Aberdeen's Gurrera, N. Harford's Holtz grab honors 1993-94 ALL-HARFORD COUNTY WRESTLING TEAM

March 13, 1994

COACH OF THE YEAR

Fred Holtz, North Harford -- The Harford County Coach of the Year directed a young North Harford team to the best record (9-3) in his 12 years as head coach and sent four wrestlers to the State Class 1A-2A championships last weekend. A native of Williamsport, Pa., he wrestled in junior high school, high school and at Kutztown State College (now Kutztown University). A math teacher at North Harford, this is his 16th year with the wrestling program, having also served four years as an assistant coach.

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Chad Gurrera, 160, Aberdeen -- The 160-pound senior compiled a record of 29-2, including a runner-up finish in the state Class 1A-2A tournament, and lost only to two-time state champion Jason Townsend of Rising Sun. A repeat All-County selection, the four-year veteran won two county titles and competed in two state tournaments, going 55-5 the last two seasons.

THE TEAM

Tom Free, 103, Edgewood -- A three-time state junior champion, he was bothered by an asthmatic condition off and on during the season. Still, he went 19-2 and won county and regional titles and lost in the state 1A-2A final on a late reversal, 2-1. His other loss was at 112 when he had trouble breathing during the match and was forced to default.

Chad Bratton, 112, Aberdeen -- A county champion, he finished fourth in the 1A-2A regional but failed to place in the state tournament. He had one of three pins in the county championship round.

Corey Pascuzzi, 119, Havre de Grace -- Fourth in the county a year ago, he won the title this time. He was a finalist in the 1A-2A regional and won one of his three state matches, reaching the semifinals in the process, to finish 27-6.

Travis Volmar, 130, Joppatowne -- When he defeated top-seeded Matt Birth of Bel Air in the county final, he gave Joppatowne its first county champion since 1981. He was third in the 1A-2A regional and won one of three matches at the state tournament to finish 28-6.

Matt Birth, 130, Bel Air -- He admits to having felt pressure because two older brothers were state champions, but he still did better than he expected, especially at the 3A-4A regional where he was a losing finalist. He went 2-2 at the states.

Frank Johnson, 135, Aberdeen -- A 1993 winner at 130, he moved up and won at 135 this time. He went back to 130 for the 1A-2A regional, where he was a losing finalist, and the states, where he didn't advance. He finished 21-7.

Pat Elliott, 135, Fallston -- A losing county finalist, he rebounded to win the 1A-2A regional title -- his third title of the year. He made it to the state quarterfinals and went out in the consolation round for an overall mark of 27-6. During the season he won the Friends and Perryville tournaments.

Bryan Stewart, 140, Bel Air -- A state quarterfinalist at 130 last year, he stepped up to 140, won the county title, was a regional finalist, and took one of three state matches. He finished 21-4.

DeWayne Whitley, 145, Aberdeen -- The top seed -- he showed rapid improvement during the season -- at 145, he won the county title. With two teammates each dropping down a class, he wrestled at 160 in the regional, where he went 2-2 and finished fifth. He did not lose to a county opponent and had a final record of 23-6.

Kit Doran, 152, Aberdeen -- Victory in the county meet at 152 gave him his second county title, after he won at 140 last year, and he went on to the state quarterfinals. This time he dropped down to 145 for the postseason, finished second in the 1A-2A regional to Overlea's John Fields, then didn't advance at the state meet. Through the regionals he was 25-2, with Fields accounting for both losses.

Joe Strazzire, 160, Bel Air (unavailable for photograph) -- Third in the county at 152 last season, he wound up third at 160 this year. He got third in the 3A-4A regional, and joined teammates Birth and Stewart in making the quarterfinals at the states. He finished 21-9.

Paul Konschak, 171, North Harford -- Top seeds won seven of the 13 county championships, but he started a late run in which three successive second seeds came out on top. He went on to get third in the 1A-2A regional.

Tom Staab, 189, North Harford -- Third in the county at 171 last year, he showed dramatic improvement as the season wore on. It was highlighted by a 1-0 win over Chris Allen in the county final, and a third in the 1A-2A regional. At the state level, he was one of four county wrestlers to gain the semifinals, joining Free, Pascuzzi and Gurrera. He went 2-2 in the meet and finished 26-9.

Chris Allen, 189, Aberdeen -- The county loss to Staab was one of the five he had during a 29-win year, giving him a two-year record of 51-11. He lost in the 1A-2A regional final, and reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Dick Barwick, heavyweight, Bel Air -- Another All-County football player, Barwick came back this year because he enjoys wrestling. He had wrestled two years ago, then was hurt last year. This year, he upset top-seed Russell Cook of Fallston, 5-2, to earn the county title, then wound up fifth in the 3A-4A regional. He had a record of 20-8.

PICKING THE TEAM

The All-Harford County wrestling team was selected by John W. Stewart after consultation with staff writers and area coaches.

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