1996 All-Carroll County wrestling team

March 13, 1996

Coach of the Year

Henry Mohlhenrich, Westminster: When Mohlhenrich was interviewing for the position three years ago, he was asked by the Westminster High administration what goals he would set for the once-proud program that had hit some hard times in recent years. "I told them I couldn't work any magic, but by the third year I felt we could have a winning team," Mohlhenrich said. "What I meant was a match or two over .500."

As it turned out, Mohlhenrich did work some magic, taking a solid group of wrestlers to the next level with the focus on hard work and discipline. The Owls finished with a 12-5 dual-meet record, captured their first county tournament championship in 10 years and won their region. "It wasn't just me," he said. "We had a bunch of kids that wanted to win just as badly as me, as well as some fine assistant coaches."

Ten of Mohlhenrich's starters finished with 20 or more wins, including four with 30-plus. The effort in the county tournament showed just how far the Owls had come. With a slim lead over Francis Scott Key going into the finals, 103-pounder Jimmy Reiter avenged two earlier season losses to Key's Mark Mandell with a 3-0 decision. Two matches later, Grant Lindsay scored a 2-0 decision over South Carroll's Chris Heard. Three weeks earlier, Heard had come away with a 9-0 major decision over Lindsay.

"Wrestling is basically an individual sport. But on the whole, you're also representing your team, and winning can become contagious," Mohlhenrich said. "We had a bunch of kids that weren't really associated with a winning team. But you win a tournament here and then go out and knock off a team you weren't supposed to, the momentum just builds."

Co-Wrestler of Year

Mike Chenoweth, South Carroll, Sr., 171: The Cavaliers standout became only the second wrestler in Carroll to win three state titles, joining Westminster's Steve Hoff (1974-76). Chenoweth (31-0) did it in dominating fashion, and it was never more evident than in the state finals when he scored a 19-3 technical fall against Crossland's Victor King. Chenoweth, who wrestled in the Warriors Junior League program as a freshman, finished his three-year career with a 94-2 record and 69 pins. His last loss came early in his junior year. His most impressive outing this season came in the opener when he jumped up to 189 and came away with a 10-6 decision over Centennial's Joon Kim, who came in as the defending state champion at that weight. It's difficult to imagine a two-time state champion reaching a higher plateau, but South Carroll coach Pete Olson said that was the case with Chenoweth. "This year, he has truly taken himself another step higher," Olson said. "Technically, he's so much more efficient. Before he would make a mistake but could get out of it with his athletic ability. The bottom line is he's developed as a wrestler, not just a pinner."

Co-Wrestler of Year

Tommy Kiler, North Carroll, Sr., 145: Coming off a state title as a junior, Kiler was able to take his skills to an even higher level, finishing 27-0 with 16 pins. He closes out his brilliant high school career 122-8 overall with 65 pins, four region and county titles and two state crowns. His prep career ended with a methodical 13-4 major decision over Calvert's Shawn Poore in the state finals. "He was totally in control this year," said North Carroll coach Bryan Wetzel. "He just took hold of things and was completely focused. He put forth everything he had to the sport and still does." Kiler didn't allow a single back point and was taken down only twice. His strong work ethic and mental preparation set him apart. "His maturity level is unbelievable," Wetzel said. "Usually every high school kid gets a little out of hand once in a while, but Tommy's so mature. He knows what he wants and knows what it takes to get there." Kiler carries a 3.9 grade-point average and is considering Cornell and Harvard with plans to study engineering and continue his wrestling career. Nobody expects more from Kiler than himself, and it goes far beyond the mat. "What surprises me most about Tommy is he came off the mat after just beating [Poore] in the upper round of states, 14-3, and he's not satisfied," Wetzel said. "He's never satisfied, and that's a big part of his success."

The first team

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