South, North Carroll: strength in numbers

Cavs, Panthers in hunt for team honors and individual crowns

High School

March 02, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

With three regional champions, one runner-up and one third-place finisher, South Carroll appears to have the best chance among Carroll County teams of bringing home a team state championship in the two-day state meet that gets under way today at Western Maryland College.

But North Carroll, with one regional champ, qualified six wrestlers and is also hopeful, as Fran Jackson (145) shoots for his third individual state championship.

South Carroll 135-pounder Dan Patterson (32-1) and 125-pounder Kellen Weber (26-3), both coming off Class 4A-3A North region championship efforts, might find their toughest matches in the semifinals against defending state champs from Chesapeake-AA. Patterson would meet Adam DeCosmo (34-0), and Weber would face Matt Eveleth (28-0).

And Travis Mohlhenrich (25-5), another region champ, is shooting for a title at 152 pounds, but is considered more of a long shot to become a state champ than Patterson or Weber. His toughest opponent would be Adam James (31-0) of Paint Branch. The two wouldn't meet until the finals.

Brian Hamper (28-6), second in the region this season but a state champ last year, needs to get past Arundel's Mike Money (26-1) in the 140-pound quarterfinals.

Josh Wampler (23-8), third in the region, is in a tough 145-pound weight class with the likes of North Carroll's Jackson (26-2), who defeated him at the county tournament, 17-0.

"We only have five [qualifiers], but all five of ours can place and if they do, then we're in the hunt," Cavaliers coach Pete Olson said. "I look at Paint Branch and Old Mill as having a number of good wrestlers, and Franklin should place three in the finals with the Mays brothers [Luke and Sam] and [Matt] Schuster."

North Carroll coach Bryan Wetzel said he's hoping to put two wrestlers in the finals, and that two more can place.

"If you can do that, then you can win," he said.

Jackson (26-2) is obviously North Carroll's best bet to reach the finals. The junior has 20 pins this season and a career record of 90-6.

"He entered states both his freshman and sophomore seasons with two losses, and has two losses now, so that's a good omen," Wetzel said. "He's never lost a match at states."

Jackson's only losses this season were by default to Tom Boetcher of Curley because of a bad knee, and by one point to a wrestler from Pennsylvania. Jackson is a three-time county and regional champ who was dismissed from the team last season along with four teammates after it was determined they broke the Carroll County athletic code of conduct.

His toughest opponent should be Wayne Boward (28-0) of Williamsport in the finals.

"If our team wrestles as well as it did last weekend, then we should do all right," Jackson said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Pat Maloff (25-6) upset defending state champ Trent Dixon of Eastern Tech to finish second at regionals at 112 pounds for North Carroll. "I wouldn't be surprised if he [Maloff] makes the finals," Wetzel said.

Ross Bell (24-7) finished third at regionals at 119, and Wetzel is also hopeful that Bell can reach the finals.

Tyler Graham (23-8) finished third at 125 pounds, and could wind up meeting Weber of South Carroll. "I think Graham is in a good spot," Wetzel said. "When it gets to this level, it all depends on who has a good weekend."

The Panthers also have Kyle Smith (19-5) at 130 pounds and Ryan Dell (21-11) at 189 pounds. Smith was third at regionals and Dell was fourth.

Adam Tenney (119) and Jon Burger (160) will represent Westminster. Tenney (27-4) finished second at the Class 4A-3A North regional and Burger (27-5) was third.

Francis Scott Key will be represented by Lee Crowl (112), Josh Kelleman (125), Jason Bloom (160) and Josh Velte (152). Crowl (24-7), Kelleman (20-6) and Bloom (21-8) finished third in the Class 2A-1A West Region, and Velte (13-2) was fourth.

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