Matt Eveleth

Matt Eveleth, Wrestler of the Year (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin / March 24, 2002)

Wrestler of the Year

Matt Eveleth Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, senior

Matt Eveleth became the first three-time state champion in the school's history and led the Cougars to their third state tournament team title. Along the way, the four-time state finalist overcame a loss that ended his winning streak at 83 matches and endured an injury to his left leg.


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The 125-pounder went 35-1 with 22 pins and one technical fall, raising his career record to a school-best 132-4 with a school-record 92 pins. Eveleth became only the fourth Anne Arundel County wrestler to win four county titles, joining Northeast's Marty and Mike Kusick and Old Mill's Chris Combs. The four-time regional champ joined the Kusick brothers and Southern's Tyrone Neal Jr. as the county's only three-time state champs.

Eveleth beat private schools state champ Chet Naylor (McDonogh) in the senior all-star classic, and pinned three-time state finalist Mike Weber (Sparrows Point). The 3.5 GPA student with an 1,100 SAT score is headed for the University of Pennsylvania, from which brother Brian, a state champ, graduated and where brother Jeff, a two-time state champ, is a sophomore.

Coach of the Year

Michael Duffy Mount Hebron

The team slogan, "History was written by the winners," is a quote by Alex Haley, and fifth-year coach Michael Duffy used it to take the Vikings where no Vikings' wrestlers had gone before.

En route to a school and county record-tying mark of 18-0, the third-ranked Vikings -- only 1-8 in Duffy's initial season -- captured their first county, region and 4A-3A state dual meet crowns, along with the school's first 4A-3A regional tournament title. Hammond went 18-0 in 1998. With only four wrestlers who competed prior to high school, Duffy relied on asistants Josh Pruett, Brian Neal and Jim Mengel to employ a strict training regimen that led to a relatively injury-free season. Mount Hebron outscored its dual meet opponents by an average of 55-10, establishing state records for total points scored (992) and least points allowed (178).

Wins at the Magruder and Arundel tournaments -- the latter over two-time private schools champ Archbishop Curley -- led to a brief stint as Maryland's top-ranked team. All 13 wrestlers (a school record) placed in the top four at counties, where Mount Hebron was runner-up to River Hill.

First team

Clayton Arnold Owings Mills, senior

The 135-pound senior was unstoppable in winning his first county, region and state titles, along with the senior all-star classic at River Hill.

Arnold finished the season with a 42-0 record, and his 147 career victories -- against only 10 career losses -- rank No. 2 in school history behind unbeaten, four-time state champ Steve Kessler (148-0) on the Eagles' all-time victories list.

Arnold had 20 pins and defeated Wilde Lake's former state champ, Matt Ennis, at the senior all-star classic.

Tom Boettcher Archbishop Curley, senior

In four classic battles with Boys' Latin's Jerome Featherstone, Boettcher (152) won the last two in overtime, and, with them, his third MIAA and first private schools state titles.

Boettcher missed the National Preps tournament with a broken hand that later was operated on. Boettcher ended his season with a 35-5 record, and his 156-28 record and 91 pins are No. 1 in Curley history.

Boettcher won his fourth title at the Arundel tournament, joining his brother, Paul, a four-time champ, and Mike, a three-time champ. Tom, Paul and Mike rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on Curley's all-time victories list.

Pat Burns Wilde Lake, senior

Burns (32-0, 17 pins) won heavyweight county and region titles and became the school's fifth state champ -- the first to go unbeaten according to coach Adam Eldridge.

Burns won his region and state titles, 4-2, and in overtime against Dulaney's two-time Baltimore County champ Konstantinos Kosmakos, whom Burns had lost to twice a year earlier. Burns was the only wrestler this year to defeat Kosmakos (39-2), who said of Burns: "If I'm going to lose to somebody, I'm glad it was him because he's a class guy."

A champion at the South River and Dundalk tournaments, Burns and twin brother Chris will play scholarship football at Bowie State University.

