Among the five champions who helped No. 6 Archbishop Curley defeat host and No. 10 Aberdeen, 170-to-141.5, in the Harford County school's 10th annual, eight-team event yesterday, sophomore Brian Bricker has the least experience.
Bricker, who competes in no other sports, is up from the JV, where he went 12-5 in his first season of organized wrestling. Yesterday, however, the 103-pounder (17-0) remained his team's only unbeaten wrestler. And that's saying plenty, because his teammates, who won Aberdeen's tournament for the second straight season, include two returning state champions.
Bricker's seventh pin of the season, in 1: 51 of his title bout, came after trailing, 2-0, against Dundalk Tournament champ Paul Boniface (9-1, six pins), who had come off a 10-8 semifinal upset of Towson's No. 3-ranked John Narils.
Bricker was joined on the championship podium yesterday by teammates Mike Frey (112, 14-4), No. 6 Paul Boettcher (130, 17-2, 12 pins) and state champs Mike Boettcher (140, 15-4) and No. 3 Sal Aquia (160, 17-1).
Aquia's 9-4 title-bout victory was his second over Chesapeake-AA's No. 5 Carl Cicchetti (12-2), a region champ and fourth-place state finisher. But the stage clearly belonged to Bricker.
"I knew the Towson kid was ranked in the state, so I knew Boniface was tough. He got the first take-down, so I was kind of scared," said Bricker, who also has won tournaments at North East, Curley and Arundel. "I was a little surprised I pinned him, but I lifted weights in the off-season and went to wrestling camps. It seems to be paying off."
In Curley's other title-winning efforts, Frey scored seven near-fall points in an 11-2 decision of Aberdeen's Randall Overstreet (10-3); Paul Boettcher's 9-7 decision overcame a 4-2 second-period deficit against Aberdeen's Allen Durham (11-2); and Mike Boettcher pinned Harford Tech's K. C. McQuiston in 1: 10.
For Aberdeen, James Axel (125, 12-1) edged No. 15 Chesapeake's Ryan Howard (9-2) by 5-2, and Matt Kunkel (189, 10-3) decked Dulaney's Rich Hanna (9-1) in 3: 39.
John Carroll's champs were Sean Dansberger (119) and Steve Trancucci (171, 12-3), with Trancucci up from 160 where he suffered two of his losses to Boys' Latin's No. 6 Jason Leneau.
First, Trancucci dusted Curley's Pat Curran, 16-0. Then his 15-8 semifinal victory included seven third-period near-fall points against Chesapeake's fourth-ranked county and region champ Chad Duncan, who entered as defending champ at 17-0. Trancucci's come-from-behind 3-2 title-bout win over Towson's Jeff Paul (9-2 ) avenged a 12-2 rout of a year ago. Paul's only previous loss had come by 5-4 to Overlea's No. 6 Terry Lawson.
"I weigh about 167 and am feeling pretty good. I have more energy and control," said Trancucci, whose weight class was the tournament's toughest: The sixth seed entered with a 12-1 record.
Dulaney's Ryan Frost (heavyweight, 9-1) won for the second straight year with a fall in 4: 25. A 13-8 victory by teammate Matt Bulloch (135, 10-1) was his third in two seasons over Aberdeen's John Ishibashi (10-3), and a 6-2 decision by Harford Tech's Bobby Mills (145, 9-1) was his second win of the season over Chesapeake's Melvin Guthrie (11-2) -- the other being a first-period fall.