Anne Arundel wrestling previews

December 06, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham

Public schools

Annapolis Panthers

1997-98 record: 2-8-1

Coach: Dave Gehrdes

Top wrestlers: Dan Hemminger, Sr., 119; Andrew Hemminger, Sr., 152; Steve Gioffre, Jr., 160; John Dalby, Sr., 125/130; B. J. Zedera, Soph., 103; Ed Parsley, Jr., 171/189.

Outlook: Gehrdes expects his Panthers to improve. The Hemminger twins are a good starting point. Andrew was first-team All-County last season, going 30-4 with county and region titles at 145. Dan held his own at 112, one of the county's toughest weight classes. A lot of the same wrestlers are back at the lower weights, and the heavier weights are a strength. "Last season, we lost four matches that came down to the heavyweight. We should be able to turn those around. We're healthy and deeper all the way through," said Gehrdes.

Arundel Wildcats

1997-98 record: 13-2

Coach: Buddy Hepfer

Top wrestlers: Pat Ortman, Sr., 130; Jeff Blachly, Sr., hwt.; Greg Klingler, Sr., 145; Matt Neidig, Sr., 171.

Outlook: "We'll be above average but no powerhouse. You only have teams like [last season's] every so often," said Hepfer, referring to his senior-laden Class 3A-4A state tournament champions. The Wildcats return some quality performers to go with JV newcomers. Ortman and Blachly were region champs and state runners-up. Klingler and Neidig add experience, but Ortman's steady points will be vital. "He's a four-year kid who earned his wings. He has experience, heart and takes a lot of pride in what he does," said Hepfer. "We'll put [the JV graduates] in there and let them go. It depends on how fast they come along."

Broadneck Bruins

1997-98 record: 3-11

Coach: Fred Yelton

Top wrestlers: Jake Dove, Soph., 112; Ricky Boulay, Jr., 125; Jimmy Melton, Jr., 130; Reid Bloomfield, Jr., 152; Adam Waddell, Sr., hwt.

Outlook: After ending last season with 19 wrestlers, Yelton has 49 for his second season. "With numbers, you have competition," he said. "There's a lot of intensity and enthusiasm in the room." Dove will set the tone early, with Melton, Bloomfield and Waddell anchoring the lineup. Boulay, a St. Mary's transfer, was 23-10 last winter. The return of injured sophomore Ben Cefaratti, out for three to six weeks, will help at 140 or 145.

Chesapeake Cougars

1997-98 record: 6-7

Coach: Tom Slichter

Top wrestlers: Matt Eveleth, Jr., 103; Jeff Eveleth, Jr., 112; Rex Miller, Sr., 119; John Mosca, Jr., 152; Tyrone Carter, Sr., hwt.

Outlook: One Eveleth was tough enough; now there are two. In his first varsity season last winter, Jeff was 29-6 at 103, a region champion, county runner-up and sixth statewide. He's moving up in the lineup, with brother Matt taking over at 103. "They're hard workers who never quit in that room. They're like machines, and it rubs off," said Slichter, who has 22 wrestlers. Mosca showed potential with a county semifinal upset last season of North County's WT Aye, a state champion who graduated. Carter, a standout football nose guard, brings intensity at heavyweight. George Maize (160), Cris Elliott (130), Mike Slichter (140) and Josh Metzer (135) can make impacts.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1997-98 record: 0-12

Coach: Jay Braunstein

Top wrestlers: Jason Ledger, Soph., 125; Scott Nugyen, Jr., 130; Dave Webster, Jr., 135; Justin Williams, Jr., 152.

Outlook: Braunstein, an assistant at wrestling-rich Old Mill the last nine seasons, starts from scratch at Glen Burnie, winless for two winters. Only 13 of 63 interested in October made the roster; after-school jobs took many of the rest. Only 11 made varsity, leaving two weights unfilled. "Short-term, we just want to make every kid better," said Braunstein. Williams, Webster, Nugyen and Ledger are his foundation.

Meade Mustangs

1997-98 record: 7-4

Coach: Charles Slider

Top wrestlers: Matt Pandullo, Sr., 119; Rene Rangel, Sr., 130; Kareem Fernandez, Jr., 140; Chris Whipple, Sr., 140/145; Mark Whipple, Sr., 152.

Outlook: Slider, an assistant under prior coach Pat Arvidson, brings an extensive background that includes coaching in Germany, Italy and Michigan. Pandullo, a second-team All-Metro pick who was 32-4 and fourth in the state last season, is part of a strong foundation. "He's becoming a technician, knowing how to set an opponent up. He can make them make mistakes and then work on it," said Slider.

North County Knights

1997-98 record: 9-5

Coach: Larry Radford

Top wrestlers: Brian Coe, Jr., 103; Pate Karopchinsky, Sr., 112; Rob Byrd, Soph., 130; Tavon Owens, Soph., 140; Matt Lathroum, Jr., 145.

Outlook: "This will be our learning season, and next season will be our rewarding season," said Radford. Lathroum, 16-17 last season, is the most experienced returnee. Coe and Owens got (( some varsity mat time last season. Karopchinsky is a senior leader.

Northeast Eagles

1997-98 record: 11-3

Coach: Al Kohlhafer

Top wrestlers: Bobby Couch, Sr., 125/130; Don Jarmer, Sr., 130; Dominic Serio, Sr., 135; Gino Serio, Soph., 135; Josh Diffendall, Sr., 145; James Bowman. Soph., 160; Tom Cain, Sr., 189; Jim Taylor, Sr., hwt.

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