Mack Lewnes

Mount St. Joseph's Mack Lewnes (Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / March 22, 2004)

Wrestler of the Year

Mack Lewnes Mount St. Joseph, sophomore

Lewnes, the nation's top-ranked 152-pound sophomore, won his second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and private schools crowns and was first at National Preps after losing in overtime of last year's title bout.


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He had wins over four-time National Preps champ Rudy Rueda of DeMatha and private schools champ Brian Saval of Boys' Latin, ending the year at 51-2 with 38 pins. Lewnes, whose older brother Sam was last season's Wrestler of the Year, is 90-9 for his career.

The repeat All-Metro selection constantly surpassed expectations. During the first four weeks of the season, he placed first, second and third, respectively, in the Beast of The East, PowerAde and Iron Man tournaments, which are considered three of the four toughest invitationals in the nation.

In that span, Lewnes defeated Pennsylvania state champ Steve Anceravage of Bloomsburg and split bouts with Ohio State runner-up Mike Pucillo of Walsh Jesuit and Blair Academy's Mike Gallente.

In January, Lewnes earned the crown at the Mount Mat Madness tournament, considered Maryland's most difficult invitational, by defeating Delaware state champ Kyle Skinner for the second time in his career. In February, Lewnes pinned all four opponents to win the Colonial Forge Duals, also earning a major decision during the same week against Archbishop Curley's Pat Sinnott.

Coach of the Year

Earl Lauer River Hill

The Hawks graduated 16 seniors - including nine starters - from last year's state duals champion. Yet his Hawks won an unprecedented fifth straight Howard County tournament crown by a record margin of 104 points with six individual champs.

In winning his fourth region tournament in five years, Lauer, 55, sent a school-record 11 wrestlers to the 4A-3A state meet. A first-year heavyweight was second at counties and third at regionals. At states, River Hill placed a school-record third, and two Hawks were state runners-up in the same season for the first time.

River Hill made its third 4A-3A state duals final appearance in the past five years, losing to Calvert of Calvert County, which ended the Hawks' 31-match winning streak and a run of 39 consecutive duals wins against Maryland rivals. Lauer, who had a new head assistant coach in Jeremy Lignelli this season, is 123-22-2 in eight years at River Hill, with four county duals crowns and three regional duals titles. He was given an award for his service to wrestling by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

First team

Sasha Binder Owings Mills, senior

The 140-pounder went 37-0 to win Baltimore County, regional and 2A-1A state titles.

He defeated Harford Tech two-time state runner-up Brad Dreyer, Annapolis 4A-3A champ Ben Graham and 4A-3A runner-up Eric Jeronimo of Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Corey Bowers Chesapeake-AA, senior

The 119-pound Anne Arundel County Wrestler of The Year won his fourth county, second regional and first state title after placing second at states last year, and third twice.

Bowers (129-12 career) had wins over Owings Mills two-time 2A-1A state champ Rob Cooper, Mount St. Joseph two-time private schools state champ Bruce Dulski and South River state runner-up Andrew Mulry.

Ethan Cohen Hammond, junior

The third-year wrestler won the 103-pound Howard County and regional titles and was 2A-1A state runner-up. Last year, Cohen was a county and regional runner-up and placed fourth at states.

Cohen had three wins over River Hill state runner-up Taylor Green, beat Sherwood's Montgomery County and regional runner-up, Andy Lowy, and pinned all three regional rivals.

Chris DeVilbiss Liberty, senior

De Vilbiss went from fourth-string as a junior varsity freshman to 2A-1A state champion as a senior with a 35-0 record at 152 pounds.

A state runner-up last year, De Vilbiss captured this year's county and regional crowns and won states, 4-3, over Harford Tech's Josh Taylor.

Andrew Gold Mount St. Joseph, senior

The 112-pound University of Pennsylvania-bound wrestler won his second straight private schools crown and was runner-up at MIAAs and National Preps.

Gold defeated state runners-up Joe Breen (McDonogh) and Mike Long (Harford Tech), and state champs Corey Bowers (Chesapeake-AA) and Rob Cooper (Owings Mills). The bouts with Cooper and Bowers, in the postseason Senior All-Star Classic, do not count toward the wrestlers' official records.

Ben Graham Annapolis, senior

He won the 4A-3A state crown at 140 pounds after twice being runner-up.

Graham (32-2) won a battle of state runners-up, 6-4, in overtime for the state 4A-3A title over Eric Jeronimo of Bethesda-Chevy Chase. He also won his second straight Anne Arundel County and regional crowns.

Bryn Holmes McDonogh, sophomore

Holmes went 37-6 with 29 pins and won the 160-pound MIAA and private school titles after being second in both as a freshman. Holmes finished fourth at 152 pounds at National Preps.

He pinned Bullis two-time state runner-up Jay Gorman and Harford Tech state runner-up Josh Taylor. He decisioned North Carroll's Seth Knights, who placed third at states.

Mason Krumholtz Kenwood, junior

The 145-pounder won his second straight Baltimore County and regional crowns and his first 4A-3A state title after placing fifth as a sophomore.

Krumholtz (33-0) beat Owings Mills 2A-1A state runner-up Mike Kessler, repeat state runner-up Chad Jeronimo of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, North Carroll's Seth Knights (third at states) and Annapolis' Andrew Smith (fourth at states).

