1993-94 record: 8-9. Coach: Dave Gehrdes.
Top wrestlers: Ed Catterton, Sr., 171-189; Justin Hans, Jr., 112; Rich Parseley, Jr., 160.
Outlook: Gehrdes regarded last season as somewhat disappointing after losing four meets by one or two points. He has to replace six starters in the 130 to 152 classes and 189. "We won't be in contention for the county championship, but we hope to surpass last year's record and be .500 or better," Gehrdes said. "This is a relatively young team, inexperienced in spots, with three rookie starters." Annapolis will be strongest in the upper weights with Catterton, Parseley and Monte Graves, a sophomore heavyweight in his first year of wrestling who "is a fine athlete -- strong, agile, quick and a fast learner." Catterton, Hans and Parseley, all coming off 20-plus wins, are the leaders. Catterton, a captain, was fifth in the region at 171 and Parseley was sixth at 160.
Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers
1993-94 record: 4-2. Coach: Jim Nemeth.
Top wrestlers: Jason Hardman, Sr., 135; Matt Gomes, Sr., 171; Dan Musiker, Sr., 145; Jimmy Foster, Soph., 103; Bob Wiltshire, Jr., Hwt.
Outlook: Ron Young was interim coach last season while Nemeth was in Hungary on a Fulbright teacher exchange. Spalding, which was second in the old MSA's C Conference, is now in the company of muscular teams like Mount St. Joe and Boys' Latin in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. "This is a new challenge, and we'll have to keep upgrading each year," Nemeth said. "The schedule is stronger, too, up to 12 to 13 duals and 10 tournaments after only six duals last season, partly because of inclement weather." Wiltshire (11-13) was Spalding's top finisher (fifth) in the MSA championships. Foster was 56-18 as a county junior league champion. The Cavaliers' numbers are up, from 15 wrestlers last season to 26. "We'll fill all the classes," Nemeth said. "It's the most depth, and the most competitive depth, we've had in my eight years here."
1993-94 record: 11-3-1. Coach: Buddy Hepfer.
Top wrestlers: Mark Chesla, Sr., 152; Chad Weber, Jr., 125; Isaac Haertel, Soph., 152-160; Vince Fauntleroy, Sr., 171.
Outlook: Last year Arundel was fourth in the county, third in Region 4 and, with only three wrestlers, fourth in the state. State champ Phil Meenan and runner-up John Noon are gone, but Chesla is back to defend at 152. "I don't know what we have, especially from 160 up," said Hepfer, who is in his 25th season. "Six guys from the football team just joined us, and three are pretty good." The Wildcats are young, with freshmen at 103, 112 and 130. It's too early to tell much about the team, Hepfer said, "but we should win at least 80 percent of our matches."
1993-94 record: 10-5. Coach: John Mayberry.
Top wrestlers: Todd Betz, Jr., 125; James Donner, Sr., 119; Lonnie Donner, Jr., 130; Isaac Putnam, Sr., 145.
Outlook: Broadneck was third in the county and second in Region 4 behind Old Mill, but did not place in the states. The Bruins didn't have a county or regional champion, but did have seven wrestlers who placed in the top four. The team's strength is in the 119 to 152 classes, occupied primarily by returnees. "They are the team leaders," Mayberry said, "and will have to win for us to be successful." Broadneck should finish in the top four or five in the county. "We have four or five unproven kids," Mayberry said. "They don't have to win every time out on the mat, but they have to win regularly. If we have success early, we'll do OK."
1993-94 record: 8-4. Coach: Tom Slichter.
Top wrestlers: Travis Gottlich, Sr., 103-112; Don Hall, Sr., 112-119; Matt Howard, 125;
Jason Schmitt, Sr., 135; Bernie Schultz, Sr., 140; Scott Laumann, Jr., Hwt.
Outlook: Chesapeake was fifth in the county, fourth in the region and sixth in the state, its best finish since winning the state title in 1981. Gone are Steve Davis, state runner-up at 140, and Doug Horton, third at 130. The Cougars' strength will center on Gottlich, Hall, Howard, Schmitt, Schultz and Laumann, with younger wrestlers filling in around them and, Slichter hopes, compiling "at least .500 records." Although advancing to the varsity from junior leagues or the JV "is a whole new world," Slichter thinks his newcomers will deliver. "Our upper weights need to come through for us to improve," he said. "How the kids do at 152, 160, 171 and 189 may determine the season."
