Seniors Kyle Burger and Mike Muller and sophomores Dan Patterson and Fran Jackson, all regional champions, and all in the Class 3A-4A portion of the meet, are among the top Carroll County entries competing in the 30th annual state wrestling tournament at Western Maryland College this weekend.
Today's program for the separate Class 1A-2A and Class 3A-4A championships begins at 2: 30 p.m. with preliminaries, followed by the quarterfinals at 7: 30 p.m.
The action resumes at 10 a.m. tomorrow with consolations. The championship semifinals are listed for noon, and the championship matches for first-second; third-fourth; and fifth-sixth are set for 5 p.m.
Burger (29-2 at 135 pounds), a three-time county champion from Westminster, will be trying to improve on a fourth place of a year ago, and Muller (30-4, 152), from South Carroll, another three-time county titlist, returns with something to prove after being sidelined in last year's preliminaries.
Patterson (29-2, 112), South Carroll, a county and regional champion after getting away from nemesis Jackson, will be seeking a placing after going 2-2 and missing by one bout last year.
Jackson (24-2, 125), North Carroll, will be after a second successive sweep of county, regional and state titles.
Last year, as freshmen at 103 pounds, Jackson beat Patterson for county and regional titles.
Of the four, perhaps Muller's fire burns the hottest.
"I have a lot to prove to myself and others -- proving I belong," he said after winning his regional final at Fallston last week.
A year ago, at 28-3, he was flattened by Chopticon's Miles Mattingly (23-14), who then failed to advance, thus eliminating Muller. A preliminary loser whose victor wins in the quarterfinals, stays alive in the consolation bracket.
As was the case for Jackson and Patterson a year ago, the county once again has an outstanding 103-pounder, one who has been a fraternal part of this tournament for years.
Nate Yinger, a Francis Scott Key freshman, brings a county-best 21-1 record to his first state meet. In his mind, however, he has been there, because older brothers Zac (two) and Matt (one) won state titles as Key students.
Matt's win came a year ago, when, at 28-0, he was county Wrestler of the Year.
Nate, whose only loss came against Hammond's Jason Freiert in the Howard school's tournament, opens against Shawn Simms (24-14) from Lansdowne. Freiert (33-3) is in the opposite half of the draw. County entries:
Class 1A-2A Francis Scott Key: 103--Nate Yinger; 112--Brian Owings; 140--Clint Day; 145--Ronnie Howard; Hwt.--Greg Frech.
Class 3A-4A Liberty: 140--Mark Richard; 160--Rick Skelly.
North Carroll: 103--Kyle Smith; 119--Ross Bell; 125--Fran Jackson; 145--Wyatt Deiaco; 152--Mike Bezanson; 189--Anton Enrique.
South Carroll: 103--Kellen Weber; 112--Dan Patterson; 119--Buddy Olson; 130--Bryan Hamper; 152--Mike Muller; 160--Brad Mann; 171--Chris Currence; 189--Leroy Eyler.
Westminster: 125--Chris Reiter; 130--Sam Hughes; 135--Kyle Burger; 145--John Muse.
Pub Date: 3/05/99