Old Mill shooting for fifth straight title

March 05, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Aberdeen was the first team to win three outright state titles when Owings Mills ended its streak in 1991, becoming Baltimore County's first 2A-1A state champ.

The No. 4 Eagles won again in 1992, and with a third crown, they would be only the state's fourth three-time team champ.

Beall shared its first 2A-1A title in 1982, followed by Aberdeen and the 4A-3A's four-time champion Old Mill Patriots. Not since Eastern Vocational Tech crushed the Patriots, 99-59.5, in 1987 has Baltimore County won a state 4A-3A team wrestling crown.

No. 7 Randallstown had two state champs last year with Johnny Montgomery (145) and Mike Jenson (171), but lacked the depth to score higher than fourth (61 points) behind Old Mill (116 points), McDonough (99.5) and Quince Orchard (90).

"Last year we went in with only two studs, but this year it looks like we've got four or five legitimate finalists," said Randallstown coach Jeff Langrehr.

Old Mill looks hard to stop. But Randallstown, Lackey, Quince Orchard, McDonough, Frederick and Wheaton are potential threats.

Owings Mills, which qualified eight wrestlers with four champs to win its second straight Region II title last weekend, faces tough challenges from No. 2 North Carroll, No. 5 Francis Scott Key, No. 6 Northeast, No. 7 Hammond and North East (Cecil County).

"I think it's just like always, anything can happen," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said last Thursday. "Just like last year, I think it's a wide open race."

Last year's Eagles used three state champs and a fourth-place finisher to edge Smithsburg, 91.5-85.5, for the crown, and two-time champs, Gregg Kessler (135) and Grant Johnson (171), are favored to win again.

Defending state champ Jeremy Myers (112), Doug Dell (103) and Chris Boog (171) are all unbeaten for North Carroll. Owings Mills wrestlers Johnson and Adam Fink (112) -- both region champs -- and runner-up Josh Ellin (103) could meet their North Carroll adversaries in or before the semifinals.

Neither North Carroll nor Owings will see Northeast's Kusick twins, Marty (103) or Mike (112), until the finals. Each a county and regional champ, Marty was third after losing a 7-4 semifinal bout to Myers. Mike was second.

Smithsburg returns two-time state champ Chris Kretsinger (189), and state runner-up Doug Batey (140). Owings Mills' county and regional champ, Ed Overton (189) must get past Wilde Lake's two-time Region III champ, Nate Casella, in the semifinal to meet Kretsinger.

North East, the Region IV champ, sends 10 wrestlers, including top seeds Ernie Miller (103), Tim Taylor (119), Andy Vanover (160), Emelio Baldwin (189) and heavyweight Toma Hoderfield. Region IV runner-up, Rising Sun, ninth in last year's state tournament, has four champs among its seven qualifiers, with returning state champ, Jason Townsend (152), Ben Garvin (130), Randy Jourdan(140) and Dennis Zuk (145).

Region III runner-up Hammond is a spoiler with two runners-up, five who were third, and a fourth.

Randallstown won its second straight Region I crown last weekend with four champs, two runners-up and a third-place finisher. The Rams' repeat qualifiers are Montgomery, two-time region champ, Kent Morrison (160), Grodnitzky twins, Brandon (125) and Justin (130), and Javin Rudolph (140).

Old Mill has repeat qualifiers in state champ Marc Procaccini (160), Jason Bryant (103), who was fourth last year, Kevin Seavey (130), Rick Oleszczuk (135) and Todd Hultgren (152).

Morrison should meet Procaccini in the semifinal, and region champ Brandon could face the Patriots' No. 4 Dave Basta in the first round. Region runner-up Justin could face Region IV champ Oleszczuk in the semifinal, and Montgomery looks to see Old Mill's No. 3 seed Mike Hines in the semifinals.

Lackey's Chargers bring the second highest number of 4A-3A wrestlers, with three champs, a runner-up and four third-place finishers. The Chargers dethroned McDonough for this year's Southern Maryland Athletic Conference tournament and Region III crowns.

McDonough's six qualifiers include four champs, with returning state runners-up Damon Newsome (145) and Chris Hawkins (152). Its other champs are Chris Brown (171), who placed fourth last year, and Todd Margolis (130). McDonough lost SMAC champ, Tim Cummins (125).

Region III champ, Quince Orchard qualified seven, with three champs and a runner-up. Top seeds John Zinno (112), Diego Garcia (135) and Jacob Ritchie (189), and runner-up, David Chee (103) are repeat qualifiers. Ritchie placed third in the states last year, and Zinno owns a win over defending state champ, Tim Novak (Frederick).

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