Hammond Tournament is stacked with talent

McDonogh, Mt. St. Joe in 2-day, 12-team event


January 11, 2001|By Lem Satterfeld | Lem Satterfeld,SUN STAFF

McDonogh's Ryan Davis is bumping up to 140 pounds for tomorrow's Hammond Tournament. No matter what.

He already knows the weight class "is stacked," as he put it, with senior state champs Bryan Hamper of seventh-ranked South Carroll and Mikey Blake of 2A-1A state duals and tournament runner-up Kent County High.

It also includes Mount St. Joseph's two-time state runner-up, Ryan Herwig and the host school's undefeated county and region champ Ryan Mackin.

Davis, a sophomore who himself is a defending state champ, knows this, and doesn't care.

"I'm going up to 140," he said, very simply. "I'm going up because 140 is tougher."

Davis, one of several underclassmen on a talented and top-ranked McDonogh squad, welcomes the stiff competition that will certainly greet them tomorrow and Saturday in the sixth-annual, 12-team event.

The event features the No. 1 Eagles, third-ranked Mount St. Joseph, and South Carroll, Atholton and Franklin, ranked Nos. 7, 8 and 12, respectively among area teams.

The tournament also features William Penn, Delaware's Division I state champ, and Hodgson Vocational Tech, Delaware's Division II state champ. Overall, the event features 14 past and former individual state champions.

McDonogh will enter the tournament for the first time, led by Davis, state runner-up Chet Naylor (119) and highly-touted teammates Gabe Sataloff (125), Zak Johns (130), Ricky Tippett (135), Travis Holmes (145) and Geoff Miller (171).

Three Franklin High wrestlers, Matt Schuster (130) and Mays twins, Luke (160) and Sam (171), all were runners-up last year. Schuster and Luke Mays also were state runners-up last winter.

South Carroll's Bryan Hamper (140) and Mount St. Joseph's state champ, Sam Lewnes (152), also will be attempting to improve on last year's runner-up finish.

Other top wrestlers include Atholton's Doug Ramsey (103) and DeMatha's National Preps' champ, Kevin Gabrielson (152), each of whom is undefeated.

How tough is the Hammond Tournament?

Bullis of Montgomery County's Max Meltzer (125), a defending state and National Preps Tournament champ and the likely favorite in his weight class of this year's event, was pinned in last year's 103-pound finals.

Hamper, who pinned his way to the 4A-3A state title, lost by a technical fall in last year's Hammond Tournament finals, and Kent's state champ, Mikey Blake (140), finished only fourth in last year's event.

Marylanders were not the only wrestlers who lost at Hammond: Hodgson Vocational Tech's state champ, Jordan Sianni, the favorite at 119 pounds, was beaten in last year's Hammond finals as well. State champ Nate Crosby (171) of DeMatha, who also will be among the favorites in this year's event, finished third.

Gabrielson, coached by Elkridge resident Dick Messier, already has won the prestigious "Beast of The East" Tournament.

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