Patterson routs Poly for 6th straight city duals title

Price has look of winner, hopeful for state title


High Schools

February 15, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Patterson 171-pounder Christopher Price says he has heard it "about a thousand times."

"Coach [Troy Stevenson], his father [assistant Mel Stevenson] and everybody else, they say I'm the one," said Price, a defending Baltimore City and regional champ. "I'm supposed to go to states this year and take it all."

In yesterday's 49-12 rout at city rival Poly (8-2 overall, 7-1 league), Price looked like the city's best hope to become only its second state wrestling champion, pinning his 20th opponent in his 16th straight win and improving to 22-2.

The No. 14 Clippers (13-2, 8-0) earned their sixth straight city duals crown under Stevenson (87-17 in seven seasons) and look to win their sixth straight city tournament title tomorrow at Northwestern.

Pinning for Patterson were Eugene Land (160), Thomas Smith (189) and David Grundahl (heavyweight). Kevan Fletcher (152) had a major decision, with decisions by Warren Brown (125), Richard Dodd (140) and Tony Hurt (145). Poly got pins from Mike Bailey (130) and Zacharay Barnes (135).

Price's lone losses this year are to Towson's No. 4 Andy Posil, who is 31-0, and Mount Hebron's No. 2-ranked 160-pounder Mike Mengel, a two-time state runner-up. The routs come easily for the Clippers against city competition, and after finishing his man in 1:58 yesterday, the 6-foot-2 Price looked hungry for more.

"We expect to win in the city," said Price, a three-time city champ. "Coach says the only way we can lose the city title is not show up."

Since joining the state association in 1993, the city has had five state finalists, but only one, Poly heavyweight Dennis Scott in 1996, who won a title. In that time, Dunbar's Bruce Pendles (twice), Martius Harding and Hermondez Thompson and Walbrook's Jamil Stoakley all were runners-up.

Patterson's most successful wrestlers, Leonard Bridgeforth in 1996 and Caleb Moore last winter, were fourth and third, respectively. And if he is to join them, Price must get past Annapolis' No. 2 Paul Macknis and Old Mill's No. 3 Chris Bonner in next weekend's Class 4A-3A East region tournament.

"I talk to Caleb and Leonard a lot. They say they want me to do what they didn't do," said Price, who pinned his first opponent at states before being eliminated in two narrow decision losses. "After not placing last year, you strive a lot harder. I know it'll be tough, but know I can do it. It's a personal goal of mine to win it all."

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