Trent Dixon Eastern Tech, senior

Much of his inspiration came from Trent David Gast-Woodard, the 2-year-old grandson of coach Joe Gast, who is named after Dixon.

Dixon (112) became his school's first two-time state champion, regaining the crown that he earned as a 103-pounder during his sophomore season. Dixon, who also won his second county title, also had wins over private schools state champ Cam Watkins (DeMatha) and 2A-1A runner-up Shawn Sims (Lansdowne), and two decisions over 4A-3A state runner-up Jim Van Daniker (Perry Hall).

The Franklin & Marshall-bound wrestler was 35-2 this year, 97-8 for his career and was taken down only five times this year.

Jerome Featherstone Boys' Latin, junior

Featherstone (152) endured the death of his grandmother and overcame a strength-sapping disease in finishing second at each of the MIAA, private schools and National Preps tournaments.

The takedown technician went 2-2 against Curley's Tom Boettcher, beating him, 13-7 and 7-5. Featherstone won tournaments at Boys' Latin and Dundalk, defeating Baltimore County champ Richard Wemple in the latter.

Featherstone (35-5) also was runner-up at the Hammond tournament.

Mark Frey Archbishop Curley, junior

The 119-pound repeat All-Metro went 38-5 with 18 pins, going unbeaten against Maryland wrestlers for the first time in his three years.

Frey (116 career wins, 45 pins) won his second MIAA and private schools titles and was runner-up at the National Preps after losing a narrow and controversial decision.

Frey won tournaments at Hammond and Arundel -- the latter for the third straight year.

Ryan Green River Hill, senior

This repeat All-Metro and this year's Howard County Wrestler of the Year competed first at 135 pounds and later at 140.

He became only the sixth wrestler to win four county tournament crowns, won his third regional title and his first state crown in going 36-0 with 21 pins and three technical falls. Green blanked National Preps runner-up Zak Johns of McDonogh, 1-0, and pinned Towson's fourth-place state finisher Zack Hines in 34 seconds at the senior all-star classic.

A 3.0 GPA student with a 1,050 SAT score, Green's 130-17 career mark is a school record. He will wrestle at Maryland, Missouri, George Mason or West Virginia.

Aaron Herwig Mount St. Joseph, senior

The 130-pound senior went 36-5 this year and ended his career with 68 victories and only 16 losses.

Herwig ended the season as the area's No. 1-ranked wrestler in his weight class, although he sometimes bumped to 135 pounds when the team needed him to.

Herwig took first place at the Curley and Hammond tournaments and won his first MIAA and private schools state championships.

Fran Jackson North Carroll, senior

Jackson (152) ends his career as the Panthers' most successful wrestler, winning four Carroll County titles, the same number of regional crowns and a school-record three state titles in four berths in the Class 4A-3A state finals.

The two-time All-Metro selection and Carroll County Wrestler of the Year beat two-time Baltimore County champ Richard Wemple in the region finals.

He pinned Northern of Calvert's Ryan Foreman in only 36 seconds of their state title bout -- one second slower than the state record.

Zak Johns McDonogh, senior

Johns competed at 140 and 145 pounds, pinning 29 of his opponents, including Westminster's two-time county and region champ Travis Mohlhenrich.

The four-year starter ended his high school career as McDonogh's all-time winningest wrestler with 154 victories and 96 pins. Johns won his second MIAA and private schools state titles and was runner-up at National Preps for the second time.

A three-sport athlete, Johns also plays soccer and lacrosse.

Sam Lewnes Mount St. Joseph, junior

Lewnes (160 pounds), a two-time All-Metro and this year's Baltimore CityƋCounty Wrestler of the Year, won his second MIAA and private schools titles, making the finals for the third straight year in each of those tournaments.

Lewnes was the only area wrestler to win a National Preps title, pinning Blair Academy's Matt Veres for the crown. Lewnes (43-3) was unbeaten against Marylanders and yielded just five nearfall points in the 46 bouts.