Corey Lawson Woodlawn, senior

The 130-pounder avenged early season losses to state place-winners Justin Nash of Owings Mills and Dominic Ventura of Centennial. He beat Nash for the Baltimore County crown, Ventura for his regional title and edged Old Mill state runner-up Doug West, 5-4, in the 4A-3A state semifinals en route to finishing second at the 4A-3A state tournament. His win over West was one of only two losses for the Old Mill senior.

Lawson lost a heartbreaker, 9-8, in double overtime of his state title bout with Walt Whitman's Eren Civan, finishing with a 27-3 record.

Tyler Moyer Broadneck, senior

The area's top-ranked 215-pounder won his second straight Anne Arundel County and regional titles and took the 4A-3A state crown, 7-2, over Paint Branch's Bummi Omatode after being a runner-up last season.

Moyer went 29-1, avenged his only loss to Bowie's Zac Adomanis, and moved up to heavyweight to hand Glen Burnie's state champ Justin Neal his only loss, in overtime. Moyer also beat Patterson's DeShawn Barrett (third at states).

Jeremy Navarre Joppatowne, junior

The heavyweight scored a 49-second pin in his first bout at the 2A-1A state tournament, and defeated his three other opponents by a combined 38-1 en route to becoming Joppatowne's first repeat state champ.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder won his second straight Harford County and regional crowns, going 37-0 with 26 pins and giving up only five points all year. His father, George, a Mariners' assistant, was the school's first state champ at 20-0-1 in 1981.

Justin Neal Glen Burnie, junior

After missing last year's Anne Arundel County, regional and 4A-3A state tournaments, Neal won all three this year as well as two offseason national titles.

The heavyweight went 27-1, beating Meade state runner-up Alec Eaton four times, once by pin. Neal's only loss was to Broadneck's 215-pound Tyler Moyer.

Scott Steele Towson, senior

The Sun's top-ranked 189-pounder missed the Baltimore County tournament with a knee injury, but went 29-0 with 26 pins to become the second state champ in school history.

Steele beat Thomas Johnson's Mark Esmont by decision for the regional crown and pinned him in the 4A-3A state final. He also beat South Carroll 2A-1A state champ Tim Ferguson and Patapsco state runner-up Eric Hood.

Vince Taweel Hammond, freshman

The 125-pound Taweel beat four-time state place-winner and two-time state runner-up Jeff Plasse of Oakland Mills for the Howard County, regional and 2A-1A state titles. He also beat Overlea state runner-up Kyle Krumholtz.

Taweel, who was this year's only state champion from Howard County, is Hammond's seventh state champ, its second underclassman titlist and its first to win as a freshman.

Ricky Tippett McDonogh, senior

The 140-pounder went 40-5 and won his third MIAA title and second state private schools crown. He placed sixth at the National Preps tournament.

Tippett has a 61-match winning streak against Maryland wrestlers. He pinned MIAA and private schools 145-pound runner-up Jake Bohn of Mount St. Joseph, had overtime wins over Harford Tech state runner-up Brad Dreyer and Owings Mills state champ Sasha Binder, and beat 4A-3A state runner-up Eric Jeronimo of Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Binder's loss, in the Senior All-Star Classic, does not count toward his official record.

Cam Watkins McDonogh, junior

The 135-pound, DeMatha transfer won the MIAA tournament, was runner-up at private school states and was third at the National Preps tournament. He was 41-6 with 16 pins.

Watkins won three of four bouts against Mount St. Joseph private schools champ Dave Dulski, who later beat two-time 4A-3A state champ Sonny Nucci of Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Andrew Winfield South Carroll, senior

The 171-pounder went 30-0 en route to county, regional and 2A-1A state titles, and was Carroll County's Wrestler of The Year.

He beat two-time state place-winner Eric Fishel of Owings Mills in the state finals, defeated 4A-3A state champ Randy Oates of Northern of Calvert County and private schools runner-up Sean Thayer of Bullis.


Second team

Weight, Name, School, Class

103 - Taylor Green, River Hill, Sophomore

112 - Joe Breen, McDonogh, Sophomore

112 - Vince Cina, River Hill, Senior

112 - James Knox, Dulaney, Junior

119 - Rob Cooper, Owings Mills, Senior

119 - Bruce Dulski, Mount St. Joseph, Senior

125 - Kyle Krumholtz, Overlea, Senior

130 - Mike Taylor, Harford Tech, Senior

130 - Doug West, Old Mill, Senior

135 - Dave Dulski, Mount St. Joseph, Senior

140 - Brad Dreyer, Harford Tech, Senior

145 - Mike Kessler, Owings Mills, Junior

152 - Josh Taylor, Harford Tech, Junior

160 - Justin Shaffer, Eastern Tech, Senior

171 - Eric Fishel, Owings Mills, Senior

189 - Kevin O'Connor, Mount St. Joseph, Junior

215 - DeShawn Barrett, Patterson, Junior

Hwt. - Alec Eaton, Meade, Senior

Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.


Final poll

1. Mount St. Joseph 16-1
2. Owings Mills 18-0
3. Harford Tech 15-1
4. McDonogh 18-5
5. River Hill 21-1
6. North Carroll 15-1
7. Chesapeake-AA 12-4
8. Old Mill 12-2
9. Arundel 18-4
10. South Carroll 13-1
11. Boys' Latin 8-5
12. Fallston 10-2
13. Francis Scott Key 13-4
14. Glenelg 13-4
15. Kenwood 13-3


Other teams considered: Atholton (16-3); Calvert Hall (15-5), Bel Air (13-4), Overlea (14-4), South River (16-5).