Each of the last three years, River Hill senior Sebastian Ames came to Cole Field House for the state wrestling tournament and watched his teammates chase a spot on the podium.
This year, Ames is helping lead the Hawks' charge to a 4A/3A state tournament title.
"Last year, sitting here, I couldn't believe I'd be wrestling in the semifinals," said Ames, who scored an overtime takedown to defeat Northwest's Jeff Moreno, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. "It's awesome, I'm excited. Hopefully we can do what we need to do."
Ames will be joined in the semifinals by teammates Michael Beck (120), Logan Kirby (195) and defending state champion Cory Daniel (220), giving the Hawks a strong chance to win their first state tournament title since 2012.
State dual meet finalists Damascus and North Hagerstown also each have four state tournament semifinalists.
Kirby, who has committed to wrestle for Harvard next year, is a two-time state finalist. Daniel, who will join Centennial four-time state champion Nathan Kraisser at North Carolina next year, is a defending state champion who has won 86 consecutive matches.
Reservoir, which won the state tournament in 2010, sent two wrestlers to the semifinals: seniors Mason Kilcarr (132) and Wes Beattie (182).
Beattie will meet Howard's Jared Rodriguez in Saturday morning's semifinal round. Rodriguez defeated Beattie for the Howard County title two weeks ago on a takedown with less than five seconds remaining.
Mt. Hebron will also be represented by two wrestlers in the 4A/3A semifinals: juniors Jeff Hayden (120) and Connor Strunk (152).
Centennial's Austin Kraisser (145), a state finalist last year as a freshman, scored a pair of pins on Friday to advance to the state semifinals.
Wilde Lake senior Malik Jackson (152), a three-time Howard County champion, also won twice on Friday in the quest for his first state title.
Oakland Mills' Jaron Smith (160) and Marriotts Ridge's Chris Park (195) are Howard County's lone representatives in the 2A/1A state semifinals.
4A/3A state semifinal pairings
120: River Hill senior Michael Beck (43-2) vs. Northwest senior Nick Davis (34-2)
120: Mt. Hebron junior Jeff Hayden (35-5) vs. Damascus freshman Brendan Parent (38-5)
132: Reservoir senior Mason Kilcarr (34-1) vs. Perry Hall senior D.J. Grindle (35-6)
145: Centennial sophomore Austin Kraisser (36-1) vs. Stephen Decatur senior Nick Bennett (34-4)
152: Mt. Hebron junior Connor Strunk (36-4) vs. Churchill senior Hunter Sutton (45-0)
152: Wilde Lake senior Malik Jackson (37-2) vs. Dulaney senior Jacob Asher (40-3)
170: River Hill senior Sebastian Ames (38-7) vs. Thomas Stone junior Ryan Sharp (28-5)
182: Howard senior Jared Rodriguez (39-3) vs. Reservoir senior Wes Beattie (34-4)
195: River Hill senior Logan Kirby (44-1) vs. Sherwood senior Robby Happy (23-1)
220: River Hill senior Cory Daniel (44-0) vs. Stephen Decatur senior Ethan Eibl (31-5)
2A/1A state semifinal pairings
160: Oakland Mills junior Jaron Smith (13-1) vs. Middletown junior Tucker Ziegler (42-1)
195: Marriotts Ridge senior Chris Park (40-2) vs. Smithsburg sophomore Bryce Scott (33-2)