Coach of the Year
Hammond Only 25 and in his first year, Barbosa is the youngest to be chosen All-Metro Coach of the Year. The 1994 Hammond graduate, a former heavyweight county champ, was often as emotionally involved in matches as his wrestlers. After an early upset loss to Mount Hebron, and when his Bears were only 10th out of 13 teams at the Hammond tournament, Maryland's toughest and most respected invitational, Barbosa felt the pressure of running a program whose healthy tradition he helped build. Barbosa internalized the blame as whispers circulated about Hammond's demise.
"He was hard on himself, searching for what was wrong with his kids," said former Hammond coach Bill Smith, who acts as Barbosa's mentor. "He knew he had to assert himself as a leader, get the kids focused on him."
Barbosa's will became that of his team, which won the 2A-1A South Region dual meet and tournament crowns, missed winning the Howard County crown by 4.5 points to River Hill, and fell short in the state tourney by .5 to Kent County. The Bears had two two individual state champs, a single-season school record, in Ryan Mackin and Jimmy Davis. While competing with a broken hand, Davis dethroned a champ to avenge an earlier loss. Russell Tebeleff, first-year starter Marshall Porter and Scott Wallace, who rebounded from a knee injury, all were third at states, where Hammond placed seven of eight qualifiers. Tebeleff three times avenged an early-season loss.
Teammates nicknamed him "Pigpen" for his cluttered locker. Others call Davis "The Truth." He is the first sophomore to be named All-Metro Wrestler of the Year, and the fourth underclassman. Davis (42-3, 21 pins this season, 81-7 career) wrestled with a poise beyond his years, highlighted by his 3-1 National Prep title win over two-time New Jersey state champ Zak Stevens. Davis won his second MIAA and private schools state titles, his first National Preps crown, and tournaments at Hammond, McDonogh, St. Benedict (N.J.) and Virginia (Capitol Challenge). He was fifth at the Beast of The East tournament, the nation's No. 1 invitational, after losing decisions by a combined 14-6.
Davis twice defeated state champ Ryan Herwig of Mount St. Joseph. He also beat two-time state champ Bryan Hamper (South Carroll), Tennessee champ Whitt Casey and Virginia state runner-up Ben Guerrina. Davis beat state runner-up Danny Natterman (Loyola), MIAA champ Brian Kirhagis (Curley), and Pennsylvania section champs Brandon Ganoe and Mark Israel. Only twice in high school has Davis, 15, allowed near-fall points by an opponent. What the muscular Davis lacked in physical maturity against older wrestlers while going at 135 and 140, he made up for by initiating combat in bouts. "The best thing about him is his game face and intensity," said his coach, Pete Welch. "He wins matches mentally."
Conrad (34-2, 17 pins this season, 41-2 career) missed most of last season with an elbow injury but won Harford County's title. The sophomore was second at regions and earned his school's first state title since Glen Allen in 1983. At states, Conrad routed Kent's region champ Artie Kaehler (third states) and Atholton's region champ, Doug Ramsey (fourth states), each of whom were once Maryland's No. 1-rated 103 pounders. Among other notables, Conrad three times defeated Harford Tech's Brad Dreyer and twice beat Fallston's county runner-up Chris Baum and Bel Air's Ryan Stephenson. Conrad had one win each over county champ Sam Schreck (North Carroll) and state runner-up Jeff Plasse (Oakland Mills).
The sophomore (32-4, 17 pins) had 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 regional runner-up Pat Maloff. 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. Frey was 2-1 against Mount St. Joseph MIAA runner-up Tim Bohlman, and also defeated Calvert Hall's Andrew Schlaffer, who was third at states. He was Curley's only individual state champion as the Friars won their second team crown.