All- Metro Wrestling

March 26, 2009

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Avi Friedman

Owings Mills

Friedman went undefeated for the second consecutive season, going 34-0 to improve his record the past two seasons to 72-0. The 112-pound senior is 109-4 in his varsity career.

"His life is dedicated to wrestling," River Hill coach Brandon Lauer said after watching Friedman pin two-time state champ Scott Mantua of River Hill in the Class 2A-1A state final. It was the first time in Mantua's four-year varsity career that he had been pinned.

Friedman, who won the junior national title at 103 last summer, also won the Big 20 Invitational at Perry Hall, the Franklin Invitational (where he defeated 2008 state champ Brett Przywara), his third 2A-1A North regional title and his second state championship. He won at 103 last year.

"He wrestles on a college-type level," Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker said. "He knows every move by instinct and knows the countermove to everything he sees."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Dan Youngblood

Old Mill

Old Mill entered this season with eight state tournament titles, and this year it won both the state dual meet and tournament titles in Class 4A-3A for the first time. It was particularly pleasing to Youngblood, 42, who was in his second full season as a head coach after being an assistant for the previous 14 years.

Under Youngblood, a 125-pound state champ at Old Mill in 1985, the Patriots went 24-1 this season, losing only to an out-of-state team at the Border Wars Tournament in Skyline, Va. His coaching record is 42-4.

Youngblood, who teaches aggressive, physical tactics, brushed aside his own contributions and gave credit his wrestlers.

"This was a special season," he said. "The guys on this team have been friends for a long time. They were friends and teammates, and they banded together and trusted each other in a way you rarely see."

FIRST TEAM

Pat Downey

Loch Raven

The sophomore won Baltimore County, North regional and state titles at 160 pounds. Using his strong takedowns and throws to his advantage, he finished with a 35-0 record.

Eric Filipowicz

McDonogh

He has 116 career wins, but this season was his most impressive. Filipowicz, a 140-pound senior, went 46-7 and won his first MIAA and Maryland Independent Schools state titles. He ended his high school career at the Senior All-Star Classic by beating 4A-4A champ Lance McCoy and being named Outstanding Lower-Weight Wrestler of the event.

Frankie Goodwin

Mount St. Joseph

Goodwin earned his first MIAA and Maryland Independent Schools state titles. The 119-pound junior also won his second Mount Mat Madness title and finished with a 39-6 record.

Mason Goretsas

North Carroll

Goretsas is steadily building an impressive resume. With two Class 4A-3A regional titles and a county championship in his portfolio, the 125-pound junior added a state title in dramatic fashion, beating Centennial's Dan LeRoy, 2-0, in the final. Goretsas went 36-2.

Karl Green

Mount St. Joseph

He demonstrated the ability to end a match in the blink of an eye, as he used his perfected leg whip to knock opponents off their feet for the soon-to-follow pin. Green, a 285-pound junior, pinned 30 of his 51 foes this season and won 48 matches on his way to his second MIAA and Maryland Independent Schools state titles. He was also runner-up at nationals.

Eric Hart

John Carroll

The senior set a school record for career victories with 164. This season, Hart, 152 pounds, won MIAA and Maryland Independent School state titles for the first time and did not lose to a Maryland wrestler. He went 50-5.

Curtis Holmes

McDonogh

Fifty-one wins over two years is quite an accomplishment for some wrestlers, but Holmes went 51-6 this season. The 145-pound senior earned his fourth career MIAA title and his third Maryland Independent Schools state crown. He also just missed taking a national title, as he lost the championship match in overtime. He will play lacrosse at Maryland.

Adeleke Ibironke

Milford Mill

He is a three-time Baltimore County champion and had more than 100 career wins (114), but what Ibironke wanted was a state title. He got it this season at 130 pounds. The senior went 36-0, stretching his winning streak to 41 and becoming the second-winningest performer at Milford Mill.

Nathan Kraisser

Centennial

The area wrestling scene was buzzing about him before his first season at Centennial even began. The 103-pound freshman arrived with a top-10 national ranking among freshmen and sophomores. He pinned 24 of his opponents while building a 37-1 record. Kraisser won Howard County, regional and state titles, and he ended the season ranked 11th in the country in his weight class.

Scott Mantua

River Hill

The two-time state champion's bid for a third crown ended when he ran into Wrestler of the Year Friedman in the state final. The 112-pound senior finished the season 48-2, winning Howard County and South regional titles.

Shane Milam

McDonogh

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