WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Sam Lewnes Mount St. Joseph, senior
A four-time state finalist, two-time state champion and one-time National Prep champion, the Oklahoma State-bound Lewnes defeated Georgia state champion Justin Otis (Lakeside), New England and New Hampshire champion Matt Stoplinski (Phillip Exeter), Virginia champion P.J. Woroez, two-time Maryland champion Trey Kohl (Kent County) and private schools champion Jerome Featherstone (Boys' Latin).
Lewnes also beat Hammond's 189-pound county champion Steve Sessa, who was third at the Class 2A-1A states, and defeated a Virginia runner-up, a third-place finisher from Pennsylvania and a fourth-place finisher from Ohio.
A two-time Baltimore City/County Wrestler of the Year, Lewnes repeated as champion in the Catholic and Hammond invitationals, and captured his first crown at the prestigious PowerAde Tournament. Lewnes was fifth at the highly regarded Beast of The East event.
In a loss to Blair Academy's Mark Perry, the nation's No. 1 recruit, in the finals of the National Preps tournament, the four-time All-Metro pick surprised his adversary by scoring a takedown. "I can't remember the last time anyone scored a takedown on Mark," said Perry's teammate, Crownsville resident Ryan Davis.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Grim Old Mill
The second-year coach began the season with an unranked team that started eight first-year varsity wrestlers and often forfeited the 103-pound weight class. By season's end, his Patriots (14-2-1) were ranked No. 7, had won Old Mill's 19th Anne Arundel County title, a regional crown and a state-record seventh Class 4A-3A tournament title.
A 1988 Old Mill graduate, Grim's previous three coaching seasons at North County produced two county runner-up finishes.
He built this year's squad around returnees Doug West (125 pounds), Josh Baynham (130) and William Bell (heavyweight), each of whom won county and region crowns and were state runners-up. Senior newcomer Jude Ayanleye (135) was fifth at states, exemplifying Grim's efforts.
"We were taking baby steps," Grim said. "But from Day One, we preached county, regional and states, and made sure to peak at the end."
Nathan Bachmann Fallston, junior
As a 135-pound sophomore last season, Bachmann became his school's second state champion and its first to win the triple crown - Harford County, region and state Class 4A-3A titles.
This season, the No. 2-ranked 145-pounder repeated with all three titles, going 34-2 and being named Harford County's Wrestler of the Year.
In the state title bout, Bachmann had to overcome a 1-0 deficit for a 4-1 win over Montgomery County and region champion Ignacio Diaz of Quince Orchard.
William Bell Old Mill, senior
The area's top-ranked heavyweight, Bell won his second straight Anne Arundel County and regional titles. He was the 4A-3A state runner-up to Severna Park's Brian Payer, whom he had beaten eight times.
Bell had 18 pins, one of them over Payer. He was runner-up at the Hammond Invitational, losing by a point to two-time National Preps champion Bode Ogunwole of Georgetown Prep. Bell ended the year with a 33-4 record.
Tim Bohlman Mount St. Joseph, senior
The area's No. 1-ranked 125-pounder won his first MIAA crown after being fourth, second and third, respectively, in previous years, and dethroned DeMatha's Cam Watkins for his first private schools state crown.
Bohlman was fourth at the Hammond Invitational, splitting wins with Old Mill's 4A-3A runner-up Doug West. He was fourth at the PowerAde Invitational, third at the National Preps and beat Churchill's two-time 4A-3A champion Brandon Shapiro in the Senior All-Star Classic. Bohlman finished at 39-7 (145-48 career).
Corey Bowers Chesapeake-AA, junior
The area's No. 1-ranked 119-pounder won his third straight Anne Arundel County title, his first regional title and was 4A-3A state runner-up after a 3-2 loss to Churchill's two-time state champion Brandon Shapiro.
Bowers went 31-3, pinning Owings Mills' 2A-1A state champion Rob Cooper to win the Arundel Tournament. He edged Harford Tech's 2A-1A runner-up Mike Taylor, 10-8, en route to a runner-up finish at the Hammond Invitational.
