1997-98 Howard County wrestling previews

December 03, 1997|By Rick Belz

Atholton Raiders

1996-97 record: 4-8 overall, 4-5 league

Coach: Bruce Lindblad

Top wrestlers: Wade Zancan, 160, Sr.; Brian Rdik, 103, Fr.; Brian Mullinix, 171, Soph.; David Loeffler, 112, Soph.; David Scimonelli, 119, Sr.; Adam Roth, 125, Fr.; Tony Bell, 135, Jr.; Tim Kremmenochl, 152, Jr.

Outlook: The Raiders graduated four state qualifiers and expect to field a young squad, starting two freshmen and two sophomores. The team has no one at 189 pounds or at heavyweight, and must fill spots at 130, 140 and 145 from among junior varsity wrestlers as the season progresses. Until then, expect forfeits in six of the 13 weight classes. The program has 28 wrestlers. Zancan, the county runner-up at 147 pounds, and a regional champ, made The Sun's second-team All-County squad and will be Atholton's top wrestler. This is Lindblad's fourth season as head coach.

Centennial Eagles

1996-87 record: 6-7 overall, 4-5 league

Coach: Todd DeCrispino

Top wrestlers: Justin Rix, 189, Sr.; Glenn Paik, 125, Sr.; Nick Sabatini, 119, Sr.; Yeoshen Tsui, 135, Sr.; John Anacker, 171, Sr.; Ben Hempler, 112, Fr.; Devin Tang, 103, Sr.

Outlook: Rix is a strong wrestler who lost in the county semifinals and was fourth in the regionals. Paik should blossom this season. Otherwise, the Eagles lack proven wrestlers, as well as depth, and that will slow the building process. The team has 28 wrestlers. "It will be a struggling year," said DeCrispino. "I have only one wrestler in some weight classes."

Glenelg Gladiators

1996-97 record: 6-5-1 overall, 5-3-1 league

Coach: Scott Hunt

Top wrestlers: Jimmy O'Connor, 145, Sr.; Peter Bourg, 160, Sr.; John Clark, 125, Jr.

Outlook: O'Connor won the Class 1A/2A state 135-pound title with a 32-0 record, and was The Sun's Howard County Co-Wrestler of the Year, as well as a first-team All-Metro pick. Bourg finished third in the county. But the Gladiators won't be as strong after graduating four-time county champ and two-time state champ Jeremy Lignelli, as well as county champ Kevin Ferguson and county runner-up David Ferguson. The Gladiators have only 23 wrestlers, and are looking for a heavyweight. Hunt, 28, is Glenelg's fifth coach in five years. He was a state champ (1986) and state runner-up (1987) at Oakland Mills and previously was assistant coach at Western Maryland College for one season and Suitland High for a season. "It's not every day you get a chance to coach a program that has an undefeated wrestler coming back," Hunt said.

Hammond Golden Bears

1996-97 record: 15-2 overall, 9-0 league (county dual-meet and tournament champs)

Coach: Bill Smith

Top wrestlers: Vaymond Dennis, 112, Jr.; Jared Zillmer, 119, Jr.; Scott Osborn, 130, Sr.; Dan Embrey, 135, Jr.; Mark Read, 145, Jr.; Adam Clark, 160, Sr.; Randy Curtin, 171, Sr.; Josh Law, 140, Sr.; Kyle Peddicord, 189, Sr.; Joe Stevens, 125, Jr.; Matt Nelson, HW, Jr.

Outlook: The Bears are the team to beat, not only for county honors, but also for the state title. It's not hard to understand why they have high expectations. Zillmer was a county champ. Dennis, Osborn, Clark and Curtin were county runner-ups. Embrey, Read and Nelson finished third in the county. And Peddicord finished fourth. Zillmer won the region and Denis was a runner-up. Stevens and Clark finished third in the region. Nelson, Curtin and Osborn finished fourth in the region.

Howard Lions

1996-97 record: 4-10 overall, 4-5 league

Coach: Roger Colon

Top wrestlers: Brian Frank, 130, Jr.; Matt Mongello, 125, Jr.; Jimmy Dean, 119, Soph.; Joey Tortella, 160, Soph.

Outlook: The Lions have only 18 wrestlers, the smallest squad in the county. At this point, they cannot fill six weight classes at 103, 119, 145, 171, 189 or heavyweight. "It will be hard to win any dual meets," Colon said. "We had five kids move away. We have some good individual talent but are very young. We should be in good shape by next season." Mongello finished third in the county and fourth in the region. Frank finished fourth in the county. Dean was undefeated (9-0) on the junior varsity and varsity (2-0). Tortella is expected to be improved after attending Loch Haven and Dan Gable camps this summer.

Long Reach Lightning

1996-97 record: 2-12 overall, 1-8 league

Coach: William Flick

Top wrestlers: J.C. Porter, 125, Jr.; Joe Filipowicz, 199, Jr.; Jeff Carter, 112, Sr.; John Sherrod, 160, Jr.; Mike Augustine, 160, Soph.

Outlook: Porter won the county championship last season at 112 pounds, and won the county tournament's outstanding wrestler award. But he was the only Long Reach wrestler to advance to the finals or semifinals, as the Lightning finished last at the county tournament. Porter finished third in the region. Long Reach has a squad of 30 wrestlers. "I expect to field a full varsity," said Flick, who replaced Ed Ashwell. "But we have a lot of inexperience." Flick coached at Parkdale for the past eight years, and wrestled for a high school in Pennsylvania and at Loch Haven University.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1996-97 record: 0-12 overall; 0-9 league

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