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Oakland Mills, Glenelg wrestling control county destiny

Glenelg and Oakland Mills wrestling are the only two remaining teams undefeated in county matches. They will face off on Feb. 4.
Glenelg and Oakland Mills wrestling are the only two remaining teams undefeated in county matches. They will face off on Feb. 4. (Photo by Jen Rynda)

River Hill has dominated the county the previous three seasons, but it's Oakland Mills and Glenelg that control which team will win the Howard County dual championship this season.

With only two weeks left in the regular season, the race for the county championship is still yet to be fully determined.

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While the Scorpions (7-0 county, 15-2 overall) are the clear-cut favorites, Glenelg also controls its own destiny.

The Gladiators (5-0 county, 15-7 overall) currently sit in second-place behind Oakland Mills with six county duals left on the schedule, including a showdown with rival River Hill on Jan. 29. A win could set up a regular season finale with the Scorpions on Feb. 4 that could decide who wins the county championship.

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Although River Hill (5-1 county, 19-5 overall) lost to the Oakland Mills on Dec. 16, the Hawks can play spoiler against Glenelg. The Hawks could capture a share of the county title with a win over the Gladiators and a Glenelg win over Oakland Mills.

Mt. Hebron (5-2 county, 11-3 overall), Marriotts Ridge (3-2 county, 14-4 overall), Reservoir (3-4 county, 4-5 overall), Centennial (3-4 county, 9-5 overall), Howard (3-4 county, 7-7 overall), Atholton (2-3 county, 5-17 overall), Hammond (2-5 county, 2-6 overall), Long Reach (0-7 county, 3-12 overall) and Wilde Lake (0-6 county, 1-23 overall) round out the county standings through Jan. 26.

Smith, Hayden still undefeated

With the majority of the season under their belt, several county wrestlers are starting to hit the final stretch and beginning to gear up for the postseason.

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Howard County graduated most of its seven state champions from last season, but some returners are still contenders to represent the county atop the podium.

Oakland Mills senior 182-pounder Jaron Smith entered the week with a perfect, 21-0 record and is seeking his second straight 1A/2A state title.

Smith has dominated the state competition so far this season, but was tested on Jan. 10 at a tournament in Delaware. Smith overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period to beat a Delaware state runner-up.

"I'm not concerned about his (undefeated record), and I know he's not concerned about holding on to that," said Scorpions coach Brad Howell.

Mt. Hebron senior 132-pounder Jeff Hayden no longer has River Hill nemesis Michael Beck standing in his way to a county, region and state championship. He has cruised to a 17-0 record through Jan. 26.

Hayden defeated Reservoir's Trent Kilcarr 4-0 on Dec. 16 in a likely county championship match-up.

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