Cam Werner’s wrestling resume is loaded with accolades.
He’s a three-time Carroll County tournament champion. He has two regional titles. And two top-six finishes at the state tourney.
Werner wants nothing more than to add more accomplishments, to cap his South Carroll varsity career with a state crown at the end of this season. And the senior has plenty of motivation to do so.
That motivation was forged back in late February, when Werner steamed into the Class 2A-1A West Region tournament as the No. 2 seed at 132 pounds. He lost in the semifinals but still had a chance to wrestle back and qualify for states (the top four in each weight class advance). Werner met Middletown’s Noah Grossnickle in the “blood rounds,” where one more loss can dash a grappler’s championship hopes.
Grossnickle won 6-3. Werner dropped into the fifth-place bout and won there, but missed out on competing at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro in the final tournament of the year.
“It makes me work harder, wanting to achieve the state title more,” Werner said. “It makes me want to grind more and actually win it.”
Werner and the rest of Carroll’s wrestlers will be trying to start a new streak of state champions this winter. The county had at least one champion every year from 1983-2017, but the run ended last season when only three of Carroll’s 16 state tourney grapplers made the semifinals, and none got to the championship finals.
Liberty’s Jake Griffin (170 pounds) and South Carroll’s Dakota Bowers (120) made it on the 2A-1A side, while Westminster’s Brad Walsh (152) got there for 4A-3A.
Walsh placed third and finished 50-1 en route to Times Wrestler of the Year honors. Bowers placed fifth, winning his consolation final, and Griffin finished fourth.
Winters Mill won the Carroll County Athletic League regular-season championship in 2018 before South Carroll placed first at the annual county tournament. The Falcons also competed in the 2A West dual-meet tournament, while Manchester Valley made it in the 3A West tourney.
(The Mavericks tied with Linganore in the semifinals but lost on the eighth tiebreaker criteria.)
Werner is one of five wrestlers back from last year’s Times all-county first team — South Carroll teammates Travis Crawford and Steven Dahl, both seniors, Winters Mill junior Hunter Merson, and Liberty senior Noah Wienclawski.
Francis Scott Key senior Kane Richardson was also a first-team choice in 2018, but he suffered an injury playing football in the fall and is out for the season.
Werner said he worked on not getting thrown as much during the offseason — that cost him the match against Grossnickle, he said — and he’s likely competing at either 138 or 145 this winter. Cavaliers coach Matt Thomas said he spent time working out with Werner between seasons, and Werner asked him for some help.
“He personally came to me and said, ‘Let’s get my cardio up, let’s get my head right. Let’s do this,’” Thomas said. “It’s a bad taste in his mouth that it leaves there. There’s a lot of fuel in the fire right now.”
Werner has 108 career wins, and with another solid performance he can join some of South Carroll’s all-time greats near the top of the program’s victory list. He has a chance to become the 11th wrestler in Carroll history to collect four county tournament championships.
Ending his final high school season with a win, however, is the ultimate goal.
“You can kind of tell he’s grabbing it by the reins,” said Thomas, who made Werner one of SC’s three team captains. “They know it’s go time now. And they’re kind of figuring it out now that this is the last run at things, so let’s make something of it.”