1997-98 All-Metro wrestling teams

March 18, 1998|By LEM SATTERFIELD

Wrestler of the Year

Jason Leneau, Boys' Latin, Sr., 171 (46-1): Top-ranked Leneau, with a school-record 130 career wins, was ranked No. 2 nationally. He won his third MIAA crown, his second state title and was runner-up at the National Preps 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 (DeMatha), a two-time state champ. Leneau was The Outstanding Wrestler in events at the state tournament, Damascus and Curley. As a junior, Leneau, headed for the University of Virginia to play lacrosse, was the MIAA tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. Leneau this year beat third-ranked, two-time city champ Leonard Bridgeforth (Patterson), fourth-ranked state champ Terry Lawson (Overlea) and pinned sixth-ranked region champ Quinton Milroe (Oakland Mills). The 3.4 student is the Lakers' SGA parliamentarian, a debate club member and a school chorus baritone

Coach of the Year

Alan Gebhart, Curley: Never a wrestler, Gebhart learned what he knows about the sport by attending clinics and reading books. He organized tough practices and delegated authority to knowledgeable assistants Tim Schoen, Kirk Salvo, Dan Robinson and Scott Osborn. "He's a good teacher and knows how to get your attention," said 145-pound junior Matt Charvat, adding that Gebhart uses famous quotes, passages and "is a good motivator." The Friars earned their first-ever No. 1 area and state ranking by beating Maryland's best, winning their first-ever private schools' state title. Curley whipped this year's 1A-2A duals and tournament champ Hammond, this year's 3A-4A tournament champ Arundel, and National Preps champ DeMatha. Curley also beat last year's 1A-2A duals and tournament champ Lackey and last year's 3A-4A tournament champ Sherwood. The Friars disposed of last year's MIAA champ Mount St. Joseph and this year's MIAA champ Calvert Hall. Winner of its own Catholic Invitational for the first time ever, Curley suffered its only in-state losses by a combined 2 1/2 points against St. Joe (dual meet) and Calvert Hall (tournament). The wins over DeMatha and St. Joe were Curley's first-ever. The Friars' fifth-place at National Preps was their highest ever.

The first team

WT Aye, North County, Sr., 152 (28-2): Aye became his program's first 3A-4A state champion with his 9-5 decision over then-No. 2-ranked Ivan Zdanov of Frederick. Aye, now ranked No. 1 in the state, was the underdog against Zdanov, an earlier 4-0 winner over 1A-2A state champ Roy Orr (Rising Sun). Aye took 1: 05 to pin Aberdeen's sixth-ranked Harford County and region runner-up Chris Orio (28-1 coming in), and beat Carroll County champ John Muse (Westminster), 14-1.

Mike Boettcher, Curley, Sr., 140 (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 pinned 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 (1,330 SAT) is considering the Army, Navy and Air Force academies.

Chris Combs, Old Mill, Jr., 119 (24-2): Ranked No. 1 in the state, Combs wrestled 112 and 119. He continued his quest to become the Patriots' first three-time 3A-4A state champ, winning his second crown over Bladensburg's county and region champ Kevin Bryant (34-1 coming in) by 12-5. Other big wins came over 1A-2A champ Nick Alley (Southern), three-time Carroll County and region champ Bobby Biden (Westminster) and 3A-4A 119-pound state runner-up Pat Ortman (Arundel).

Rob Connolly, Arundel, Sr., 160 (35-0): This county, region and state champ was a master of the cradle pinning combination. No. 1- ranked Connolly, Anne Arundel County's Wrestler of the Year, beat North County's state champ WT Aye, Eastern Tech's two-time county champ Hector Santana, Chesapeake-AA's county and region runner-up Keath Puller (three times), South Carroll's two-time county champ Jason Hamper (twice) and pinned McDonough-Charles County's third-place state finisher David Young. Connolly was third at states as a junior.

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