Patterson pinning down place among state's best

Wrestling: Dan Patterson's 116 career wins rank No. 1 all time at South Carroll, the last of which has helped the undefeated Cavaliers gain momentum toward a team title.

January 28, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

In four years at South Carroll, the Cavaliers' 135-pound Dan Patterson has faced some of the fiercest wrestlers Maryland and Delaware has had to offer.

And to have lost only 13 times during that stretch is a laudable feat. Even more impressive is that six of those setbacks have come against state champs or runners-up, according to his coach. In addition, Patterson has more career victories than any wrestler ever to don a South Carroll uniform.

"He's lost to guys from St. Mark's, St. Joe, some of the best guys out there," coach Peter Olson said. "But in all of those matches, he's never gotten rattled. Down by a couple points, he'll say, `OK, let's see what I can do to you.' And he's just so consistent."

Patterson ranks No. 1 all time on the Cavaliers' career victories list with 116, the last of which came with a pin in Friday night's 42-18 rout at Carroll County league rival North Carroll, ranked No. 5 by The Sun among metro area teams.

His win, the first of four pins garnered by South Carroll in the dual, sparked his squad, which lost only four of 13 matches to North Carroll.

Patterson's victory not only put the Cavaliers (12-0 overall, 3-0 in the league) in the driver's seat for the county dual meet crown with just Westminster left to wrestle, but also gave South Carroll the inside track to the No. 1 seed for the 4A-3A state duals tournament.

One of the Cavaliers' captains, Patterson focused more on the team after Friday's match.

"I hope we can win states at the end," he said.

At the same time, Patterson downplayed his pin of the Panthers' Randy Schreck, which improved his record on the year to 22-1.

"I just go out there, do my best, win my matches for the team," Patterson said. "I don't worry about the amount of pins, the amount of career wins. I don't think about that stuff."

Patterson's only loss this year was a wild 17-12 decision at the hands of Hammond's No. 2-ranked Ryan Mackin at the Hammond Invitational Tournament, ranked among the nation's top 30 tournaments.

Mackin is an accomplished wrestler in his own right, having lost twice in 28 bouts this year to Old Mill's defending state champ, Adam DeCosmo, and Delaware state champ Mike Welch.

But Patterson said a shoulder injury to 125-pound teammate, Kellen Webber, the team's single-season takedown leader with 66 this year, took something away from his ability to prepare for Mackin, a well-rounded opponent.

"He's [Mackin] tough, especially on his feet, and I didn't have Kellen to wrestle with that week, which hurt me a little bit," Patterson said. "I knew it was a real tough tournament. I tried to go in, wrestle my matches, hoped to win. But my main goal is to try and win states at the end."

Patterson has twice won county and region titles, and twice finished third at the 4A-3A state tournament.

A year ago, he reached the state semifinals before losing an 8-3 decision to eventual champ DeCosmo, who last weekend defeated Mackin, 3-2.

Patterson won't have to deal with Mackin again -- the Hammond wrestler will compete for the 2A-1A state crown -- but no doubt will have to contend with the undefeated DeCosmo.

But dealing with top-notch opponents is something Patterson is used to.

He's beaten Atholton's state runner-up, Bryan Radik -- The Sun's No. 1-ranked wrestler at 130 pounds -- three times since losing to him as a freshman. And in the Arundel Tournament semifinals, Patterson ground out a one-point victory over the host school's fifth-ranked Ryan Lowder.

Patterson said he's looking forward to the prospect of facing DeCosmo again.

"I enjoy the competition, it's what makes you better," Patterson said. "Wherever Coach [Olson] tells me to go, that's where I'm going. You don't want to run from the competition, or you're not going to have fun. You should always be out there trying to go as hard and as tough as you can."

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