St. Mary's wrestler Scott Thompson captured the 171-pound tournament title at Friends School Saturday, signaling the completion of his journey from the heavyweight ranks.
Thompson (21-3, nine pins) began the year wrestling against 275-pounders, losing to Riverdale Baptist's fourth-ranked Blaine Gasch and placing third at the season-opening Curley tournament.
At the Annapolis tournament a week later, Thompson took third as a 189-pounder, losing 11-3 to Bullis' second-best wrestler, Will Currier.
Before dropping to 171, Thompson lost, 18-5, to Wilde Lake's fifth-ranked, two-time Howard County champion Nate Casella, a 2A-1A state runner-up last year.
Saturday, Thompson had a semifinal pin of Loyola's Al DiPietro and an 8-4 decision of Poly's Rashaad Kitchen. DiPietro had earlier pinned his way through a tough Smithsburg tournament. Kitchen was third in the Maryland Scholastic Association and has a 5-4 decision over Gilman's MSA runner-up Jamie Biddison.
The youthful upper-weight wrestlers of four-time state champion Old Mill showed heart in its 34-26 comeback victory over DeMatha Friday that extended the Patriots' dual-meet winning streak to 27.
The Patriots got key victories from sophomore Dan Patterson (189) and junior heavyweight Bob Shaffer.
But did the No. 2 Patriots -- who gave up two pins and a technical fall in the match -- prove they're ready to win an unprecedented fifth state title? Or did they show that they're ripe for the picking?
"They [DeMatha] caught us flat, and we got a little lucky," said Jay Braunstein, assistant to head coach Mike Hampe. "Our 189-pounder is a surprisingly seasoned sophomore who worked hard, wrestling all summer."
The Patriots (6-0), ranked No. 6 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, expect Charles County's McDonough (No. 3 by the MSWA), Quince Orchard (Montgomery County), Randallstown (No. 9 in The Sun Poll) and Frederick County to challenge for the 4A-3A crown.
Remaining matches against Arundel (Wednesday) Chesapeake, North Carroll and Northeast should offer stern tests.
Mount St. Joseph wrestler Shane McCarthy wants to regain a title he feels should be his: The state's top-ranked 145-pounder.
Through his freshman and sophomore seasons, McCarthy, a Pasadena resident, was a two-time champion at the Annapolis, Chesapeake, Curley and Maryland Scholastic Association tournaments.
Last year, however, he finished second in each of them.
He was ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association at the beginning of the season.
And after a 10-2 victory over DeMatha's then sixth-ranked Matt Allman in the title bout of the season-opening Curley tournament, McCarthy was sure he deserved the recognition.
But a week later came another runner-up finish at Annapolis, and a 9-4 decision to McDonough (Charles County) state runner-up Damon Newsome.
"I should never have lost that match," said McCarthy, who is now ranked No. 4 behind Rising Sun's 2A-1A state champion Jason RTC Townsend, Newsome (No. 2) and Dundalk's 4A-3A state champion, Rick Staab.
McCarthy (18-3) proved that with two major decisions and a pin at Bullis Saturday, where the 7-0 Gaels -- top-ranked in The Sun Poll and No. 2 by the MSWA -- swept a quad meet against Riverdale Baptist (ranked No. 1 by the MSWA), Bullis and Altoona (Pa.).