Jerome Featherstone Boys' Latin, senior
The No. 2-ranked 160-pounder was 1-2 against Mount St. Joseph's top-ranked Sam Lewnes, winning in overtime in the private schools finals for the crown that eluded him in overtime last season.
The takedown artist was second to Lewnes at both the Hammond and MIAA tournaments.
Featherstone (38-5) was fourth at National Preps after being second last season. He had wins over MIAA champs Mack Lewnes of Mount St. Joseph and Ben Nichols of McDonogh, Loyola's private schools runner-up Eric Keller and Northern of Garrett County's 2A-1A state runner-up Darric Kamp. Oklahoma University has expressed interest in him.
Eric Fishel Owing Mills, junior
Fishel won his first Baltimore County and second straight regional title. He was third at the 2A-1A state tournament and finished with a 38-1 record. The area's No. 1-ranked 171-pounder split wins with DuVal state runner-up Steve Stoddard and pinned Howard County runner-up Pat Wallace of Hammond.
Fishel won the county title on three pins and a technical fall. He has pinned Pallotti's private schools state champion Tim Jennings and beaten Eastern Tech's region runner-up Pat Reed.
Mark Frey Archbishop Curley, senior
The top-ranked 130-pounder went 41-4 (143-20 career, 69 pins), and has won 96 straight bouts against Maryland rivals.
This year, he twice pinned Boys' Latin's MIAA runner-up Justin Fitch, pinned Mardela's 2A-1A champion Justin Bradley and beat champions from New England and Massachusetts. He also defeated Old Mill's state runner-up Josh Baynham, Perry Hall's three-time Baltimore County champion Nick Ramsel and Mount St. Joseph's state runner-up David Dulski.
Frey's 442 career takedowns rank No. 1 in school history. He won his third straight MIAA and private schools titles and defeated Blair Academy's nationally ranked Adam Frey to become the area's only National Preps champion.
Andrew Gold Mount St. Joseph, junior
The top-ranked, 103-pound South Carroll transfer went 40-4, winning the Curley, Hammond, MIAA and private schools tournaments. He was runner-up at the PowerAde event, fifth at the Beast of The East and third at the National Preps tournament.
A former Carroll County and region champion, Gold was third at last year's 4A-3A state tournament.
Mack Lewnes Mount St. Joseph, freshman
In his first high school bout, No. 2-ranked Lewnes pinned Chesapeake-Anne Arundel's Seppi Serio, a third-place finisher at the 4A-3A states. At one point Lewnes had 14 straight pins.
Lewnes went 39-7, winning the Curley, Hammond, MIAA and private schools tournaments, and losing in overtime in his National Preps title bout. A runner-up at the PowerAde event, the 152-pound Lewnes allowed only three near-fall points and lost all of his bouts by decision.
Tyler Moyer Broadneck, junior
A transfer from the state of Washington, Moyer was the area's top-ranked 215-pounder. His 31-2 record included losses to two state champions.
Moyer dominated opponents on takedowns. He split wins with Northwestern's 4A-3A champion Chad Nkang, losing to Nkang in the state finals. His other loss was to Severna Park's 4A-3A heavyweight champion Brian Payer, 3-1.
Moyer routed DeMatha's private schools champion Ken Jefferson, 13-2, and won the Arundel, Annapolis Area Christian, South River, Anne Arundel County and 4A-3A North region tournaments.
David Nakasone Centennial, senior
Nakasone gained The Sun's No. 1 ranking at 152 pounds in the season-opening McDonogh tournament, beating the host school's state champion, Travis Holmes. Nakasone later won his first Howard County crown, along with his second straight region and state titles.
Nakasone's twin brother, Mark, also won a state title, making the siblings the first twins to win crowns in the same season since Northeast's Marty and Mike Kusick won their last of three straight in 1995. The Nakasones were named Howard County Co-Wrestlers of the Year.
Nakasone was 35-0 with 13 pins, winning titles at the Arundel and Franklin tournaments.
