Strength against strength on Mount St. Joseph mats


High Schools

January 15, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Take your pick to describe this weekend's Mount St. Joseph Wrestling Tournament at Goucher College - stacked, loaded, jam-packed or, as Old Mill coach Jim Grim put it: "Just unbelievable."

Grim's No. 8 Patriots, along with fellow Anne Arundel County power and No. 4 Chesapeake, are two of seven Baltimore-area teams competing that are ranked in The Sun's Top 15 poll, and that's only the start of the talent in the tournament tabbed "Mat Madness."

Chopticon of St. Mary's County (ranked third by the Maryland State Wrestling Association) also will be there, along with Virginia power Herndon and St. Mark's of Wilmington, Del. Severna Park also will represent Anne Arundel in the 21-team field.

"We'll be seeing some of the best teams on the East Coast. It's great for us," said Grim, who last season guided the Patriots to the program's seventh Class 4A-3A state tournament title.

In past years, all of the Patriots' in-season tournaments have been in December, which Grim felt hurt the team some in the postseason.

He won't find any better gauge of his team than this weekend. The preliminaries are set for 4 p.m. tomorrow and the tournament will continue Saturday with consolation preliminaries set to begin at 9 a.m. and the championship round tentatively set for 7:30 p.m.

Top-ranked Mount St. Joseph, No. 2 Owings Mills, No. 3 Harford Tech and Chesapeake lead the way among metro-area teams.

"From a team sense, we want to finish as high as we can, but we have goals set as far as where we should finish," Grim. "Last year, we finished ninth at the Hammond tournament and were a little disappointed with that and it refocused us. We're going to be jacked up."

Every weight division is stocked, but the 119-pound class is particularly packed with talent.

The top five wrestlers in The Sun's individual rankings will be featured, with Chesapeake's state runner-up, Corey Bowers, (11-0) leading the way. Severna Park senior Nick Eisenbeiser (ranked No. 4 at 8-1) also gets a chance to see how he measures up.

"This tournament is going to be big," Bowers said. "I love to wrestle against the tough competition. And I think it's going to be a big wake-up call for a lot of our guys, and we'll see how they respond."

Teammates Shane Fraser (10-1, ranked fourth at 125) and Seppi Serio (10-1, first at 160), and Old Mill's Doug West (14-0, first at 130) are other county standouts expected to do well.

Sign up to swim

The 12th Annual Anne Arundel County High School Swim Meet will take place Jan. 25 at Arundel Olympic Center in Annapolis.

The meet is open to all students attending an Anne Arundel high school (public or private) and who have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

Swimmers may enter a maximum of four events (no more than three individual events and no more than two relay events). The entry fee is $2.25 per individual event and $9 per team per relay event, with the entry deadline Sunday.

For more information, contact meet director Bob Gicquelais at 410-544-9625.

Spalding game sold out

Tomorrow night's boys basketball showdown between No. 1 Mount St. Joseph at No. 3 Archbishop Spalding - set for 7 p.m. - is sold out.

Spalding athletic director Lee Dove said no tickets will be available at the door.

Back sidelines Guest

Glen Burnie standout guard Mitch Guest, who missed the No. 7 Gophers' 47-43 win over South River on Tuesday, also will likely miss tomorrow's game against Northeast with a lower-back strain. After Guest played with the injury over the weekend, he was advised to rest, said Gophers coach Mike Rudd. Guest is expected back next week.

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