1997-98 record: 5-8-1 overall, 3-6 league
Coach: Bruce Lindblad
Top wrestlers: Brian Radik, 112, Soph.; Mike Shoemaker, 119, Jr.; Jason Hanfman, 125, Jr.; David Loeffler, 130, Jr.; Adam Roth, 140, Soph.; Jack Giles, 152, Sr.; Brian Mullinix, 189, Jr.
Outlook: The Raiders return two state qualifiers, Radik and Mullinix. Radik was also a county runner-up, and Mullinix and Roth both were third in the county tournament. Atholton has no 135-pound wrestler but expects to finish among the top four teams. "We have depth in all classes at the JV level," Lindblad said.
1997-98 record: 4-9-1 overall, 4-5 league
Coach: Todd DeCrispino
Top wrestlers: Kevin Henline, 103, Fr.; Steve Stern, 112, Soph.; Ben Hemler, 119, Soph.; Nick Perez, 130, Jr.; Mike Dunn, 135, Jr.; Jimmy Fisher, 140, Jr.; Adam Hall, 160, Sr.; Ryan Pustilnik, 171, Soph.
Outlook: With only 17 wrestlers, none who were in last season's top four in the county meet, Centennial has fallen on lean times. "Four years ago, we had 52 [wrestlers]," said 10th-year coach DeCrispino, who blames the drop-off on the fact that no junior-league program feeds the Eagles. The Eagles have no one at 189.
1997-98 record: 1-12 overall, 1-8 league
Coach: Scott Hunt
Top wrestlers: John Clark, 125, Sr.; Tim Brosenne, 140, Sr.; Jason Johnson, 189, Sr.; Kyle Johnston, 145, Soph.; Eric Wise, 152, Fr.; Stephen Marshall, 103, Soph.; Joe McDonald, 119, Soph.
Outlook: Second-year head coach Hunt has a young team. Half of his 30 wrestlers are freshmen. Brosenne was third in the county and Johnson was fourth last winter. Wise is a junior-league wrestler who finished seventh at states. McDonald is the most improved.
Hammond Golden Bears
1997-98 record: 18-0 overall, 9-0 league
Co-coaches: Paul DiRienzo, Scott Farrow
Top wrestlers: Vaymond Dennis, 130, Sr.; Ryan Mackin, 125, Soph.; Matt Nelson, hwt., Sr.; Pat Jameson, 152, Sr.; Mark Read, 145, Sr.; Jason Freiert, 103, Jr.; Nick LaSalle, 135, Sr.
Outlook: Longtime coach Bill Smith, county Coach of the Year last season when the Bears won state dual meet and tournament titles, has turned the team over to his assistants to pursue administrative courses and spend more time with his family. They get a team favored to repeat as county champion. Dennis, ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Wrestling magazine, is only the third Golden Bear -- and first Hammond underclassman -- to win a state title. His 39-5 record set a school mark for most wins in a season. He has won two county titles in three seasons. Nelson was second in the county, region and state, posting a 32-7 record. Read and Jameson were county runners-up; Freiert took third.
1997-98 record: 0-15 overall, 0-9 league
Coach: Roger Colon
Top wrestlers: Daniel Frank, 119, Soph.; Brian Frank, 125, Sr.; Matt Mongello, 135, Sr.; James Deane, 140, Jr.; Barry Dagold, 160, Jr.; Joey Tortella, 171/189, Jr.; Ryan Shiloh, 145, Jr.
Outlook: Can the Lions go from no dual meet wins to the middle of the pack in the county this season? Colon thinks so. Brian Frank and Mongello both were second in the county last winter. Tortella finished fourth. Colon has 27 wrestlers; his team ended last season with a dozen.
Long Reach Lightning
1997-98 record: 9-5 overall, 5-4 league
Coach: Bill Flick
Top wrestlers: J. C. Porter, 135, Sr.; Jeff Carter, 125, Sr.; Mike Augustine, 160, Jr.; Joe Filipowicz, 130, Sr.; Jason Orem, 112, Jr.; Matt Shevland, 119, Soph.; Chuck Fries, 145, Jr.
Outlook: A lot of experience returns to go with some talented youth. Porter was 27-4 and region runner-up. Filipowicz was third in the county. Carter (22-11) and Fries were fourth in the county and fifth in the region. Augustine was 14-6 before an injury. Orem and Shevland were JV champs. "We have a balanced team and hope to be in the top two or three in the county," Flick said.
Mount Hebron Vikings
1997-98 record: 1-8 overall, 1-8 league
Coach: Mike Duffy
Top wrestlers: Nick Cummins, 160/171, Sr.; Jeff Walker, 152/160, Sr.; Tyler Rhoten, 171/189, Sr.; Todd Anderson, 119, Sr.; Karol Gryczynski, hwt., Jr.; Mike Mengel, 130/135, Fr.
Outlook: The number of wrestlers has almost doubled to 33 -- 20 of them freshmen. Duffy attributes the boost to a rejuvenated football team that has improved the feeling toward sports among students. Walker was fourth in the county, and Cummins was fifth in the county and region. Rhoten showed promise, and Anderson wrestled well late last season. Mengel is an experienced freshman.
Oakland Mills Scorpions
1997-98 record: 10-4 overall, 7-2 league
Coach: Brad Dowell
PTC Top wrestlers: Jay Frizzelle, hwt., Sr.; Zack Notes, 112, Sr; Paul Nguyen, 119, Jr.; Jeremy Poe, 135, Sr.; Robert Scott, 189, Soph.; Mike Naylor, 140, Jr.; James Ngare, 125, Sr.
Outlook: Dowell replaces Brian Chadwick, a successful coach who vacated the position for a new job. The new coach has 14 wrestlers back from a team that was second in the county meet, fourth in the region and fifth in the state last winter. Frizzelle is the team's cornerstone. Nguyen was third in the county, Notes fourth.
River Hill Hawks
1997-98 record: 13-2 overall, 8-1 league
Coach: Earl Lauer
Top wrestlers: Brandon Lauer, 112, Jr.; Derek Dauberman, 135, Sr.; Ryan Green, 119, Fr.; Mike Romano, 125, Jr.; Jason Fawcett, 171, Sr.; Justin Curtis, 189, Sr.; Scott Cannon, hwt., Soph.
Outlook: The Hawks have several outstanding wrestlers. Lauer was county Wrestler of the Year in his first season, winning county, region and state titles and compiling a 34-0 record that included 17 pins and five technical falls. Dauberman went 31-4 and was second in the county, region and state championships, with all four of his losses coming to Hammond's Vaymond Dennis, a state champ. Romano was fourth in the region. Green should make an immediate impact.
Wilde Lake Wildecats
1997-98 record: 7-5 overall, 6-3 league
Coach: Adam Eldridge
Top wrestlers: Asmar Hagler, hwt., Sr.; Aaron Altscher, 160, Sr.; Jason Downs, 145, Jr.; Jimmy DiPietro, 135, Jr.; Rob Jackson, 130, Jr.; Matt Ennis, 103, Fr.; Dave Guralnick, 119, Soph.
Outlook: The number of wrestlers is up (to 37) and so is enthusiasm. "We have some high-profile kids, and that has helped our numbers," Eldridge said. "We have seven National Honor Society members and five student-government members." It didn't hurt that the Wildecats posted a winning dual-meet record last winter and were fourth at the county tournament. Hagler was third in the county. Downs and DiPietro were fourth.
Pub Date: 12/06/98