1 Mount St. Joseph -- The 18-time Maryland Scholastic Association champion Gaels return eight veterans, including MSA champs Danny DeVivo (171 pounds) and Tyran Dungee (135), MSA runners-up Jake Lissau (112) and Paul Scott (140), David Inkman (130, third) and Seth St. Vincent (160, fourth). Russell Fecteau (125) and Brian Mewshaw (152), two of the squad's three seniors, were third in last weekend's Maryland Invitational. Two former junior-leaguers are freshmen Eric Schaffer (103) and Dan Mattson (119).
2 Northeast -- Ten starters (four seniors) return from last year's 1A-2A state champion, including the All-Metro state champ Kusick twins, Marty (112) and Mike (119). State runner-up Steve Smiddy (135), Jason Grunder (152, third state) and Matt Jewer (140, fourth) are back. County runner-up Dale Bowers (112-119), Ron Katzenberger (160, fourth region), Chris Morrow (135-145), Ken Fowler (171) and heavyweight Dan Defenbaugh (6-3, 260) return, and Andrian Spears (189) was successful on junior varsity.
3 North Carroll -- The Panthers won their seventh straight Carroll County crown under 19th-year coach Dick Bauerlein. Five state qualifiers are back from a sixth-place 1A-2A finish. County and regional champs Doug Dell (119, second in states, 19 pins) and Chris Boog (171, third, 12 pins), county champs Corey Rill (130), Tommy Kiler (140, 15 pins) and Saidrick Lewis (152), and county runner-up Eric Hott (145) return.
4 Old Mill -- Having won their fourth and fifth straight 3A-4A state crowns -- both unprecedented -- the nine-time Anne Arundel County champion Patriots re-focus behind Jason Bryant (112, third states). County champ Mike Hines (152), Phil Schliefer (112, third county) and Don Patterson (189, fourth county) return. But 19th-year coach Mike Hampe (187-23-3 career record) also looks to Paul Hultgren (130, fourth county) and Shawn Radford (119, nine victories).
5 Francis Scott Key -- Coach Bill Hyson returns six state qualifiers, including All-Metro 1A-2A state champ Randy Owings (135). County champs Zac Yinger (145), Chris Beale (140), heavyweight Mario Lagunas (235 pounds) and nationally ranked power lifter Steve Lessard (125, second county) are steady.
6 Gilman -- Gilman is solid with six key returnees and four junior-league place-winners, already having trounced Bullis, 52-9, and Gonzaga, 63-3. Last year's veterans -- Jamie Biddison (189, 20 wins), Arman Taghizadeh (112, 20), Allen West (119, 20), Mike Kim (160, 16), John Bond (152, 10) -- should improve on their winning records. Big things are expected from junior-league grads Maakan Taghizadeh (103, state champ), Greg Plitt (145, state champ), Kirk Caldroney (140, third states) and Tommy Knowles (130, fifth).
7 22Aberdeen -- Coach Dick Slutzky goes for his 10th straight Harford County crown. County champs return in Frank Johnson (135, second region), Kit Doran (145-152, second region), Chad Guerrera (152-160, third region) and Chris Allen (189). County runner-up Mike Grant (171, fourth region) and veterans Giro Cristello (125) and Scotty Schaffer (119) are improved. Four freshmen junior-league grads bolster the lineup.
8 Hammond -- The two-time Howard County champs return three state qualifiers. John Motley (135, third region) won last year's counties and Chris Williams (152) won in 1991. Runners-up were Mike Chang (112, third region), Amit Kapoor (103), Brian Law (130, third region) and Danny Proulx (140). Jimmy Weston (189, third county), junior-league state runner-up Josh Zilmer (119) and four JV place winners contribute.
9 Owings Mills -- Stan Leazer (135, second region), Brandon Nolte (152, second county), region champ Adam Fink (119) and county and region runner-up Josh Ellin (112) lead a team with just two seniors. Four-year veteran Victor Saez (140), junior-varsity champs Paul Schulman (145) and Willie Broadnax (171) and junior-league place winner Steve Kessler (130) must provide points.
10 Perry Hall -- Eight starters return, led by region champs Steve VTC Boothe (119, fourth states), Brian Yoakum (145, third) and Jeff Taylor (189, third region). Rich Hanzevack (130) was third in Baltimore County and freshman Nick Sidiropoulos (103) was a junior-league place winner.
11 Chesapeake-AA -- Eight starters return from an 8-5 squad, including former Anne Arundel County and region champ Doug Horton (145), Matt Howard (119, third county, second region) and Rob Zittle (152, third county). Veterans Steve Davis (140), Steve Shirk (125), Keith Weaver (171) and Greg Vurgitch (189) combined for over 60 wins.
12 Broadneck -- All but one wrestler are back from a 7-7 squad, led by James Donner (112, fourth county) and 6-5 Matt Superzenski (189), the only senior. Jake Schaffer (171), Todd Betz (119), Isaac Putnam (135) and Rob Peck (140) are veterans on a balanced team. Coach John Mayberry is high on junior-varsity county runner-up Andy Chambliss (160) and West Virginia transfer Mike Schardt (130).
13 Annapolis -- Last year's 2-8 record was the worst for 15th-year coach Dave Gehrdes, whose Panthers return 10 starters, led by Mike Zambernardi (140, fourth county, third region) and Jack Copus (171), fourth in the county as a sophomore. State qualifier Dan Buckingham (152) and Matt Smear (189) are veteran seniors.
14 Arundel -- The Wildcats (11-3 last year) are led by senior Riverdale Baptist transfer Phil Meenan (119), who was third in the state as a sophomore, and county and regional runner-up John Noon (heavyweight). Veterans Mark Chesla (152), Fred Beadenkopff (112), Tim Kelly (135) and several JV place-winners add depth.
15 Overlea -- Coach Bruce Malinowski returns nine wrestlers from an 11-1 squad, including regional champ John Fields (145-152), who was third in the county and fourth in the state. Heavyweight Mike Knoedler (6-3, 260) was third in the region, and Chris Garret (189), K. C. Cowan (135-145) and Ray Clark (152-160) are veterans also.
Note: The preseason Top 15 was selected by The Baltimore Sun staff. During the season a panel of area coaches and writers will select the poll each week. It will appear Tuesdays.