Wrestler of the Year
135 - Ryan Davis, McDonogh: Teammates nicknamed him "Pigpen" for his unkempt locker; many others simply call the sophomore "The truth." Often the first wrestler to initiate combat in a match, "the best thing about" Ryan Davis, said his coach, Pete Welch, "is his game face and intensity. He gets in there and wins matches, mentally." Davis (42-3, 21 pins this year, 81-7 career) won his second straight MIAA and private schools state titles, his first National Preps crown, and tournaments at Hammond, McDonogh, St. Benedict (N.J.) and the Capitol Challenge in Virginia. Davis, who was fifth at the Beast of The East - deemed the nation's No. 1 invitational tournament - after losing decisions by a combined 14-6, also had wins this year over at least eight state place winners from wrestlers from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and New Jersey. Davis twice defeated state champ Ryan Herwig of Mount St. Joseph, and beat two-time New Jersey champ Zak Stevens, Tennesee champ Whitt Casey, two-time state champ Bryan Hamper (South Carroll) and Virginia state runner-up Ben Guerrina of Woodberry Forest.
Coaches of the Year
Alan J. Gephart, Archbishop Curley: The 10th-year head coach led the Friars (12-1) to a school-record five first-place finishes in tournaments at MIAAs, private school states, Jefferson (W.Va.), Fort Hill and Arundel. A runner-up at its own tournament to Delaware power St. Mark's, the Friars crowned Mark Frey (112), Kevin Artis (119), Tom Boettcher (145), Rob Miller (160) and Eric Oppel (189) at MIAAs. Curley, whose squad had only four seniors, was third at the National Preps tournament, placing more wrestlers (eight) and scoring more points (130.5) than ever. Gephart has had 150 individual tournament champs.
Troy Stevenson, Patterson: The sixth-year coach won his fifth straight Baltimore City dual meet and tournament title, tied then-fifth-ranked regional tournament champ Arundel in a regional dual meet and improved his career record to 74-15 (13-2 this year). His best wrestler, Caleb Moore (152), won his second straight city crown, took the regional title and was third at states, an improvement on last winter's fourth-place effort. Patterson, whose lineup included six first-year wrestlers, crowned city champs Moore, Paul Eline (119), Antoine Harrison (140), Greg Murray (135) and Chris Price (171), who joined Moore as a regional champ.
The first team
103 - Jim Van Daniker, Perry Hall: A former four-time junior league state finalist who won three titles before entering this, his sophomore year, Van Daniker (33-3, 18 pins, two technical falls) exhibited poise and savvy beyond his years. Van Daniker won the Fallston, John Carroll, Overlea and 4A-3A regional tournaments, was second at counties and fourth at states. Among his wins, Van Daniker scored a technical fall over Carroll County champ Sam Shreck; split with Anne Arundel county champ Corey Bowers (Chesapeake-AA); and nearly upset Churchill's unbeaten state champ Danny April in an exciting 8-7 state semifinal loss.
112 - Mark Frey, Archbishop Curley: The sophomore went 32-4 with 17 pins, including two victories over National Preps champ Rudy Ruda (DeMatha), one over West Virginia's fourth-place state finisher and a major decision over North Carroll's regional runner-up Pat Maloff (sixth states). Frey captured his first MIAA and private schools state titles, won tournaments at Jefferson (W.Va.) and Arundel and was runner-up at the Curley tournament to Delaware state runner-up Bobby Shaw (St. Mark's).
112 - Nick Ramsel, Perry Hall: The sophomore went 36-1, his only loss being in overtime against Westlake's Chris Moore, the eventual state champ by 9-7 in the state semifinals. Ramsel won the Fallston, John Carroll and Overlea tournaments; twice defeated last year's state champ, Trent Dixon, once via major decision; and blanked Carroll County champ Pat Maloff of North Carroll in the region finals. Ramsel was county and region champ and placed third at states.
119 - Kevin Artis, Archbishop Curley: The senior went 35-5 with nine pins, finishing first at the MIAA, Arundel and Jefferson (W.Va.) tournaments, second at the private schools state and Curley tournaments and third at the National Preps tournament - the latter for the second straight year. Artis improved to 6-0 versus McDonogh's Chet Naylor, who was second at private school states last year, and also defeated Mount St. Joseph's Devin Nash, a state place winner last winter. Artis is a technician on the mat.
125 - Mike Weber, Sparrows Point: The junior won his second county and regional crowns and was a state runner-up after winning it as a sophomore. Along the way, the mat technician improved his career record to 82-13 with 53 career pins. This year, Weber went 29-5 with 17 pins and two technical falls. Weber was not scored upon in 20 of his first 22 wins.