1999-2000 All-Anne Arundel County wrestling

March 08, 2000|By GLENN P. GRAHAM

Wrestler of the Year

Jeff Eveleth, Chesapeake: The senior's calculated 7-1 decision over Franklin's Matt Schuster in the Class 4A-3A 119-pound state final -- which completed a 34-0 season and provided a second straight state crown -- was vintage Eveleth. A classic technician, hard worker and leader by example, Eveleth was the starting point in the Cougars' claiming the team title. "One of the things I said to the team at the start of the season was if anyone thinks they have it tough, look to Jeff, because he does have it tough," said Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter. "Everybody was gunning for him right from the start. For him to go undefeated and win another state title is a tough thing to do. The pressure was on, and Jeff responded." The pressure was indeed on and Eveleth always stayed calm and collected, which became a trademark in a three-year varsity career that produced a 94-8 record. The 94 wins rank second on the school's all-time list.

Coach of the Year

Vern Hines, Old Mill: The Patriots' rich tradition has continued under Hines, who took over for longtime coach Mike Hampe two years ago. This season, Hines led Old Mill to the Class 4A-3A Dual Meet State Championship, the program's second of its kind and eighth overall, counting six tournament crowns. The Patriots, who went 17-0 in dual meets, continued to dominate the county, capturing the county tournament by a 220-187 margin over runner-up Chesapeake. Hines, who has promoted a more attacking style, had to replace seven starters from last year's county championship team. He's fast to credit assistant coaches Brian Leitzel, Wayne Hicks and Marc Procaccini for their effort in the practice room. "Half of our starting lineup had no junior league experience, so they're developed in our own practice room," said Hines. A prime example is the fine seasons seniors Dwayne Jones, Scott Roberts and junior Adam Dayton had in producing a combined 65 wins. All three didn't start wrestling until their sophomore years.

The first team

Alex Bitzer, Annapolis Area Christian: The junior 152-pounder enjoyed a breakthrough season in his third year on varsity, going 27-11 and 7-0 against county competition. Bitzer had first-place finishes in the Ed Peery Tournament and at the Delaware County Christian Schools Tournament in Philadelphia. Included in his seven wins against area foes were two against Northeast senior Ken Kanownik, who captured the public school's county championship.

Ricky Boulay, Broadneck: The leader of a blue-collar Broadneck team that went 14-2 on the season, Boulay finished the season 31-4, winning a region title, placing second in the county and fourth at states. A sound defensive wrestler, Boulay was tough to score points. The Bruins senior had an impressive showing in winning the Annapolis Tournament, defeating Mount St. Joseph's Alex Kocay in the final.

Antoine Cooksey, Old Mill: With his upper body strength, quickness and attacking style, Cooksey was smooth on the mat, finishing the season with a 35-4 mark that included county and region titles and a second straight fourth-place showing at states. Cooksey and takedowns went hand-in-hand. The Old Mill captain finished his three-year varsity career with more than 300 takedowns, easily surpassing the program's previous mark of 218 set by 1991 grad Brent Layman. In those three seasons, he totaled 89 wins.

Adam DeCosmo, Old Mill: A state runner-up as a sophomore, DeCosmo reached the next level this season with an 11-9 decision over Westlake's Jon Peters to win his first state crown. Methodical on the mat and always wrestling at his pace, DeCosmo went 35-2 this season with 14 pins, also capturing county and region crowns. With 92 wins in his first three years, he's on pace to break Chris Combs' school record of 120.

Matt Eveleth, Chesapeake: The sophomore standout completed a 34-0 season with a gutsy 4-3 decision over Magruder senior Matt Heincelman in the state final. In doing so, he became the third Eveleth brother (Brian in 1991 and Jeff in 1999 and this year) to win a state title, a state first. Physical and tenacious, Eveleth finished with a school-record 23 pins and wasn't put on his back all season. A state runner-up as a freshman, Eveleth is 65-3 in two seasons.

Dan Fitzgerald, Severna Park: The Falcons captain improved with every season, closing out a sturdy four-year career (91-45) with a county crown and third-place finish at states this year. Fitzgerald set the tone for a young Severna Park team in the practice room and did the same on the mat, going 28-7 with a direct, non-stop approach. After taking sixth at states as a junior, he ground out an 8-6 decision over Broadneck's Ricky Boulay to take third place. He finished his career with a 91-45 mark.

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