Coach: Brandon Lauer, seventh season

Top returners: Senior Taariq Mohammed (113); juniors Michael Beck (106), Cory Daniel* (182) and Logan Kirby* (195); sophomore Brian Kirby (160/170).

Top newcomers: Senior Justin Nestor (285); freshmen David Erskine (120), Sean Guthier (138) and Patrick Gover (145).

Key losses: Jason Johnson (285), Jacob Benedict (220), Omar Messallam (182), Jack Noonan (152) and Patrick Linden (126).

Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

Non-league opponents: Northeast, Dec. 8; at Severna Park, Dec. 14; at Oakdale, Jan. 4.

The gameplan: Thanks to a great working relationship with the school's state championship football team, Lauer has his biggest team ever, both in terms of total weight and numbers, going three wrestlers deep at almost every weight class. After graduating state champion Jason Johnson, it looked like heavyweight might be an issue for the Hawks, but then Nestor, an all-county defensive lineman, joined teammates Brian (25 wins) and Logan Kirby (34), and Daniel (42), to give the team one of the best stables of upperweights in the state. Beck and Mohammed, who combined to win almost 80 matches last season, make the lower weights similarly strong down low. A trio of freshmen with good junior league experience — Erskine, Guthier and Gover — will help fill out the team's middle weights.

Bonus point: River Hill's 2011-12 heavyweight, Jason Johnson, and 2012-13 heavyweight, Justin Nestor, were linemates on the Hawks 2011 state champion football team.

Wilde Lake Wildecats

Last season: 6-5, 14-14, fifth at county tournament, Edgewood Tournament champion

Coach: Jeff Starnes, first season

Top returners: Seniors Daniel Andrews (126), Jordan Trinh (132), Tola Morakinyo (170) and Nate Haase (195); junior Malik Jackson* (145).

Top newcomers: Senior Adam Satterfield (182); juniors Noah Polonsky (113) and Tyler Anderson^ (138).

Key losses: Alex Polonsky (113)

Non-league opponents: at South Carroll, Dec. 5; Tuscarora, Jan. 31.

The gameplan: Like Centennial and Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake lost a great four-year wrestler in Alex Polonsky, who won a state title as a sophomore and finished with 139 career wins. But his younger brother, Noah, is back after a year off to help the Wildecats take the next step into the county's top tier. Wilde Lake's deep, experienced line-up is led by defending county champion and state-placewinner Jackson (33 wins), and county finalists Trinh (33 wins) and Morakinyo (35 wins, 3rd state). Satterfield and Anderson, both former JV champs, will get their chance to shine on varsity this season.

Bonus point: Ethan Eckley (120), Raheem Brown (152), Kris Gough (220) and Ne'co Jones (285) add to the Wildecats' depth, making them one of the deepest teams in the league.

Glenelg Country Dragons

Coach: Doug Jesse, first season

Top returners: Senior Jon Jones (170); juniors Matt Campbell (126) and Christian Vinyard (132); sophomores Adam Bothwell (106), Tucker Clay (138), Eddie Howlette (145) and Emanuel Curtis (195).

Top newcomers: Sophomore Ken Kim (132); freshmen Sam Smith (113), Reid Chaconas (132), Eric Wootton (138) and Demetrius Ravenell (182).