1997-98 All-Baltimore City/County wrestling team

March 12, 1998|By Lem Satterfield

Co-Coach of the Year

Bruce Malinowski, Overlea: Sixth-year coach Malinowski, a former state champ who was 75-1-1, career at Kenwood, coached his first county and regional tournament team champion and his first individual state champ (Terry Lawson). Overlea county crown was its first since 1979, and it edged Owings Mills in the region by 1/2 point after heavyweight Joe Smith's close decision for fifth place. "The pieces were in place after Joe decided to go from 189 to heavyweight," said Malinowski, whose Falcons also won their first-ever Patapsco tournament and crowned region champs Lawson, Derrick Oxendine (145), Jason Laubach (112) and Justin Mitchell (189). Lauback is the first freshman county and region champ for the Falcons (12-3), who placed a school-record 10 wrestlers at regions.

Co-Coach of the Year

Alan Gebhart, Archbishop Curley: Knowing the talent on this year's squad, Gebhart sought out and beat Maryland's best. And with knowledgable assistants Tim Schoen, Kirk Salvo, Dan Robinson and Scott Osborn, he vaulted the Friars to their first No.1 area and state ranking, along with the private schools' state title. Archbishop Curley whipped 91 different Maryland opponents, including this year's Class 1A-2A duals and tournament champ Hammond, this year's Class 3A-4A tournament champ, Arundel, and National Preps champ DeMatha. Archbishop Curley also beat last year's Class 1A-2A duals and tournament champ Lackey and last year's CLass 3A-4A tournament champ Sherwood, KO'd last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champ Mount St. Joseph and this year's MIAA champ Calvert Hall. Archbishop Curley, winner of its own Catholic Invitational for the first time ever, suffered its only in-state losses by a combined 2 1/2 points against St. Joe (dual meet) and MIAA champ Calvert Hall (tournament). The wins over DeMatha and St. Joe were the first for Archbishop Curley, which set school records in tournament titles (six), individual wins (438), and team pins (216) and takedowns (707). Archbishop Curley's fifth place finish at National Preps also was its highest ever.

Wrestler of the Year

Jason Leneau, Boys' Latin: Ranked No. 1 in the state at 171 pounds, Leneau went 46-1 this year and improved his school-record career victory totals to 130. Ranked No. 2, nationally in the preseason, Leneau won his third MIAA crown, his second private school state title and was runner-up at the National Preps tournament for the second time in his career. Leneau was 39-0 after his last-second, 11-9, state-title win over then No. 2-ranked National Preps champ Wes Cummings of DeMatha, a two-time state champ who later edged Leneau at Preps. Leneau was chosen as the outstanding wrestler in tournaments at the private schools states, Damascus and Archbishop Curley. As a junior, Leneau, headed for the University of Virginia to play lacrosse, was the MIAA tournament's outstanding wrestler. He also had wins this year over third-ranked, two-time city champ Leonard Bridgeforth (Patterson, third states), fourth-ranked state champ Terry Lawson (Overlea) and pinned sixth-ranked region champ Quinton Milroe (Oakland Mills) in less than a minute.

The first team

Mike Boettcher, Archbishop Curley, Sr., 140 pounds (47-3): Ranked No. 2 in the state, Boettcher was a three-time MIAA champ, state runner-up after twice winning titles, and fourth at the National Preps. Boettcher scored 66 takedowns and had 23 pins, along the way beating Gwynn Park's Hardnett twins, region champ Brandyn and state runner-up Ivan; two-time Montgomery County champ and state runner-up Anthony Gigliotti (Sherwood), MIAA runner-up Kyle Chiaverini (St. Joe) and Arundel's county and region runner-up Steve Banvard. Boettcher, who also pinned Class 1A-2A runner-up Dennis Perry (Dunbar), has school records for career wins (141), career takedowns (215) and pins (68), along with single-season records for wins (47) and pins (23). Boettcher, with 1,330 on his SATs, has appointments to the Army, Navy and Air Force academies.

Paul Boettcher, Archbishop Curley, Jr. 152 (39-5): Ranked No. 4 in the state, Paul ranks No. 2 on the team in career wins (95), and could be on pace to eclipse his brother with an exemplary season next year. Boettcher beat St. Joe's National Preps runner-up Ron Cooper (at 152 pounds), Arundel's county and region champ Graham Harris, two-time county and region champ Mike Muller (South Carroll), Lackey's SMAC champ Duante Neal (fourth at states) and Aberdeen's region runner-up John Ishibashi (fourth at states). He was an MIAA and state runner-up and third at National Preps.

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