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baltimoresun.com

Owings Mills seeks another county title in wrestling

By Tom Worgo, tworgo@tribune.com

December 13, 2012

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Most years, Owings Mills High has been virtually unstoppable in Baltimore County, storming their way to 15 titles in coach Guy Pritzker's 30-year tenure.

Despite that success, the Eagles never have won more than three county crowns in a row.

With four consecutive championship in its cross hairs, Pritzker feels Owings Mills — led by 2011 state champion Demetrius Johnson (145 pounds) and 2012 state runner-up Antwan Reddick (152) — has a legitimate shot to go all the way again.

"We are going for four," the coach said. "No one has done it before. The county tournament is harder some years than the state tournament. We have won the states before and only gotten second in the county."

An ankle injury hampered Johnson last year when the senior finished as the county and regional runner-up while placing fifth in the state final.

The Owings Mills coaching staff expects a repeat of his sophomore campaign when Johnson captured all three tournament titles. He owns a career record of 112-22, including a 35-7 mark last year.

"I think you will see him a little bit more motivated out of him to step it up this year because he is injury free," Owings Mills assistant coach Justin Ott said. "He worked out really hard in the summer. He was at a lot more offseason practices and he did more camps than previous years."

Reddick, a transfer from DuVal High in Prince George's County, is Johnson's practice partner.

He went 30-4 last year and captured a county title and placed second in the state, losing to two-time champion Hunter Sutton of Winston Churchill.

Given Reddick's impressive accomplishments, he has been a tremendous addition to the Owings Mills lineup.

"If he stays focused, he can win states," Pritzker said. "He is very unorthodox. It's very hard to wrestle him. You think he is going one way and he is going the other. He is so fast."

Ott added: "He is the real deal. He is big, fast and strong."

Owings Mills lineup also boasts sophomores Islom Juraev (160) and Tyquez Shade (220) and seniors Abduhl El-Omari (171), Komil Juraev (182) and Alex Solomon (195).

Of the five, Solomon has achieved the most. He took second in the regional tourney last year and fourth in the county on his way to a 28-win season.

"I would say from 145 to 220, we don't have a weak kid," Pritzker said. "We have a potential state placer at every one of those classes."

Seniors Zach Fiedman (106), Dan Grossman (132) and Eron Alli (285), juniors Sean Jones (126), Isiah Mack (126) and Drew Hoffman (126) and sophomores Zach Friedman (106), Jake Rendelman (113) and Brandon Bekar (120) complete the well-stocked Eagles.

"We have a good amount of experience on this team," Ott said. "We have five seniors and the guys who aren't seniors have substantial junior league experience. There's a good amount of experience that we haven't always had."