Owings Mills puts icing on cake

Eagles finish perfect year with state championship

Class 2A-1A wrestling finals

High Schools

March 09, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Owings Mills and coach Guy Pritzker.

The Golden Eagles lost a bunch of starters from last year's dual-meet state champions and didn't have much experienced leadership.

But everything came together last night for No. 2 Owings Mills, which showed its depth by winning the Class 2A-1A division in the state tournament at McDaniel College.

It was a gradual process as the younger wrestlers fared well during the season, helping the Golden Eagles repeat as dual-meet state titlists last month.

Owings Mills won two individual championships in this tournament and topped No. 6 Harford Tech, 103-83. It was the school's fifth state title. The others came in 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996.

Jason Jacovsky (103, 34-2) and Robert Cooper (119, 34-1) won state titles for their team. The Golden Eagles also got third-place finishes from Eric Vinores (112, 31-4), Mike Kessler (145, 33-2) and Eric Fishel (171, 34-1).

Owings Mills went 17-0 in matches and won every tournament it entered this season, leaving Pritzker just two wins shy of 300. The coach was even more pleased because this was such a young group that always seemed to find a way to step up at crucial times.

"You couldn't do any better than that," Pritzker said. "We had a perfect season. But it's hard to win this tournament [because] you're depending on other people."

This was Harford Tech's best season. The Cobras won the Harford County championship and took third in the region before pushing Owings Mills to the limit in the state tournament.

Harford Tech didn't win any individual championships, but got second-place finishes from Mike Taylor (119, 31-5) and Brad Dreyer (135, 31-5) and had three others place in the top six. It was the Cobras' best finish ever in the state event.

"We gave it a run," Harford Tech coach Gary Siler said. "We had them on the ropes for a while."

The Nakasone twins captured titles for Centennial. Dave (152, 35-0) won for the second straight year, scoring a 19-11 victory over Darric Kemp of Northern-Garrett in a back-and-forth match at 152.

Mark Nakasone (145, 36-0) stood watching the entire time on the next mat, waiting for his duel with Willilamsport's Devin Hewitt. The moment Dave's match ended, Mark quietly turned away and prepared for his, which he won by an 11-7 score. Mark took third last year.

Francis Scott Key's Lee Crowl (140) won one of the night's more exciting matches, battling Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Chad Jeronimo to a 4-4 overtime tie, but winning by overtime riding criteria.

Jeronimo held a 4-3 lead after two periods, but let Crowl up at the start of the third while trying to do more damage.

"I was really nervous, and I was playing it safe," Crowl said of his overtime strategy. "It's 12 years of wrestling and it's my first state championship."

Joppatowne's Jeremy Navarre (215, 30-2) also scored a dramatic victory, recording a takedown eight seconds into overtime for an 8-6 victory over Aberdeen's Justin Brown. D.J. Scarponi of Hereford (112, 27-1) was the night's other local winner, edging Rising Sun's Justin Olin, 8-6, for the title.

In addition to Dave Nakasone, Trey Kohl of Kent County (160) repeated as a Class 2A-1A champion. He scored a 9-2 victory over Poly's Matthew Oakley.

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