Promising Raiders commit to moving up

December 10, 1993|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

Two years ago, when Atholton's wrestling team finished 0-14, fourth-year coach Ron McMillan wouldn't dare say what he's saying now.

A major team goal this season, McMillan said, is to "rub shoulders" with county powers Hammond and Oakland Mills.

With promising wrestlers such as senior Jeff Rhodes (152 pounds), junior Matt Radik (171), and sophomores David Tangredi (119) and Ricky Trott (160), the Raiders' aim doesn't seem so far-fetched.

McMillan expects Trott, a "diamond in the rough" who went 10-14 at 152 last year, to win the county title and sees Radik contending for the same.

"He's one of those gifted kids as far as putting the whole wrestling package together," McMillan said of Trott. "He's one of the most talented kids I've ever coached."

At 27-10, Tangredi was the best overall wrestler on last season's 4-8-1 team.

Rhodes, who competed at the varsity level for the first time last year and finished 2-3 at 145, "is a kid to watch because of how quickly he's picked up the sport," McMillan said.

Freshmen Bryan Loeffler (103) and Brendan Trexler (112), juniors James Presley (145) and Doug Webb (heavyweight) and senior Brett Miller (135) have locks on their classes.

Off an 8-14 year, Presley is critical to the Raiders' success, McMillan said, while Webb is a first-year wrestler with natural ability.

The 125 and 140 spots are tossups, and sophomore Stefan Pastine, a transfer from DeMatha in Hyattsville, should be in at 130.

Nineteen of McMillan's wrestlers attended a camp at the Naval Academy last summer, and some competed in a local junior league.

"I've got kids who don't mind working hard," McMillan said. "The kids have a better commitment to their teammates and the requirements of the sport. That's been a problem at Atholton in the past."

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