Wrestling

Winter All-metro

March 21, 2007

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Zach Brown

Wilde Lake

The senior used his cat-like balance, reflexes, "strength and technique to clearly separate himself" as Maryland's elite upperweight, said River Hill coach Brandon Lauer, a former NCAA All-American and three-time state champion. "Zach has his own technique and style. It's scary how good he could be as a Division I wrestler."

Only the second Wilde Lake wrestler to end a season unbeaten, Brown was 29-0 with 17 pins and five technical falls at 215 pounds. The 6-foot-2 Brown, who weighed only 204 pounds at season's end, hasn't lost by pin, technical fall or major decision in high school, has won 60 of his past 61 bouts and is Wilde Lake's career wins leader at 121-12 with 74 pins.

Brown, whose primary practice partner was assistant coach Asmar Hagler, won his first Class 4A-3A state crown after having placed second and third the past two seasons. He also won his second Howard County and third 4A-3A East regional titles. Brown's last 12 bouts included six pins and four technical falls. He decked all three county tournament rivals in a combined 2 minutes, 24 seconds, with a 15-second title-bout pin of regional champ Malcolm Stennett of Atholton.

In the state title bout, Brown defeated North Carroll's county and 4A-3A North region champion Jason Thomen, 16-4. Brown earlier had defeated Thomen to earn Outstanding Wrestler as champion of Perry Hall's tournament for the second straight year.

Brown earned Outstanding Upperweight at the Senior All-Star Classic with a 21-6 technical fall over Mount St. Joseph's National Prep Wrestling Championships titlist Jake Bohn, and a 47-second pin of Northern-Garrett's 2A-1A state champion Brock Glotfelty. Brown won Outstanding Wrestler at South River's tournament with a major decision over Delaware state runner-up Perry Townsend of Indian River.

In other wins, Brown pinned Oakland Mills' county and 2A-1A South regional champion Mike Santiago (285 pounds), and decisioned both Atholton's county and 2A-1A South regional champion Brian Nance and Glenelg's 285-pound county and 2A-1A South regional runner-up Pat Black. Brown also has career wins over 4A-3A state champion Razaaq Muhammad (Parkville), and state runners-up Joe Green (Archbishop Curley), Tom Mulligan (Broadneck) and Chris Elliott (South River).

Brown, whose last two losses were by a combined seven points to Magruder's unbeaten repeat state titlist John Holloway during his sophomore and junior years, also was named an All-Metro running back-linebacker and an All-Metro track performer. Brown will defend his outdoor 100- and 200-meter dash state titles this spring.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Pete Welch

McDonogh

Expectations were high for the Eagles, who rarely started more than three seniors in a lineup that was perhaps the most talented in school history. Despite injuries at critical times and a schedule that ranked as possibly the most difficult in school history, the Eagles remained The Sun's top-ranked team all season under the 13-year coach, establishing McDonogh as a wrestling power rivaling the storied program at Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rival Mount St. Joseph.

As many as 13 starters could return next year to an Eagles squad that went 17-3 in dual meets, including its second straight 8-0 mark against the league for its second consecutive MIAA dual meet crown, and its fourth overall dual meet title. Under Welch, McDonogh won titles in the Mount Mat Madness Invitational, as well as its second straight titles in the MIAA and private schools tournaments - crowning five individual champions in the former, and four in the latter.

"We had talent, but were very young. Between sickness and injuries, we were constantly calling on different kids to step in and step up," said Welch, whose career dual meet record is 165-45.

"Every kid was challenged and humbled at one point this season," Welch said. "Our kids were incredibly unselfish - willing to weigh in up or down or not wrestle at all. I love it when kids put the team first ahead of their own personal desire."

FIRST TEAM

Josh Asper

Hereford

The three-time All-Metro selection earned his second straight Baltimore County crown, his third consecutive 2A-1A North regional title, and remained on pace to become Maryland's third four-time 2A-1A state champion. The 160-pound junior has a 50-bout winning streak dating to an 8-7 loss in February 2006 to Hammond's three-time state champion Vince Taweel. Named The Sun's Wrestler of The Year for Baltimore County, Asper defeated Southern of Garrett County's Justin Ratliff, last year's 152-pound state champion, 6-2, in the state title bout. Asper went 39-0 with 24 pins, raising his career record to 114-7.

Jake Bohn

Mount St. Joseph

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