This was the year Bryan Hamper had waited a long time for. After five second-place finishes in the state tournament, the sixth-year coach led his alma mater, South Carroll, to a share of the Class 2A-1A state title with Kent Island.
Hamper wrestled for the Cavaliers from 1997 to 2001 and won two individual state titles. He returned to the school as head coach in 2008 and has compiled a 103-29 dual-meet record. He also has coached five state champions and 23 wrestlers who placed in the state tournament.
His favorite moment came during this season's state championship at Cole Field House in College Park. The Cavaliers had one match left, and South Carroll needed a major decision by All-Metro second-team pick Jake Pooton to tie for the state title.
Pooton, who was winning by seven points late in the match, let his opponent escape, cutting his lead to six points. He then took him down for the eight points necessary to score a major decision.
"It was a great moment for everyone in the South Carroll wrestling community," Hamper said. "We brought seven wrestlers to the tournament, while Kent Island brought 11. Everybody contributed to the victory, and all the hard work finally paid off."