All-carroll County Wrestling

March 10, 2004|By Jeff Seidel

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Drew Winfield

South Carroll , senior

Winfield (171) impressed many last year by finishing second in the state despite battling a hand injury for the second half of the season. But everything went much better for the Cavaliers senior this winter as he rolled to a 30-0 season and swept the Carroll County, region and state (Class 2A-1A) championships.

Winfield is the kind of wrestler who doesn't mind facing tough opponents and makes people stop and watch because of his combination of grace, quickness and power on the mat. Beating Eric Fishel of Owings Mills in the state final (6-1) after posting pins in his first three matches to get there gave Winfield his biggest victories. But two weeks before, he finally got a payback for his only loss of the past two years.

North Carroll's Robbie Pearre pulled off a 10-8 upset in last year's 160-pound county title match. The two met again in this year's 171-pound championship match, and Winfield dominated from the start and pulled away for an impressive 10-0 victory. When walking to the victory stand to get his medal, Winfield was asked if he felt he had gotten his payback. The senior just smiled. "I'm not done yet," he said. He was right.

COACH OF THE YEAR

David Dodson

North Carroll

Dodson had a good group of wrestlers but pounded home the importance of realizing they are on a team. "If the team does well, the individual does well, that's my philosophy," Dodson said. "I'm a firm believer in that."

The Panthers had their best season in several years, winning the county regular-season and tournament titles. This tournament championship was the school's second in three years after not winning any since 1994. It also finished second (to River Hill) in both the dual-meet and open region tournaments.

North Carroll ended with a 15-1 overall record and has a solid group of wrestlers that should have another good shot at being the county's top team next year. But that's why Dodson pushes the team theory so hard - because he wants everyone to work together to score points to help North Carroll win. "It's a process," he said. "I think it's coming along."

THE FIRST TEAM

Eric Burr

Westminster, senior

Burr pulled off a surprise in the county tournament by upsetting Tom Rush of Francis Scott Key in the 215-pound championship match. The 9-7 win gave Burr some momentum for the region tournament, where he took third place. Burr had to rebound after a tough semifinal loss to Mount Hebron's Daru Page-Tilahun (2-1). Burr didn't place in the states and finished with a 24-10 record this season.

Mike Cain

Westminster, sophomore

The heavyweight took second in the county tournament and then fifth in the region a week later. Cain lost to defending champion Ralph Stambaugh of Key in the county final. He suffered a tough 3-1 loss to Parkville's Charles Watkins in the region semifinal but came back to claim fifth place. He didn't qualify for the states and finished with a 25-11 record.

Joe Dell

Westminster, senior

Dell had a solid senior season for Westminster. He finished 30-10 and found plenty of success in postseason tournaments. He took second in the county at 160, as Sam Shreck pulled out a come-from-behind 5-4 victory in the title match. Dell then bounced back to take first place in the region tournament. Dell lost in the state quarterfinals but then won three matches in the wrestle-backs.

Chris DeVilbiss

Liberty, senior

One of the area's top wrestlers, DeVilbiss literally had a perfect season. The 152-pounder went 35-0 and took the county, region and state championships to complete a long climb from being a back-up junior varsity wrestler three years ago. De- Vilbiss had a 33-3 season last year when he finished second in the state.

Tim Ferguson

South Carroll, senior

A strong wrestler who might have been in Winfield's shadow a bit the past few years, Ferguson was a big part of the Cavaliers' success the last two seasons and finished with a 24-1 record. The 189-pounder won the county and region titles before turning in one of the more impressive performances en route to his Class 2A-1A state crown. Ferguson scored four straight pins to win the championship - after pinning all three region opponents the week before. He finished the season with 21 pins.

Reuben Gill

F.S. Key, sophomore

After a solid freshman season at 112, Gill fared even better this year. Gill won the county and region titles before taking third in the Class 2A-1A state tournament. He finished with a 27-1 overall record, with his only loss coming to Pikesville's Alex Prezenchuk (3-1) in the state semifinals. But Gill rebounded to win his final two matches in the consolation round to finish third in the state. He will combine with Tom Rush and Ralph Stambaugh to give the Eagles three of the county's - and state's - best wrestlers next year.

Alex Grassi

Century, freshman

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