3A-4A race open Owings Mills the pick in 1A-2A

December 10, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Franklin coach John Tartal said it best in his effort to describe the race for the Baltimore County 3A-4A dual-meet wrestling crown.

"It could be another year when nobody goes undefeated in the county," said Tartal, referring to last season, when every 3A-4A team lost at least once in the league. "It's going to take total focus for the team that wins."

Randallstown, last year's county tournament champ and 3A-4A state runner-up, lost just once -- to Woodlawn, an 8-7 squad last season. But the Rams secured the dual-meet crown by downing previously unbeaten Dundalk in its final match of the season, as Jeff Langrehr and Ed Cohen earned Co-Coach of the Year honors from The Baltimore Sun.

Langrehr since has taken a teaching job at Perry Hall, where he assists his cousin, Al Miller, with a Gators' squad that returns eight starters -- including three state qualifiers -- and appears to be the early favorite.

But Eastern Tech, Woodlawn, Dulaney, Franklin and Kenwood all return capable and balanced squads.

Owings Mills was fourth in last year's 1A-2A state tournament and is favored in the county 1A-2A race. The Eagles can't be overlooked in the chase for the county tournament crown, either.

Overlea is hot on the Eagles' heels, and, with nine returning starters from last year's 11-1 squad, is itching to avenge its only loss last year to the Eagles.

Towson (8-6 last year) as well as Loch Raven, Pikesville and Hereford are likely spoilers from the 1A-2A.

3A-4A league

For the Gators, Steve Boothe (119 pounds) and Brian Yoakum are returning regional champs. Jeff Taylor (189) placed third in the region, and Rich Hanzevack (130) was third in the county.

Add the other returning veterans, and former junior-leaguer Nick Sidiropoulos (103), and Miller's looking at a potential tournament title.

Eastern Tech and Woodlawn could prevent the Gators from having the last word.

The Mavericks (10-3 last year) have a nice mixture of veterans and underclassmen, starting with regional runner-up Joe Catlin (112) and Fred Zais (152, third county). Ryan Doll (135) was a junior-varsity county champ and Jason Sergotick (171) was third on junior varsity.

The Warriors will lose forfeit points, but have the pinning power to make up for it with all but one wrestler returning.

Leading the way is county runner-up heavyweight Darrell Mance, who last year won a regional crown and became the school's first 3A-4A state champ. County runner-up Mykol Thomas (152), who was fourth in the region, returns from a summer of wrestling, which included a state runner-up finish in freestyle and a victory over Harford County champ Kit Doran.

Dulaney went 8-6, including a victory over the Warriors, and returns county runner-up Alex Leanos (130), who was third in the region. Overlea tournament champ Mike Kassoulis (112) and Ohio transfer Steve Carlino (145), who was 22-10 last year, add to a lineup that will include eight graduates from last year's 10-1 ,, junior varsity.

Dundalk and Randallstown lost a combined four former state champs and two runners-up to graduation, so each has fallen -- but not very far.

Randallstown picked up two transfers from Milford Mill in Gary Harris (125), last year's 1A-2A state champ, and regional runner-up James Phillips (140-145). The Rams also have a new coach from Westminster High in Solomon Carr, a former collegiate All-American who insists he's "starting from the bottom," though he's got 28 wrestlers.

Dundalk's best wrestler is county runner-up Dan Simancek (112), a regional champ last season, but coach Bob Hutsler has "every weight class filled and 25 to 30 kids" to work with.

Franklin finished fourth in the county tournament and third in its region. The Indians are led by county champ Sean Groszkowski (119) and Son Nyugen (112), who was third in the region. Nelson Schwartz (152) is a veteran transfer from Milford Mill, and New Jersey transfer Matt Hanes (189) had a 12-5 record last year.

Kenwood (9-6 last year) is not to be overlooked, with a full lineup and eight returning starters, including veterans Chuck Williams (152-160), George Benson (171) and Warren Burke (140-145).

Patapsco (3-10 as a 1A-2A team last year) is "young and inexperienced," but returns regional qualifiers Nick O'May (112) and Darren Baine (119).

1A-2A league

Owings Mills senior Stan Leazer (135) was third in the county and a regional runner-up, with Josh Ellin (112) taking second in the county and regions and Adam Fink (119) first in the region.

The lineup features talent similar to lower weight Steve Kessler, who is the younger brother of three-time state champion Greg.

"Because we only have three seniors, it's too early to tell how we stack up," said Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker. "The kids are improving every day and they're working hard."

Overlea's best bets are regional champ Jimmy Fields (145-152), who placed fourth in the state, and heavyweight Mike Knoedler (6-3, 260 pounds), who was third in the region.

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