1993-1994 All-metro Wrestling Team

March 14, 1994

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Dan DeVivo, Mount St. Joseph, Jr., 160 -- This two-time All-Metro wrestler is simply the most overwhelming, talented junior in the state and was the Baltimore City Wrestler of the Year. DeVivo (107-12 for his career) has a 53-match winning streak against Maryland wrestlers dating back to his 5-1 freshman-season victory over Loyola's Andy Smith for third place in the National Preps. Top-ranked, two-time Maryland Scholastic Association champ DeVivo (35-3, 16 pins, five technical falls this year), an MSA runner-up as a freshman, was second in the preps last year and first this year. His streak includes victories over Old Mill's state champ Marc Proccacini and a pin of Northeast's state champ Al Grunder. This year, he tech-falled Charles County McDonough's 3A-4A state champ Chris Brown up at 171, twice beat St. Paul's fifth-ranked, MSA champ Pete Karvounis also at 171, and three times beat Baltimore County McDonogh's third-ranked, two-time MSA runner-up Martius Harding (third National Preps). DeVivo registered his 16th pin of the season for the National Preps title. He had his second straight tournament crowns at Curley and Annapolis and his third at Chesapeake with a 37-second pin. DeVivo (an A student) was an overtime runner-up at the St. Mark's Tournament to Delaware's state champ. Buddy Hepfer, Arundel -- In his 24th season, Hepfer took only three wrestlers to the states, but had two champs and a runner-up as Arundel finished fourth out of 63 teams. Hepfer, whose framework is the standard used for many tournaments in Anne Arundel County, also came to the rescue with a game plan when this year's weekend county tournament seemed unworkable after an ice storm forced it to be moved to Tuesday and Thursday. Hepfer (205-79-4) became Anne Arundel County's first coach to reach the 200-career dual-meet victory milestone. Thereafter, however, injuries and ineligibility ravaged his squad. After watching 119-pounder Phil Meenan fail to finish in the top four of the county tournament, Hepfer pushed Meenan to win region and state titles over the next two weeks. Hepfer also pushed junior Mark Chesla (152) to win county, regional and state crowns, and senior heavyweight John Noon to a county title and runner-up finishes in the regions and states, although neither Chesla nor Noon had wrestled before their freshman seasons. Gino Amasia, Calvert Hall, Jr., 103 -- Amasia (24-1) is a quick-moving, muscular wrestler who had everything over most opponents, including mat acumen and strength, using it to rack up 14 pins en route to his second straight MSA crown. Top-ranked by the Maryland State Wrestling Association and unbeaten in the state, Amasia won the MSA Tournament's award for scoring the most points for his team. He lost his National Prep title bout, 5-2.

Juri Freeman, Oakland Mills, Sr., 103 -- No. 3-ranked Freeman (11 pins, five technical falls) went unbeaten in the state, capturing his second straight county title and adding regional and state titles, the latter on a third-period reversal over Edgewood's Thomas Free (19-2) for a come-from-behind, 2-1 decision. Freeman (33-1) beat his other three state tournament opponents by a combined 14-4, and also had a come-from-behind, 3-2 decision of Dulaney's county champ and 3A-4A state runner-up Mike Kassolis (31-4).

Marty Kusick, Northeast, Jr., 112 -- This second-ranked, three-time county and regional champ won his second straight state title, 7-6, over Baltimore City's third-ranked, two-time city and MSA champ Bruce Pendles (28-2) of Dunbar. In the states, Kusick (29-1, 16 pins, four technical falls) also beat Montgomery County champ Randy Pickett (31-3, 27 pins) of Damascus and North Carroll's fifth-ranked, state runner-up Doug Dell (34-4). A repeat All-Metro pick, Kusick also beat Old Mill's third-ranked state champ Jason Bryant (32-2) for the county crown. His only loss came by 5-3 against DeMatha's top-ranked, two-time National Prep champ Todd Beckerman (100-1 over two seasons), whose only career loss came by 8-7 against Kusick.

Mike Kusick, Northeast, Jr., 119 -- The Kusick brothers were Anne Arundel County's co-Wrestlers of the Year for the second straight season. Top-ranked Mike (30-0, 11 pins, eight technical falls) reached the state finals for the third straight season, flattening Cecil County North East's No. 2-ranked Tim Taylor (27-4) for his second straight state crown. This repeat All-Metro pick had three wins over Severna Park's No. 3-ranked Jamie Kuch, who was third in the states this year and second last year.

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