Glen Burnie Gophers
1993-94 record: 6-8. Coach: Bruce Sider.
Top wrestlers: David Smith, Sr., 140-145; Jeremy Bruce, Jr., 130; Corey Davis, Jr., 135; Kevin Soistman, Sr., 135-140.
Outlook: Glen Burnie is coming off a season when it won more meets (six) than it has since the seven-victory year of 1985. This season, Sider said, "will be a struggle" because there is no influx of wrestlers from junior leagues. The Gophers' most seasoned wrestlers are seniors with only four years of experience. "The kids will hold their own, but we won't be strong enough as a team to win a lot of dual meets," Sider said. He calls it a "shame" that six seniors are bunched in three weight classes, which means a few will have to compete in a heavier class.
1993-94 record: 1-12. Coach: Scott Jacoby.
Top wrestlers: Adam Butts, Sr., 171; Rommel Pachoca, Jr., 112; Mark Rodgers, Jr., 120; Dennis Harris, Jr., 152.
Outlook: After three years as a Southern assistant, Jacoby takes over a longtime losing program that needs, he said, "fundamental changes." The biggest problems: lack of conditioning and technique and "getting the kids to make a commitment." He aims to change the attitude of the school toward the sport and already has had a conference with the wrestlers' parents in an attempt to enlist their commitment, too. Because Jacoby is the fifth head coach in five years, there has been no continuity. "I hope to change that," he said. The positives are Butts, state runner-up at 160 last season, and a good turnout of 28.
North County Knights
1993-94 record: 3-11. Coach: Larry Radford.
Top wrestlers: Mark Miller, Jr., 103; Paul Yesker, Jr., 119; Jason Stiegler, Jr., 119; Joe Key, Sr., 171; Sean Smith, Sr., Hwt; Jimmy Lee, Sr., Hwt.
Outlook: North County's goal is a .500 record and putting as many as five wrestlers in the state tournament -- including Miller, Key, Stiegler and maybe a heavyweight. For the team to win, "the juniors have to wrestle like juniors, not like freshmen and sophomores," Radford said. The graduates of last season's winning JV will help. It will help , too, when the seven wrestlers on the state championship football team get on the mat. Key is the only returnee who qualified for the state tournament last season. One team strength is heavyweight, where Radford has four candidates.
1993-94 record: 12-2. Coach: Al Kohlhafer.
Top wrestlers: Marty Kusick, Sr., 112-119; Mike Kusick, Sr., 119-130; Glen Lail, Sr., 119-130; Dale Bowers, Jr., 125-135; T.R. Fleming, Jr., 130-145; Jay Queer, Jr., 135-145; Ron Katzenberger, Sr., 160-171; Adrian Spears, Sr., 189-Hwt.
Outlook: After winning the state 1A-2A title in 1993, Northeast lost by a half-point to Damascus last season. "Our only disappointment was the state championship," Kohlhafer said. "We felt it was taken from us. We had four kids in the finals, three had to win but only two did. It was a bittersweet ending." Each Kusick twin will seek his third straight state title. Bowers, a transfer from St. Mary's, will help at 125-135. A highlight will be the dual meet with the other county power, Old Mill, next month. Their match last winter was canceled by bad weather.
Old Mill Patriots
1993-94 record: 16-3. Coach: Mike Hampe.
Top wrestlers: Don Patterson, Sr., 189; Eric Donoway, Sr., 171; Mike Ruth, Sr., 160-171; Mike Hines, Sr., 160; Larry Webster, Sr., 152; Mike DiLeonardi, Sr., 145; Nick Basta, Sr., 140; Paul Hultgren, Sr., 135; Tim Patterson, Sr., 130; Gary Serago, Soph., 125; Dave Bryant, Sr., 119.
