Outlook: Losing Stephen Hurst (37-7, 18 pins) to graduation meant losing a first-team all-county pick from a year ago, but Willingham and the Knights have veterans at the top of their lineup in Fitzgerald (31-10, second-team all-county), Jake Hurst, and Johnston. Century is dealing with COVID-19 issues to start the season and had its Jan. 5 opener with Manchester Valley postponed.
Francis Scott Key
Coach: Bill Hyson, 42nd year
Last year: 4-10, 0-6 CCAL
First match: Jan. 7 vs Winters Mill
Key losses: Wyatte Johns, Sam Kinloch, Nathan Perry
Outlook: The Eagles lost a pair of first-team all-county selections to graduation in Johns (32-10) and Perry (38-7), and Hyson said via email the program is thin this year with a low turnout and limited depth. But FSK will rely on Zach Kinloch (29-8 at 106) to help stabilize the lineup, Hyson said.
Key returners: Anthony Marsico, senior 152; Ryan Ohler, junior 145; Justin Richardson, senior 170
Outlook: The Lions have a new coach in Zaccagnini and bring back most of their lineup from a year ago, although they graduated a stud in Butler. He took second at the 2A-1A state tourney (182) and finished with 135 career wins, most in Liberty history. “The team is looking to compete with everyone in the county and to build off the success that was started last year,” Zaccagnini said via email.
Key losses: Zach Brathuhn, Thomas Chenoweth, Hunter Green, Connor Livingston, Adam Mattson, Brayden Safley, Chad Schaffer
Key returners: Jake Boog, sophomore; Travis Green, sophomore; Heathe Hernandez, senior; Lee Seipp, sophomore; Grant Warner, senior
Outlook: Man Valley brings back two wrestlers from the 2020 all-county first team in Travis Green (46-7) and Warner (47-4), who placed second at the 4A-3A state tourney in 2020. The Mavericks are looking to fill several spots in their lineup because of graduation, but Dodson said via email he thinks his state duals runner-up squad from a year ago still has talent and can be “competitive in every match.”
Key returners: Ryan Athey, junior 120; Antonio Bradford, senior 182; Rylan Moose, sophomore 170; Gage Owen, sophomore 132; Michael Pizzuto, sophomore 126; AJ Rodrigues, sophomore 145
Outlook: The reigning county champions have their share of talent back again, led by three state champs from in Owen, Pizzuto, and Rodrigues. Thomas also returns veterans such as seniors Justin Brister (220) and Jake Rippeon (152), and juniors Brandon Athey (160) and Anthony Bond (138) to fill out the lineup. Thomas said via email the Cavs are “very thankful to have the opportunity to compete this year unlike most counties/states.”
Outlook: Allen won 27 matches at 112 pounds last winter and earned second-team all-county honors, and the Owls return a first-teamer in Bryan (county champ at 195). Eckenbarger went 26-17 a season ago, Scott won 28 matches, and Beaver won 23 bouts. Flemming said via email that Westminster “should be solid from top to bottom of the lineup. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to compete this year.”
Outlook: The Falcons return all-county talent in Kirby (36-7), McCauley (31-13), and Vagnier (29-12), but lost a first-team pick in 2020 to graduation in Unkart. “We are excited to get back on the mat this season and compete,” Meszaros said via email. “We have a good mix of veterans and young guys who are eager to get better each day.”