2003 All-Metro wrestling

March 24, 2003|By Baltimore Sun reporter

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Sam Lewnes Mount St. Joseph, senior

The top-ranked 160-pounder finished the season with a 40-4 record (166-23 in his career) after winning his third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association crown in his fourth title-bout appearance. He took second place at the private schools state tournament and the National Preps tournament.

A four-time state finalist, two-time state champion and one-time National Prep champion, the Oklahoma State-bound Lewnes defeated Georgia state champion Justin Otis (Lakeside), New England and New Hampshire champion Matt Stoplinski (Phillip Exeter), Virginia champion P.J. Woroez, two-time Maryland champion Trey Kohl (Kent County) and private schools champion Jerome Featherstone (Boys' Latin).

Lewnes also beat Hammond's 189-pound county champion Steve Sessa, who was third at the Class 2A-1A states, and defeated a Virginia runner-up, a third-place finisher from Pennsylvania and a fourth-place finisher from Ohio.

A two-time Baltimore City/County Wrestler of the Year, Lewnes repeated as champion in the Catholic and Hammond invitationals, and captured his first crown at the prestigious PowerAde Tournament. Lewnes was fifth at the highly regarded Beast of The East event.

In a loss to Blair Academy's Mark Perry, the nation's No. 1 recruit, in the finals of the National Preps tournament, the four-time All-Metro pick surprised his adversary by scoring a takedown. "I can't remember the last time anyone scored a takedown on Mark," said Perry's teammate, Crownsville resident Ryan Davis.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Jim Grim Old Mill

The second-year coach began the season with an unranked team that started eight first-year varsity wrestlers and often forfeited the 103-pound weight class. By season's end, his Patriots (14-2-1) were ranked No. 7, had won Old Mill's 19th Anne Arundel County title, a regional crown and a state-record seventh Class 4A-3A tournament title.

A 1988 Old Mill graduate, Grim's previous three coaching seasons at North County produced two county runner-up finishes.

He built this year's squad around returnees Doug West (125 pounds), Josh Baynham (130) and William Bell (heavyweight), each of whom won county and region crowns and were state runners-up. Senior newcomer Jude Ayanleye (135) was fifth at states, exemplifying Grim's efforts.

"We were taking baby steps," Grim said. "But from Day One, we preached county, regional and states, and made sure to peak at the end."

FIRST TEAM

Nathan Bachmann Fallston, junior

As a 135-pound sophomore last season, Bachmann became his school's second state champion and its first to win the triple crown - Harford County, region and state Class 4A-3A titles.

This season, the No. 2-ranked 145-pounder repeated with all three titles, going 34-2 and being named Harford County's Wrestler of the Year.

In the state title bout, Bachmann had to overcome a 1-0 deficit for a 4-1 win over Montgomery County and region champion Ignacio Diaz of Quince Orchard.

William Bell Old Mill, senior

The area's top-ranked heavyweight, Bell won his second straight Anne Arundel County and regional titles. He was the 4A-3A state runner-up to Severna Park's Brian Payer, whom he had beaten eight times.

Bell had 18 pins, one of them over Payer. He was runner-up at the Hammond Invitational, losing by a point to two-time National Preps champion Bode Ogunwole of Georgetown Prep. Bell ended the year with a 33-4 record.

Tim Bohlman Mount St. Joseph, senior

The area's No. 1-ranked 125-pounder won his first MIAA crown after being fourth, second and third, respectively, in previous years, and dethroned DeMatha's Cam Watkins for his first private schools state crown.

Bohlman was fourth at the Hammond Invitational, splitting wins with Old Mill's 4A-3A runner-up Doug West. He was fourth at the PowerAde Invitational, third at the National Preps and beat Churchill's two-time 4A-3A champion Brandon Shapiro in the Senior All-Star Classic. Bohlman finished at 39-7 (145-48 career).

Corey Bowers Chesapeake-AA, junior

The area's No. 1-ranked 119-pounder won his third straight Anne Arundel County title, his first regional title and was 4A-3A state runner-up after a 3-2 loss to Churchill's two-time state champion Brandon Shapiro.

Bowers went 31-3, pinning Owings Mills' 2A-1A state champion Rob Cooper to win the Arundel Tournament. He edged Harford Tech's 2A-1A runner-up Mike Taylor, 10-8, en route to a runner-up finish at the Hammond Invitational.

Jerome Featherstone Boys' Latin, senior

The No. 2-ranked 160-pounder was 1-2 against Mount St. Joseph's top-ranked Sam Lewnes, winning in overtime in the private schools finals for the crown that eluded him in overtime last season.

The takedown artist was second to Lewnes at both the Hammond and MIAA tournaments.

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