xml:space="preserve">

South Carroll coach Bryan Hamper and his wrestlers probably still feel the sting from losses to in January and last February to Middletown.

Coaches always council against looking ahead, but Hamper can't help thinking about the Knights of Frederick County.

Advertisement

No. 2 seeded South Carroll faces No. 3 Southern Garrett in the Class 2A-1A West Region dual-meet tournament semifinals Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Middletown.

The Cavaliers likely will face a challenge in the Rams, but Hamper spent some time recently talking about top-seeded Middletown, which beat Cavaliers 43-24 this season, and 41-34 last year in the region dual-meet finals.

South Carroll, which has won the past three 2A-1A state championships, hasn't lost very much over the last few years. The Cavaliers boast a 61-7 dual-meet record over the past two seasons.

Cavaliers to face Southern Garrett in semifinals Wednesday

"We would love to have the opportunity to compete against them again," said Hamper, whose team could face Middletown in the finals provided the Knights defeat No. 4 seed Northern Garrett in the other semifinal. "There were four or five swing matches in that match that didn't go our way. We are looking to see what type of corrections we've made. If we face Middletown, we are going to rise up."

Before the Cavaliers clash with Middletown, ranked third in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, they have to deal with Southern Garrett. Hamper and his wrestlers have plenty of things to be worry about it comes to the matchup with the Rams.

Southern Garrett has five wrestlers that are ranked by the MSWA — seniors Brison Dixon (106 pounds) and Jimmy Schwab (152), juniors Nate Tasker (132) and Joey Embleton (170), and sophomore Jace Guy (138).

The Cavaliers will likely counter with freshman Jagger Clapsadle (106, 36-2), seniors Jake MacKenzie (152, 35-3) and Jamar Williams (38-0, 170), a two-time state champion, along with sophomores Cam Werner (132, 29-7) and Steven Dahl (138, 30-7).

"Southern Garrett is a really great team," Hamper said. "If you look at our common opponent box scores, we are beating teams in almost an identical way. They are very strong where we are very strong [lightweights]. It will come down to bonus points.

"There is a lot of state-ranked in both of our lineups and a lot of those guys will square off. It will be a great opportunity for us to compete against high-level guys and we will have to wrestle fantastic to beat Southern Garrett."

South Carroll's starting lineup also features two-time state champ Joey Thomas (126, 37-1), Dakota Bowers (113, 35-3), Travis Crawford (120, 38-0), Tyler Harbison (145, 33-5), Joey Judson (160, 8-5), Collin Rolfes (160, 10-10), Matt Staley (182, 20-18), Chase Brengle (195, 1-0), Richie Summerlin (195, 18-18), Mason Yeager (220, 19-19), and Pat Quinn (285, 24-14).

Advancing for the Class 2A-1A West dual-meet tournament is not a given every year for South Carroll. The Cavaliers have done it six times in Hamper's nine years.

They advanced to the state semifinals in 2010 before getting edged by Glenelg.

"Any time you qualify for regional duals it kind of validates the season you've had," Hamper said. "The West region is notoriously the toughest one out there. That region produces multiple state championships, and I think it's the last seven or eight. It might even be more than that."



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement