Francis Scott Key Eagles
1995-96 record: 16-1
Coach: Bill Hyson
Top wrestlers: Mark Mandell, Jr., 112/119; Matt Yinger, Jr., 130; Tim Beale, Jr., 140; Brett Cowan, Sr., 160; Ryan Roach, Sr., 171; Bobby Bollinger, Sr., 189; Mark Plank, Sr., heavyweight.
Outlook: Consistency from top to bottom will once again be the forte of the Eagles, who won their third straight Class 1A-2A region title a year ago. Then, a big question going into the season was their inexperience at the upper weights. Cowan (21-11), Roach (18-12), Bollinger (25-8) and Plank (25-8) provided answers with solid seasons and are the backbone of this year's team. Mandell, who finished 25-11 and won a region title at 103 last season, will move up to 112 and 119 this season. A full season from standout Matt Yinger, a first-team All-County selection as a freshman who missed the second half of last season because of academics, will provide a huge lift.
1995-96 record: 9-8
Coach: Jeff Hash
Top wrestlers: Mark Richard, So., 119; Mike Saylor, Jr., 171; Jesse Stank, Fr., 125; Zack Cox, Sr., 130.
Outlook: The Lions put together a solid 1995-96 season with senior Kevin Jeffress capping it with an individual state title. Now, it's back to the drawing board for Hash. The Lions return only two wrestlers -- Richard and Saylor -- with winning records. Richard, 18-11 as a freshman at 103, will jump to 119 this season, while Saylor (16-16 at 160) will wrestle at 171 this year. "Mark had a real successful freshman season [and will] be running into some stronger kids, but he'll provide a spark for us in the lower weights," Hash said. "I'm expecting the same from Mike at the higher weights." Cox, who spent his freshman and sophomore years wrestling in the Warriors' junior league program, will get his first look at varsity competition after injury took away his junior year. Hash also is expecting big things from Stank, also up from the Warriors program. Junior James Haran (135), senior Edgewood transfer Ron Crowe (152), sophomore Linden Brengle (160) and senior Tres Johnson (189) should all progress throughout the season.
North Carroll Panthers
1995-96 record: 7-3-1
Coach: Bryan Wetzel
Top wrestlers: Dameon Davis, Sr., 135; Adam Boog, Jr., 160; Brad Hewitt, Sr., 112; Ben Fleming, Jr., heavyweight.
Outlook: There's a big change in the Panthers' practice room and Wetzel likes what he's seeing. "Compared to last year, there's a different work ethic, and the atmosphere is 100 percent better. Everything is positive, and it makes a huge difference," he said. Davis, Boog, Fleming and Hewitt should provide points on a regular basis for the Panthers, and Wetzel also is looking for big things from senior Joe Hughes at 171. Sophomore Wyatt Deiaco (119) started as a freshman last year and continues to develop. Junior Travis Miller also returns with varsity experience and has improved. Sophomore newcomers Mike Brown (140) and Anton Enrique (189) can make an immediate impact. "We should be all right. I expect better consistency and have good kids who will give me all they have," Wetzel said.
South Carroll Cavaliers
1995-96 record: 8-3-1
Coach: Pete Olson
Top wrestlers: Tim Hymiller, Sr., 119; Mike Muller, So., 145; Jason Hamper, Sr., 160; Andy Mann, Sr., 171; Tom Crown, Jr., heavyweight.
Outlook: No county team was hit harder by graduation than the Cavaliers, who lost two state champs and two other standouts. Muller and Hamper are proven wrestlers who Olson can expect to get points almost every time out. After that, the Cavaliers have some seniors with a taste of varsity experience who have to step up, among them Nick Myers, Scott Wachter, Brian Douglas, Ken Lynch-Warntz, Mann and Hymiller. Hymiller, who qualified for the region tournament before an injury ended his season a year ago, will anchor the lower weights. Crown is coming off a solid season in football, and Olson hopes that confidence gained can carry over to the mat. Jerry Little, longtime coach for the Warriors' junior league team, which has helped develop state champs Chenoweth, Conaway and others, is now a Cavaliers assistant.
1995-96 record: 12-5
Coach: Henry Mohlhenrich
Top wrestlers: Bobby Biden, Jr., 112/119; Grant Lindsay, Sr., 119/125; Tim Sharkey, Sr., 130; Dave Spicer, Sr., 140; Ray Henry, Sr., 189.
Outlook: The goal for fourth-year coach Mohlhenrich and his Owls is to maintain the level of success attained last season -- their first county tournament championship in 10 years, a 12-5 dual-meet record, and a region title. A solid foundation returns and will rely on the same disciplined work ethic that brought them success last season. The Owls got off to a good start by wrestling for club teams and going to camps over the summer, but Mohlhenrich said plenty of hard work is still ahead. "It's real important to prove last season wasn't a fluke," Mohlhenrich said. "We have a fair amount of talent but are nowhere near where we were in the middle and at the end of last year. They can't go out and wrestle on their laurels. I think they'll come around." The starting lineup is solid with Biden, a two-time All-County selection, Lindsay and Henry leading the way. Mohlhenrich said there was some depth, mostly at the lower weights, but it will be important for the Owls starters to stay healthy throughout the season.
Pub Date: 12/05/96