Lewnes beat state runner-up Rob Miller (Curley) three times, state runner-up Jerome Featherstone (Boys' Latin), 9-3, and has a 126-19 career record.

Geoff Miller McDonogh, senior

Miller competed both at 171 and 189 pounds, finishing third at the National Preps tournament in the former, and winning his second straight MIAA and private schools state titles in the latter.

Miller went 44-5 on the year, finishing off his season with victories over 4A-3A state champ Matt Butler (Einstein) and Andy Posil (Towson) by a combined 20-4 at the senior all-star classic.

Miller has 138 career wins and will wrestle for the University of Pennsylvania next season.

Chet Naylor McDonogh, senior

Competing at 125 pounds, Naylor had a breakthrough year, going 51-2 and earning his first MIAA and private schools titles.

Naylor was 2-1 against two-time National Preps champ Rudy Rueda (DeMatha), was first in the Hammond, McDonogh, Capitol Challenge and St. Benedict's tournaments, and was third at the Beast of the East event at the University of Delaware.

Naylor (133 career wins, 57 pins) was named Outstanding Wrestler three times, including once at private school states. He will wrestle at the University of Virginia.

Andy Posil Towson, senior

The 171-pounder went 42-0, earning his first county and regional titles and becoming the first state champion in the history of Towson High. Posil pinned 25 opponents, including three of four at the 2A-1A state tournament.

Among his big wins were decisions against Baltimore City and region champ Chris Price (Patterson) and former state runner-up Mike Reider (Hereford).

A 3.4 GPA student with a 1,320 SAT score, Posil plans to wrestle in college.

Doug Ramsey Atholton, senior

Ramsey (103 pounds) won his second straight county and regional titles and his first state crown -- on his father Mac's 51st birthday -- after being fourth at states last year.

The school's fifth state champ, the third under coach Bruce Lindblad, Ramsey (34-1) won his final 32 bouts, scoring 19 pins, three technical falls and 120 takedowns.

Ramsey's wins included a technical fall over Baltimore County champ Chris Clark (Eastern Tech) and major decisions over private schools runner-up Ben Sills (Curley) and Baltimore County runner-up Jason Jacovsky.

Matt Schuster Franklin, senior

Schuster (130) was runner-up at the county tournament after winning three straight years, but won his second regional crown and became Franklin's second wrestler to win a second state championship.

Schuster won the most difficult weight class at the state tournament, completing a 30-1 season and going 130-11 for his career, which is a school record.

Second team

103 - Bruce Dulski, Mount St. Joseph, Sophomore

112 - Shawn Sims, Lansdowne, Senior

112 - Jim Van Daniker, Perry Hall, Junior

119 - Henry Blue, Boys' Latin, Senior

125 - Ben Graham, Annapolis, Sophomore

130 - Andrew Schlaffer, Dulaney, Junior

130 - Mike Wood, Archbishop Curley, Senior

135 - Nathan Bachman, Fallston, Sophomore

140 - David Nakasone, Centennial, Junior

145 - Travis Holmes, McDonogh, Junior

152 - Matt Mindel, Dulaney, Senior

160 - Mike Mengel, Mount Hebron, Senior

160 - Rob Miller, Archbishop Curley, Senior

171 - Paul Macknis, Annapolis, Senior

189 - Tim Kassouf, Bel Air, Senior

189 - Eric Oppel, Archbishop, Curley Senior

Hvt - Konstantinos Kosmakos, Dulaney, Senior

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

Final poll

1. Curley 12-0
2. McDonogh 11-4
3. Mount Hebron 18-0
4. Chesapeake-AA 14-2
5. Owings Mills 23-1
6. River Hill 16-4
7. Annapolis 15-3
8. North Carroll 14-4
9. Mount St. Joseph 8-4
10. Boys' Latin 11-3
11. Old Mill 14-1
12. Dulaney 22-5
13. Westminster 11-2
14. Hammond 14-3
15. Eastern Tech 10-5


Other teams considered: Patterson (13-2), South Carroll (12-2), Harford Tech (10-3).