Wrestling: It's tournament time


Weather permitting, wrestling tournaments in Baltimore and Harford counties, as well as Baltimore City's District 9 affair, will be held in the next couple days.

And when they do, No. 6 Aberdeen again will be the favorite in Harford County, with No. 13 Mervo the top dog in the city, and No. 8 Perry Hall, No. 9 Eastern Tech and No. 12 Owings Mills expected to do battle in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County

The seedings are spread rather evenly in Baltimore County, with Perry Hall, ranked No. 10 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, having the most wrestlers (six) seeded in the top three spots.

The Gators (13-0) don't have any No. 1 seeds, but their five No. 2s are county runner-up Steve Boothe (119 pounds), Rich Hanzevack (135, third), Brian Yoakum (145, third), Joe Farinetti (171) and Jeff Taylor (189). Perry Hall's Nick Sidiropoulos (103) is seeded third.

Eastern Tech's Mavericks and Owings Mills' Eagles each have four wrestlers in the top three, and Dulaney, Woodlawn and Overlea have three each.

The No. 1 seeds from those teams are county runners-up Mykol Thomas (152) and Darrel Mance (Hvy) of Woodlawn, Mike Kassoulis (103) and county runner-up Alex Leanos of Dulaney, John Fields (145) of Overlea, Joe Catlin (119) of Eastern Tech and Stan Leazer (135) of Owings Mills.

The other top seeds are Randallstown's Gary Harris (125), Catonsville's Aaron Lovinger (140), Kenwood's Chuck Williams (160), Towson's Pat Macleod (171) and Hereford's Roy Collins (189). Lovinger has just one loss -- a 1-0 decision -- and the other four wrestlers are unbeaten.

The toughest weight classes, in order, appear to be 171, 140, 119, 152 and 130.

Macleod, ranked No. 3 by the MSWA, heads a class that includes thrice-beaten Farinetti, Woodlawn's fourth seed Tory Gundy, Pikesville's fifth seed Chad Hipsley and Kenwood's sixth seed George Benson.

Eighth seed Willie Broadnax (Owings Mills) has split bouts with Farinetti, and ninth seed Jason Sergotick (171) lost, 9-7, in overtime recently to Howard High's Seth Eldridge, ranked No. 6 by the MSWA.

The No. 2 seed behind Lovinger at 140 is Dulaney's Steve Carlino, a recent Overlea tournament champ. Regional runner-up James Phillips (Randallstown) has just one loss.

Also at 140, Perry Hall's fourth seed Steve Page has split bouts with Woodlawn's eighth seed Robin Watkins, and Kenwood's fifth seed Terry Hagy has just three losses.

Catlin, a regional runner-up, heads a 119-pound class in which county champ Sean Groszkowski (Franklin) is the fifth seed, and Thomas (152) tops a class in which Perry Hall's 17-match winner Austin Kim is the sixth seed.

Baltimore City

While most agree Mervo's Mustangs have the most balance, coach Dwight Warren says, "With all the talent in the city, we could be sliced up very easily."

Depth will be the key if the No. 13 Mustangs are going to dethrone Walbrook, which returns defending city champion Jamil Stoakley (171, 12-2, nine pins), runner-up Kevin Muldrow (135, 12-1) and fourth-place finishers Kevin Hughes (112, 13-3) and Robert Fowlkes (heavyweight, 10-3).

Stoakley, an 8-6 state-quarterfinal loser to last year's state runner-up, should get his toughest challenge from Southwestern's Darrel Parker, third in the city last year.

Mervo's best bets for titles are Shawn Brodie (heavyweight, 15-1, 11 pins), who is ranked No. 5 by the MSWA, runner-up McAnthony Thompson (130, 16-0) and Carlos Levine (152), who was third in the city last year.

But Warren will feel more comfortable with top four placements from Randallstown transfer Wayne Lucas (125), Millard West (119), Garfield Thompson (112), Bryant Cromwell (145), Stacey Smith (160) and Ben Braswell (189).

Poly, Dunbar, Northern, Southwestern and Edmondson all boast solid contenders.

The top threat from Poly's Engineers -- Rashaad Kitchen (189) -- was a runner-up last year to Carver's defending champion Kama Owens. The two should reach the title bout again, and Owens' teammate, Robert Horton (160, 11-2), is a solid contender in his class.

The Engineers also return champion Tony Bridges (103), whose title-bout challenge should come from Southwestern's Dorian Paul (third last year).

Poly's Paul Stankiewicz (135) and Arthur Peace (171) each were fourth last year, and Jaison Bloom (140) has a victory over Dulaney's Steve Carlino -- the No. 2 seed in Baltimore County's tournament.

Dunbar (3-6) did not field a full team, but can threaten, led by defending champ Bruce Pendles (112, 13-1), who has nine pins and four technical falls. The Poets also have runner-up Hermondoz Thompson (135, 10-1), Lydell Henry (145, 11-2) and Doug Hampton (152, 10-1), a junior-league state runner-up last year.

Edmondson's defending champ, Maurice Simmons (140, 12-2), could have a tough time repeating. His biggest obstacle could be Lake Clifton's once-beaten Lloyd Cox, who was fourth last year and owns a regular-season win over Simmons. Edmond

son's Aaron Jackson (112, 10-1) was a runner-up last year, and Larry Dix (125, 10-1) was third.

Harford County

Four defending champions are expected to lead Aberdeen to a 10th consecutive team title when the 25th Harford County wrestling championships are held this weekend -- weather permitting -- at Havre de Grace.

The program is scheduled to open tonight with the quarterfinals starting at 6. Tomorrow's single session will begin at 2 p.m., with the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

In the event there is no school today, it is likely officials will run it as a one-day tournament beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Three of Aberdeen's four defending champions have stepped up in class, with Frank Johnson (130) at 135, Kit Doran (140) at 152 and Chad Gurrera (152) at 160. The other is Chris Allen at 189.

The only other returning champion is David Schmidt of C. Milton Wright (103), who will be at 119.

Although Aberdeen is expected to dominate the field from 145 through 189, it has only Johnson as a proven place-winner in the lower weights. The senior was third two years ago, then upset top seed Brian McCarthy at 130 a year ago.

The likely contenders, by class, include:

103 -- Tommy Free, Edgewood. 112 -- Jeff Brochu, Havre de Grace; Bobby Loss, Edgewood. 119 -- Schmidt, Corey Pascuzzi, Havre de Grace; Steve Morgan, Joppatowne. 125 -- Vince Tuccarello, C. Milton Wright; Giro Cristello, Aberdeen; Mike Koppi, Havre de Grace; Matt Carlson, Bel Air; Chad Taylor, Fallston.

130 -- Matt Birth, Bel Air; Travis Volmar, Joppatowne; Bob Mills, Harford Tech. 135 -- Johnson; David Schimmel, Joppatowne; David Stewart, Bel Air. 140 -- Billy Smith, Harford Tech; Patrick Elliott, Fallston; James Fortier, Edgewood. 145 -- DeWayne Whitley, Aberdeen; Jamie Hunter, Joppatowne. 152 -- Doran; Paul Johnson, Havre de Grace.

160 -- Gurrera; Jaysson Eicholtz, North Harford; Joe Strazzire, Bel Air. 171 -- Grant, Todd Paradise, Fallston; Paul Konschak, North Harford. 189 -- Allen; Tom Staab, North Harford; Jeremiah Bowling, Bel Air. Heavyweight -- Russell Cook, Fallston; Dick Barwick Bel Air; Eric Morgan, Aberdeen; Ted Wiley, North Harford; Aaron Keaton, Harford Tech.

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