Baltimore, Harford pin hopes on individual goals

March 04, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writers John W. Stewart and Glenn P. Graham contributed to this article.

Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County teams aren't expected to challenge for team titles in today's state wrestling tournaments at Western Maryland College, but several individuals -- including two defending champs -- are capable of winning crowns.

County champion Perry Hall, a 3A-4A North Region runner-up to South Carroll, sends just four wrestlers -- far short of the number needed to contend with five-time state champion Old Mill, which qualified nine wrestlers.

The Gators originally had been awarded the region championship over South Carroll, 107-105. But after further review, officials found the wrong scoring system had been used. The scoring system originally used in the eight-team tournament -- common in some regular-season tournaments -- awarded team points to finishers who place in the top six. The region format has teams awarded with points for the top four finishers. The adjustment gave South Carroll a 92-86 win.

Owings Mills (seven wrestlers) eclipsed Aberdeen for the 1A-2A North Region crown, but only third-ranked freshman Steve Kessler (130 pounds, 31-0) -- the Eagles' sole region champion -- is expected to contend.

Top-ranked defending state champions Gary Harris (125) of Randallstown and Darrel Mance (heavyweight) of Woodlawn both are 26-0.

Mance could get tested by North County's fifth-ranked Corey Fowler in the semifinals, and in the finals by Arundel's fourth-ranked John Noon (26-1) or co-No. 6 wrestlers Shawn Brodie (20-3) of Mervo and Odist Felder (16-1) of Largo.

On the 1A-2A side, Hereford's top-ranked Roy Collins (189, 33-0) faces a stiff semifinal challenge from Williamsport's third-ranked Mark Janus (26-1), and Overlea's fifth-ranked John Fields (145, 29-1) -- who was fourth in last year's states -- should contend with Francis Scott Key's third-ranked Zac Yinger (29-1).

Other region champs with 3A-4A title hopes include Woodlawn's fifth-ranked Mykol Thomas (152, 27-1), Dulaney's fifth-ranked Alex Leanos (130, 29-2) and Perry Hall wrestlers Jeff Taylor (189, 32-3) and Steve Boothe (119, 30-4). Boothe was fourth in last year's states.

Catonsville's sixth-ranked Aaron Lovinger (140, 24-2) could reach the 1A-2A finals, where second-ranked Steve Smiddy (25-1) of Northeast or fifth-ranked Ricky Stott (22-1) of Damascus should await him.

In the 1A-2A from Harford, county and region champion Tom Free (103, 16-1) of Edgewood is a dark-horse contender, along with region champion Pat Elliott (135, 26-4) of Fallston.

Aberdeen has three contenders in region champion Chad Guerrera(152, 26-1), region runner-up Kit Doran (145, 25-2), who has lost twice to Overlea's Fields, and Chris Allen (189, 27-3), a county champion and region runner-up.

Other region runners-up in the field from Harford are Jeff Brochu (103, 23-6) of Havre de Grace, teammate and county winner Corey Pascuzzi (119, 25-4) and Aberdeen's Frank Johnson (135, 21-5).

Dunbar, in the 1A-2A, has two of the city's six region titlists, who each placed fourth in last year's states. They are third-ranked, two-time city and Maryland Scholastic Association champion Bruce Pendles (112, 25-1), and sixth-ranked city champion and MSA runner-up Hermondoz Thompson (135, 23-2).

The 3A-4A East region champions are sixth-ranked, two-time city champion Jamil Stoakley (171, 24-3) of Walbrook, fourth-ranked city champion Rashad Kitchen (189, 20-3) of Poly, city champion McAnthony Thompson (130, 20-2) of Mervo, and city runner-up Lloyd Cox (140, 20-5) of Lake Clifton.

Pendles hopes to dethrone Northeast's second-ranked state champion Marty Kusick (25-1), and Thompson looks to dethrone Francis Scott Key's second-ranked Randy Owings (26-1). Owings, who wouldn't meet Thompson until the finals, has split victories with Thompson's likely semifinal opponent, North Carroll's Tom Kiler (30-1).

Kitchen, who placed fourth in last year's states, should reach the semifinals, where he likely will meet Frederick's region runner-up Mike McIlvaine (23-1) or Northern's region champion Bernie Apshago (31-2).

Stoakley's first-round opponent is Linganore's Doug DeVries (20-8), but tougher challenges should come in the semifinals from the quarterfinal winner between Howard's Seth Eldridge (24-2) and Frederick's Jamie Weister (17-2). Stoakley reached last year's semifinals, where he lost, 8-6, to the eventual state runner-up.

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