Outlook: After an unprecedented five straight state 3A-4A championships, Old Mill was third last season behind Northern (Calvert) and Frederick, all within 4 1/2 points. "We lost some we shouldn't have, and Northern did a real good job and took it from us," said Hampe, starting his 25th season as a head coach, 20th at Old Mill. Barring injuries and illness, he thinks the Patriots should "do extremely well and hopefully again be well represented in the state tournament." They are most experienced in the middle- and upper-weight classes. Patterson, third in the states at 189, worked hard during the off-season and can squat lift 400 pounds and bench 300. "Strength is usually a determining factor in his matches," Hampe said. Basta, who was second in the states at 125, seems to rise to the occasion. "He's got to build on last year," Hampe said. "He didn't like finishing second."
St. Mary's Saints
1993-94 record: 8-6. Coach: Pat Maher.
Top wrestlers: Josh White, Soph., 135-140; Tim Klepper, Jr., 112; John Horrigan, Jr., 119.
Outlook: Maher, who wrestled at Villanova, comes to St. Mary's after two years as head coach at Georgetown Prep, his alma mater. He inherits a team that tied Mervo (8-0) for the MSA B Conference championship, but which will move up and wrestle teams like Old Mill, Boys' Latin, St. Paul's and Annapolis. "We've got the nucleus for a strong team, but I'm still learning what these kids can do," Maher said. "I hope we can turn a few people's heads." The Saints will rely heavily on White, who had a 36-8 record last season, and Klepper (22-9) and Horrigan (20-12), plus freshmen Chris Brown (125) and Todd Simpson (103), both junior league graduates.
Severna Park Falcons
1993-94 record: 2-8. Coach: Ralph Toomey.
Top wrestlers: Jamie Kuch, Sr., 125; Mike Stewart, Soph., 112; George Mamalis, Sr., 140; Darrin McAllister, Soph., 145; Chris Bohlman, Sr., 152; Jermond Davenport, Sr., 189.
Outlook: After a get-acquainted season with his team, Toomey notes that the team has picked up the practice pace and is far ahead of last year in terms of preparation. Severna Park's strength will be the middle weights, most notably Kuch, Mamalis and Davenport. "I expect all three to make the state tournament," Toomey said. "We might take six or seven if we wrestle well and don't have injuries." The Falcons' main problem last year was that they didn't have a 112-pounder and had to forfeit (six points) matches in that class, and wound up losing meets to Southern and Glen Burnie by five or fewer points. Stewart has moved up to 112, but that leaves 103 as a class lacking a healthy body.
1993-94 record: 6-5. Coach: Tyrone Neal Sr.
Top wrestlers: Tyrone Neal Jr., Jr., 130; Trumaine Graves, Sr., 171-189; Tommy Inzer, Jr., 112-119; Doug Gill, Jr., 119-125; Lee Graves, Soph., Hwt.
Outlook: Southern's strength is in coach Neal's family. Tyrone Jr. went 34-1 and won the state championship at 125 last season and enters this season top-ranked at 130. As a freshman, he was state runner-up at 119. Neal's oldest son, Sherrard, a former county champion, is now a Navy plebe, the Middies' third-rated 142-pounder. Neal himself was a two-time state champ at Southern. Neal also has his nephew, Trumaine Graves, fourth in the state at 189 last year and No. 4 in the preseason rankings. But Neal looks on this as a rebuilding year because he has nine freshmen, six from junior leagues. Scotty Barnes at 103 and Jonah Juliano at 112 have impressed Neal. "I'm excited about these two," Neal said. "I've never had two lightweights like them."
South River Seahawks
1993-94 record: 9-5. Coach: Rick Day.
Top wrestlers: Gene Reid, Jr., 112; Travis Murdock, Sr., 119; Dave Summey, Jr., 135; Rob Ogan, Sr., 140.
Outlook: Day, the assistant coach last season, replaces Chilly Orme, who resigned after nine years (with an 81-36-3 record). South River graduated nine wrestlers, leaving Day with four seniors -- including a transfer from New Hampshire, Matt Blaney, "who looks pretty tough" -- four juniors and the rest sophomores and freshmen. The Seahawks' strength will be the lightweights, notably Reid, Murdock and, at 125, freshman Dan Whitcher and sophomore Doug Colacicco, who are battling for the job. "If we get pins in the lower weights, we'll be competitive," Day said. "I'm hoping some of these new guys will crank it up and surprise me."