All-metro Wrestling

March 22, 2006

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Mack Lewnes

Mount St. Joseph

The 160-pound senior completed a stellar career by winning his fourth straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and the Maryland Independent Schools tournament titles, as well as his second championship at the National Prep Wrestling Championships. Lewnes, who also has placed second and third at National Prep, is The Sun's All-Metro Wrestler of the Year for the second time, having also been chosen as a sophomore, when he was also a National Prep champ.

Lewnes reached this year's National Prep final on a technical fall and three pins, including a fall in 59 seconds over McDonogh's MIAA and independent schools runner-up Alex Pagnotta. A four-time, first-team All-Metro selection, Lewnes ended his senior season with a 52-1 record, a No. 1 national ranking and a career record of 151-12.

Lewnes, one of the nation's most highly recruited wrestlers, defeated Ohio state champion Dave Rella, Damascus' Class 4A-3A state champion Brad Katzenberger and Stephen Decatur's two-time 2A-1A runner-up Nathan Bourne, among others.

Lewnes won the Iron Man, Mount Mat Madness and PowerAde tournaments, along with the Maryland Senior All-Stars Classic. Lewnes was second in the Beast of The East, suffering his lone loss of the year, 3-1, to Rella.

Lewnes, whose grade point average is above 4.0, will wrestle at Cornell University and major in hospitality management. He hopes to join his brother, Sam, a wrestler at Oklahoma State, and his father, Charlie, in running Lewnes Steak House in Annapolis.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Gary Siler

Harford Tech

Siler's Cobras dedicated the second half of their season to 2004 Harford Tech graduate Scott Tipton, a former county champion who died in January. The Cobras left Tipton's funeral, drove directly to their final dual meet of the regular season and defeated Elkton of Cecil County, 55-19, to complete an unbeaten dual-meet season in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference.

The No. 7 Cobras won the UCBAC dual-meet title and were 13-3 on the season. Siler, 49, an 18-year coach, earned his 150th career victory against county rival Bel Air, his alma mater.

After a runner-up finish in the Class 2A-1A East regional duals, the Cobras captured their second consecutive UCBAC tournament title, dethroned heavily favored Stephen Decatur of Berlin for the East regional tournament crown, and followed that up by winning the program's first-ever 2A-1A state tournament championship. Harford Tech's state championship was the county's first since 1990, when Aberdeen completed its run of three straight.

The Cobras had UCBAC champs in Mark Taylor (112 pounds), Eric Haskell (125), Mike Long (130), Matt Kahl (145) and Jeff Gardner (171); regional champs in Taylor, Long and Kahl; and a state champ in Long, who had been a state runner-up the two previous seasons. Taylor and Kahl were state runners-up, and Gardner and Jonathan Woods (152) were fourth at states. Woods and fellow seniors Haskell and Ryan Overstreet (135) had no wrestling experience before high school, but all three were regional runners-up.

FIRST TEAM

Josh Asper

Hereford

A repeat All-Metro selection, the 145-pound sophomore won his first titles at the Baltimore County and Class 2A-1A North regional tournaments, then closed with his second straight 2A-1A crown by defeating returning state runner-up Matt Kahl of Harford Tech, 5-4. Asper is ranked No. 1 in The Sun. After becoming Hereford's first freshman to win a state title, Asper went 36-2 to join Steve Herbert (1970, '71) and D.J. Scarponi (2003, '04) as Hereford's only two-time state champions. Asper has a 75-7 career record.

Jake Bohn

Mount St. Joseph

The 189-pound junior won his second straight titles in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and independent schools tournaments. A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Bohn also pinned his way to a runner-up finish at this year's National Prep tournament. Bohn finished with a 37-4 record that included 20 pins, and was first at the Mount Mat Madness invitational for the second year in a row. The Sun's No. 1-ranked wrestler in his class, Bohn is 98-26 for his career.

Justin Bowser

Arundel

The returning All-Metro choice earned Anne Arundel County Wrestler of The Year honors by repeating as the 125-pound county, Class 4A-3A East regional and 4A-3A state tournament champion. Bowser went 38-1 with 20 pins and 11 technical falls, raising his county record for career wins to 147, with 76 pins and seven losses. At this year's states, Bowser scored a 12-2 title-bout win over Magruder's Zach Tolbert. Bowser joined Mark Chesla (1994 and '95) as his school's only repeat state titlists and became the second county wrestler to win four county and regional titles. Bowser looks to attend the U.S. Naval Academy's preparatory school.

FIRST TEAM

Joe Breen

McDonogh

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