1996-97 All-Harford County wrestling team

March 19, 1997|By John W. Stewart

Coach of the Year

Craig Reddish, Bel Air: There were 11 wrestlers when he took over the program four years ago, and it has shown steady improvement. This season, with more than 40 candidates, there was a winning record, three county champions, one regional champion and one regional finalist.

Wrestlers of the Year

James Axel, Aberdeen, Sr., 125 (32-2): One of four to win a second straight county championship, the 125-pounder was first Kennard-Dale and Aberdeen, first in his region and second in the state, earning first-team All-Metro honors. He won a major decision over Rick Desper in a county final matchup of returning champions (112 & 119, respectively). Dropping down to 119, he breezed through his regional with a fall, a technical fall and a major decision.

Mike Reilly, C. Milton Wright, Sr., 135 (32-3): Reilly was first at Arundel, Overlea (outstanding wrestler award), county and regional tournaments. He was the county champion at 125 last year. A state runner-up and second-team All-Metro pick, Reilly had to cut 12 pounds to make weight, then score a technical fall and a major decision to reach the semifinals. He eventually lost in the final, 2-1.

The first team

103 -- Brad Stone, Bel Air, Jr., 103 (28-3): He was first in John Carroll, Francis Scott Key, county and regional tournaments, second at North East.

Mike Strobel, Fallston, Jr., 112 (29-9): He was first in the county championships, second at Friends, third in the regional.

Randall Overstreet, Aberdeen, Fr., 112 (24-7): He was first at John Carroll and Kennard-Dale tournaments, and second at Aberdeen. He lost the county final to Strobel in overtime, then bounced back to win a regional title.

Ben Imhoff, Fallston, Fr., 119 (19-13): His best tournament showing prior to the county meet was the Trott Invitational, where he was fourth. In the county, the second seed reached the final with two pins, then edged top seed Tom Gurrera (17-7) of Aberdeen, 2-0, on a third-period reversal.

John Dillard, North Harford, Jr., 130 (22-10): At the county, he emerged the winner in a wide-open weight class after a competitive year in which his best earlier tournament finishes were two fourths. He went 2-2 in placing fifth in his regional.

Joe Ercolano, Fallston, Sr. 140, (29-5): He placed first at the Trott and Overlea tournaments, and was a successful county defender, where he pinned his way through three matches, and was the only one of 13 county champions to record a pin in the finals. He followed with a regional third.

Chris Schneck, C.M. Wright, Sr., 145 (30-5): He followed his state runner-up finish of a year ago with a solid season that included a first at the Overlea tournament. He finished strongly, winning county and regional titles and pinning his way to third place at states.

Tim Smallwood, Bel Air, Sr., 152 (26-5): The county 145 winner a year ago placed first at John Carroll, F.S. Key and the county, then went unplaced at the regional level.

Ken Cross, North Harford, Sr., 160 (20-12): The runner-up at 160 a year, he came back to win this time, then went unplaced at the regional level.

Matt Kunkel, Aberdeen, Soph., 171 (26-5): He was first at Aberdeen and at the county meet, where he reversed an earlier loss, handing North Harford's Jeremy Mason (No. 4 in the state at the time) his first defeat. At his regional, he went 3-1, placing third.

Jeremy Mason, North Harford, Sr., 171 (28-2): He sailed through the regular season unbeaten, including firsts at North East, Friends and Overlea tournaments. His county loss made him a county runner-up for the second straight year. He was also a regional runner-up, losing the final to Terry Lawson (Overlea), whom he had pinned in an earlier meeting.

Steve Trancucci, John Carroll, Sr., 171, (24-8): His best outings were at Aberdeen and in the MIAA championships. He placed first at Aberdeen, beating Chad Duncan of Chesapeake-AA, a two-time county and regional champion, and Jeff Paul (Towson), a county and regional place-winner. He was the only member of his team to place in the MIAA's, getting third, then was fourth in the state tournament for private schools.

Tony Zeller, Joppatowne, Soph., 189 (29-2): Unheralded before the season started, improved rapidly with a second at North East, third at the Trott and first at Catonsville. In the postseason, he won county and regional crowns and capped the season with county and regional titles.

Jeremiah Albright, Bel Air, Jr., heavyweight (25-4): weight (25-4): In tournaments, he was first at John Carroll and the county, and second at Francis Scott Key. In his regional, he edged Larry Jaski (Eastern Tech) in one semifinal, then lost the final to Ben Fleming (North Carroll), a two-time Carroll County titlist.

Pub Date: 3/19/97

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