The Dick Bauerlein farewell tour began at home last night and it was quite a show.
Bauerlein, coaching for the final time on his home mat at North Carroll, guided the second-ranked Panthers to first place in the Carroll County wrestling tournament.
North Carroll amassed 194 points, Francis Scott Key was second with 119.5, South Carroll was third with 93, Westminster took fourth with 85, and Liberty was fifth at 64.5 points.
It was the seventh straight county tournament championship and the 11th in the last 12 years for Bauerlein and North Carroll.
The final two stops on the Bauerlein tour will be at Boonsboro High Saturday for the 1A-2A West Regional tournament and Western Maryland College the following weekend for the state 1A-2A championship tournament.
The North Carroll rout didn't surprise Francis Scott Key coach Bill Hyson, whose eighth-ranked Eagles once again were no match for the Panthers.
"Everything finally caught up to us," Hyson said. "We've had some adversity this season [veteran wrestlers lost to bad grades] and some injuries. We had hoped to give North Carroll a better fight but I like the direction our program is headed with the young people coming through for us at the end of the season."
North Carroll placed 10 wrestlers in the finals, had two third-place finishes and a fourth.
With North Carroll a shoo-in for first, the night became mostly a matter of seeing if the top Panthers' wrestlers could pin their opponents and if the other top wrestlers in the county, such as Key's Randy Owings and South Carroll's Mike Chenoweth, would waltz to wins.
Owings had to struggle for a 3-1 decision over North Carroll's Jason Albert, and Chenoweth more than lived up to his reputation as a big-time performer as a sophomore.
Chenoweth pinned Key's Curtis Rhoten in 2:33.
For North Carroll, Chris Boog ran his unbeaten string to 27-0 with a 4-0 decision over Westminster's Jason Hare.