Mark Nakasone Centennial, senior
Like his twin brother, David, Mark completed the year unbeaten (36-0). He was Howard County and regional champion and beat Williamsport's Devin Hewitt, 11-9, for the state title. The 145-pounder won tournament titles at McDonogh, Arundel and Franklin. He had wins over Mount St. Joseph's private schools champion Brian Propst, Fallston's 4A-3A champion Nathan Bachmann, Quince Orchard's 4A-3A runner-up Ignacio Diaz, Hereford's 2A-1A runner-up Dan Fouts, Severna Park's county champion Steve Smith and Owings Mill's county champion Mike Kessler.
Andrew Schlaffer Dulaney, senior
The top-ranked 135-pounder won his second straight Baltimore County crown along with the regional and state titles that eluded him as a finalist a year earlier. Schlaffer is Dulaney's first state champion.
Schlaffer (40-1, 140 career wins) did not give up a takedown against a Maryland wrestler this season. He had wins over River Hill's two-time county champion Nick Shevland, Perry Hall's three-time county champion Nick Ramsel and Annapolis' two-time state runner-up Ben Graham.
Justin Tippett Arundel, senior
Tippett was on his school's cheerleading team until taking to the mats in January. The 189-pounder, who hadn't wrestled since his freshman season, was convinced to wrestle by coach Bill Royer. Tippett's athleticism and tenacity helped him win Anne Arundel County, region and 4A-3A state titles. He went 17-1.
The Anne Arundel County Wrestler of The Year, Tippett had wins over Patapsco's state runner-up Eric Hood, pinned Northern of Calvert's district and region champion Matt Parsons and Wicomico's state champion Jarell Chandler, and beat Boys' Latin's state runner-up Elliott Freed.
Ricky Tippett McDonogh, junior
The top-ranked 140-pounder won with cat-like skills and brains, particularly in his five narrow victories over second-ranked Brian Saval of Boys' Latin. Tippett (43-4) won the McDonogh and Hammond invitationals, as well as the MIAA and private schools state titles.
Tippett was third at the National Preps event.
Jimmy Van Daniker Perry Hall, senior
The top-ranked 112-pounder won his third straight regional crown, his first Baltimore County title after twice being runner-up, and the 4A-3A state title after being fourth and second.
In his state title bout, Van Daniker (38-1, 105 career wins) dethroned Quince Orchard's Frankie Baughan, 5-3, on a takedown with two seconds left in the first overtime. That win ended Baughan's 67-bout winning streak.
One of Van Daniker's 26 pins was over Westminster's Carroll County champion Justin Hughes.
Doug West Old Mill, junior
The area's No. 2-ranked 125-pounder won the Anne Arundel County and regional titles. He lost his 4A-3A title bout, 5-2, to Churchill's three-time state champion Danny April.
A third-place finisher at the Hammond Invitational, West had won 20-straight bouts entering the state finals. His streak included a win over Mount St. Joseph's private schools champion Tim Bohlman.
Weight Name School Class
103 James Knox Dulaney Sophomore
112 Bruce Dulski Mount St. Joseph Junior
119 Rob Cooper Owings Mills Junior
125 Ryan Brown Lansdowne Senior
125 Steve Yaruta Chesapeake-AA Senior
130 Dave Dulski Mount St. Joseph Junior
130 Justin Fitch Boys' Latin Sophomore
135 Ben Graham Annapolis Junior
140 Lee Crowl Francis Scott Key Junior
140 Brian Saval Boys' Latin Junior
145 Mike Kessler Owings Mills Sophomore
152 Chris Dyke Northeast Senior
152 Seppi Serio Chesapeake-AA Junior
160 Andrew Winfield South Carroll Junior
171 Tim Jennings Pallotti Sophomore
189 Eric Hood Patapsco Junior
215 Jeremy Navarre Joppatowne Sophomore
Hwt. Brian Payer Severna Park Senior
Note: Teams selected by Lem Satterfield after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.
2003 All-Metro wrestling
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