River Hill favored in 31st annual county wrestling meet

4-time champ Hammond, Atholton stand in way

six defending their titles

Howard notebook

High School

February 18, 2000|By Rick Belz and Stan Rappaport | Rick Belz and Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The 31st annual county wrestling tournament today and tomorrow shapes up as a three-team race, just as it did during the dual-meet season.

County dual-meet champ River Hill is the favorite to unseat four-time defending champ Hammond, with Atholton a significant threat.

River Hill upset Franklin in the dual-meet regionals and North Hagerstown in the dual-meet state semifinals before losing to Old Mill, the Class 3A-4A power from Anne Arundel County, by two points in the state finals last weekend.

Six wrestlers will defend their titles, headlined by River Hill's Brandon Lauer (29-0), who tries for his third straight county title. Lauer is 101-0 for his career and top-ranked in the area at 125 pounds.

Others attempting to repeat include Hammond's fourth-ranked Jason Freiert (28-6) at 112 pounds, River Hill's top-ranked Jason Fawcett (27-1) at 171 pounds and second-ranked Ryan Green (24-3) at 119 pounds, Atholton's fifth-ranked Adam Roth (26-4) at 145 pounds, and Oakland Mills' second-ranked Robert Scott (21-1) at heavyweight.

Here are some of the favorites and match-ups to look for:

103 pounds: Oakland Mills freshman Neil Nakagama appears to be the outright favorite.

112: Hammond's Freiert is the favorite to repeat as county champ, but Oakland Mills' Jason Orem and River Hill's Danny Allen might threaten.

119: River Hill's Ryan Green should win. Look for a great bout between Atholton's Mike Shoemaker and Wilde Lake's Matt Ennis in the semifinals.

125: A title rematch shapes up between Lauer and Atholton's Bryan Radik.

130: Hammond's Ryan Mackin is a prohibitive favorite. A good semifinal to watch should pit River Hill's Mike Dauberman against Wilde Lake's Rob Jackson.

135: River Hill's Mike Romano should reach the finals. Hammond's Joey Killo and Atholton's Robbie Allen should provide an interesting semifinal.

140: Long Reach's Nick Meyers is top seeded in what promises to be one of the most interesting weight classes. Two exciting semifinals should develop between Meyers and Hammond's Rob Osborn and River Hill's Matt Shevland vs. Mount Hebron's Owen Kurisch Shevland and Kurisch split two bouts this season.

145: A pair of excellent semifinals. River Hill's Adam Roth and Hammond's Will Shields should meet in one, with River Hill's Scott Buescher and Mount Hebron's Mike Mengel in the other. Buescher has beaten Mengel twice this year, but rallied late to do it.

152: Long Reach's Chuck Fries is top seeded. Hammond's Dominic Sessa is second, Wilde Lake's Jim DiPietro third.

160: Hammond's Kevin Chrapaty is top seeded, followed by River Hill's Mike Lignelli.

171: River Hill's Fawcett is the favorite to repeat. Atholton's Mark Carbone and Hammond's Rob Wallace should deliver an intriguing semifinal.

189: Wilde Lake's Mike Davis is top seeded. One of the tournament's best bouts should pit Atholton's Brian Mullinix against Howard's Joey Tortella in a semifinal.

Heavyweight: Top-seeded Rob Scott of Oakland Mill's is expected to meet second-seeded and defending county runner-up Karol Gryczynski of Mount Hebron in the final.

The semifinals are at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at River Hill with finals at 7 p.m. If weather cancels school today, the tournament will be held entirely on Saturday, with varsity semifinals then scheduled for 2: 30 and finals for 7: 45.

On the ice

Unbeaten club hockey teams Centennial and Atholton meet at 3: 30 p.m. today at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel.

Centennial (9-0) already has clinched the Howard Conference title -- and a likely first-round bye in the playoffs that begin next week -- in the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League. Atholton is ineligible, because it uses players from two schools, Atholton and Hammond.

Centennial coach Steve Berman won't be at today's game, turning the duties over to Todd Bailey. But Berman said his team will be ready.

"It would be pretty bad to go 9-0 and then lose the last game of the season," Berman said. "It would be a disappointment."

Berman said the Eagles have "played cohesively all year long." Senior captain Pat Schaeffer, a defenseman, has played well, as have two sets of brothers -- Charlie (senior) and Eddie (junior) Ryland and Phil (senior) and Mike (freshman) Down. Goalie Joey Collins has posted three shutouts.

Atholton coach Dennis Gottesmann said his team has played "surprisingly well, considering all the kids we lost from last year. We have some depth and play as a team."

Goalie Jason Milke and Elli Marlin and Adam Arnold anchor the defense. Offensive leaders include Danny Baron, Jason Moorstein, Colin Brumsted and Khalil Rivzli.

Atholton (8-0), expected to play in a playoff of provisional (multi-school) teams, is scheduled to play Wilde Lake next Tuesday.

Bielefeld to Towson

Hammond All-County soccer midfielder Martha Bielefeld has accepted a scholarship to attend Towson University. Bielefeld is the second county player to commit with Towson. River Hill's Natalie Klisas did so earlier this month.

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