Wrestling

March 23, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Nathan Bachmann

Fallston

You cannot top a season where you win a county, a regional and a state crown, so the junior did the next best thing.

He matched it.

With a hard-fought 4-1 decision over Quince Orchard's Ignacio Diaz in the Class 4A-3A 145-pound-class final bout, Bachmann became the first Cougars wrestler to win back-to-back state titles.

A pin of Bel Air's Ryan Bonomo in the county championships final and a 13-6 decision over River Hill's Ryan Shevland in the 4A-3A North regional final were also part of Bachmann's sterling 31-2 season -- he was undefeated against county competition -- and second straight triple crown.

Last year, Bachmann, an aggressive wrestler who relies more on brains than brawn, surprised many by winning a state title.

This year, he was the favorite from Day One and he didn't back down at all.

"Nathan got no easy matches," said Fallston coach Andy Amasia. "Everybody was coming out trying to beat the state champ. He didn't let the pressure get to him and he worked very hard in practice."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Gary Siler

Harford Tech

The Cobras' meteoric rise continued this year, nearly culminating in the school's first state title in any sport.

Harford Tech was ahead for much of the Class 2A-1A state tournament before settling for second behind Owings Mills.

That hardly diminished a season in which the Cobras captured their fourth county title in five years and took third in the 2A-1A North regionals.

Siler, at the helm of the Cobras since 1988, deserves a lot of the credit.

A charismatic leader and master motivator, Siler put his team up against some of the top competition around, and his Cobras rose to the occasion with their best season ever.

Though he had plenty of talent at his disposal, Siler, with a helping hand from assistant Mike Mazza, developed many of the Cobras' wrestlers and raised the bar in the county with another standout team.

"He's helped a lot of people at a lot of different levels and not a lot of people realize how essential he is to this program," said the Cobras' Mike Taylor. "Just how he is and his attitude, it motivates and pushes you."

THE TEAMS

Wrestler of the Year: Nathan Bachmann, Fallston. Coach of the Year: Gary Siler, Harford Tech.

First team

Wt. Name School Yr. Comment

103 Mike Long Harford Tech Fr. Two-time jr. league champ was 30-8 and tops in county

112 Eric King Harford Tech Sr. King (27-7) has 2 county titles in 3 years of wrestling

119 Mike Taylor Harford Tech Jr. Was 31-5; may become first Cobra to win 4 county titles

125 Ben Sills Harford Tech Sr. County champ, Sills (31-6) emerged as leader of Cobras

130 Chris Baum Fallston Sr. Pin of Pennsylvania state champ part of 26-win season

135 Brad Dreyer Harford Tech Jr. No.6 in state, Dreyer (31-5) was a point shy of triple crown

140 Josh Taylor Harford Tech Soph. Fought off injury to go 31-5 and take regional title

140 Kyle Tomlinson North Harford Sr. Hawks' unsung hero, went 22-7 and won counties

152 Bryan Hughes Fallston Sr. Hughes muscled way to county crown and 27-5 mark

160 Brad Rutherford North Harford Sr. Finished 30-6 and 1st in region and county

171 Eric Lindblad Edgewood Jr. County title was first ever tourney win for Lindblad (30-6)

189 Mark Peotter Fallston Sr. Huge part of dual-meet team, county champ was 23-8

215 Justin Brown Aberdeen Sr. Brown (33-4) was 3rd in region; lost in OT in state title bout

215 Jeremy Navarre Joppatowne Soph. Was 32-2 and won triple crown in 1st full season of work

Hwt. Javance Payne Edgewood Sr. Slowed by illness, but still was 29-5 and 3rd in states

Second team 103: Erick Brown, Joppatowne, Sr.; 112: Scott Parker, Fallston, Soph.; 119: Andrew Stephenson, Bel Air, Sr.; 125: Alex Wolverton, Havre de Grace, Soph.; 130: Dean Roberts, John Carroll, Soph.; 135: Drew Beck, Fallston, Sr.; 135: Mike Loss, Edgewood, Jr.; 140: CJ Malinowski, Bel Air, Jr.; 145: Mike Smith, Aberdeen, Jr.; 152: Tony Gibson, Harford Tech, Jr.; 160: Chris Norman, C.M. Wright, Sr.; 171: David Sheere, C.M. Wright, Sr.; 189: Bobby Moore, C.M. Wright, Jr.; 215: Joe Purpora, Bel Air, Sr.; Hwt.: Paul Knopp, C.M. Wright, Soph.; Jeff Ramsey, Fallston, Sr.

Note: Teams selected by Jeff Zrebiec after consulation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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