Mediocrity turned out to have a positive influence on the Towson High wrestling team last season when the Generals posted a 7-7 dual-meet record.
It was Towson's second-best mark in six years under coach Phil Simmonds and assistant Anthony Conty.
But getting back to the .500 level could be difficult, depending on the development of several returnees and newcomers.
Towson brought back only five starters while graduating six seniors, including regional and county runners-up Liam St. John and Nathan Nenoritas.
With a low number of returnees, Conty said his Generals are more focused on individual results, not their dual-meet record.
"We had a large freshmen class four years ago and we were pretty excited about that group the last couple of years," he said. "We were definitely a better dual-meet team last year, but we should have some guys that shine in tournaments this year.
"A lot of coaches study the matchups. They won't have too much to play with because we don't have too many guys with a track record. I think we could sneak up on a few people."
Seniors Danny Pittas (138 pounds), junior Nikko Regalbuto (220) and sophomore Darren Cockerille (132) are the most highly regarded returning wrestlers.
Each posted a 20-win season with Cockerille, the cousin of University of Maryland reserve quarterback and Gilman graduate Shane Cockerille, having the best record at 27-4.
Pittas went 25-7 last year and finished sixth in the county. He could be the Generals' most improved wrestler after a standout offseason.
"I think he is really a guy to watch this year," Simmonds said. "He's been working very hard in the offseason, going to camps. He lacked a little confidence last year, but I think he (improved) that at camp. He is a team captain this year and has a lot more confidence. He is encouraging the younger fellows."
The coaching staff also likes Regalbuto's development. He's better suited for the 220-pound class after bulking up.
"He probably weighed 200 pounds on the dot last year," Conty said. "He came to us at 225 this year, so he's done a lot of work to get himself stronger. I think he is going to have a good year."
Cockerille could be in for a solid season after he won the Joppatowne Duals and finished third in the Franklin Invitational Wrestling Tournament last year.
"He will definitely place in the counties, but it's a matter of sneaking into regionals and states," Conty said. "He is in a tough weight class."
Seniors Ryan Anglemyer (160) and Liam Davis (170) are the other returnees to the starting lineup, and Cullen Jones (195) earned a starting berth after working as a reserve last year.
The upperclassmen have been joined in the lineup by three wrestlers from last year's junior varsity, Cockerille's brother, Darryl (152), junior Brendan Baia (145) and sophomores Xavier Sciarollo (113) and Jordan Hummel (160).
Baia took second in the county junior varsity tournament last year and Darryl placed third.
Sophomore Scott Mason (106), freshman Andrew DiPaula (182), senior Tunde Ford (285) and junior Jake Kinnear (126) complete Towson's lineup.
Kinnear is a transfer from Middletown High.
"I am excited about him," said Conty, whose team opened the season by beating Woodlawn and losing to Perry Hall. "He is a really tough kid. He has a different arsenal of moves than we usually teach."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun