this group. He went 21-6-2 last season, including nine pins and a second-place finish in the regionals. He looks better than ever.

Woodward is complemented by a fine supporting cast. Juniors Dan Proulx (119) and John Motley (130) should score consistently. Proulx went 23-10-1 last season. Motley was 24-13-2.

Then there are seniors Josh Stokes (145), Mac Goudy (171) and Pat Brennan (189). Stokes went 26-8 with 20 pins last season. Brennan (26-10-1) won a regional title.

Goudy could emerge as one of the best in the county and the state. He went 27-8-1 and won a county title at 160 pounds last season.

Hammond also should benefit from a strong influx of young talent. Junior brothers Brice and Ryan Armstrong each won junior-varsity titles last season, and should fill classes in the 125-135 range.

And Smith is excited about 103-pound junior Relly Evans, a first-time wrestler who had a great summer with Hammond's Headhunters Club.

"We think he can make it to the finals at the county tournament," Smith said. "We have the talent to improve."

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