FREDERICK -- The outcome was a foregone conclusion, and South Carroll coach Pete Olson has a philosophy about just such a situation.
"We try to keep our focus. We want to let our opponent see our best takedown. We say, 'Let's not see our opponent's best takedown.' "
Not only did No. 4 South Carroll (8-0) show Thomas Johnson its best takedown moves, but an assortment of others, too, in blitzing the home team, 78-0, in a Central Maryland Conference meet last night.
The domination included four first-minute pins among a total of nine, only one of which went to the third period. The other four matches were forfeits.
"I still get pumped up, regardless of the situation," South Carroll senior light heavyweight Leroy Eyler said. Eyler (8-1), a runner-up at heavyweight in last week's Arundel tournament, dropped back to 189 and had the night's quickest pin, 12 seconds on Dan Ellis.
Eyler, The Sun's defensive player of the year in football, missed the first two weeks of wrestling due to participation in a postseason all-star game.
Another winner was Chris Currence (12-2), a junior in only his second year of wrestling.
"He's been progressing nicely," Olson said of his 171-pounder. "He likes to 'shoot,' and I guess that comes from his football. A linebacker, he was a good tackler."
Eric Weis, Thomas Johnson's second-year volunteer coach, is well aware of the situation.
"Last year, I had about 10, 11 wrestlers, and this year the number is about the same. However, only three of them are holdovers.
"It's tough on them, facing a team like South Carroll that is so deep. They understand, though, and I think they'll learn from this. As for South Carroll, it wouldn't surprise me if they were one of the top dual-meet teams in the state.
The Ohio native, in his second year as coach, is well aware of Thomas Johnson's recent past where there was a lack of interest in wrestling. "We're still fighting that, but the ones I have have shown improvement."
One of them, junior Jay LeBlanc, a third-year member, put up the Patriots' best showing, building a 7-1 lead on Bryan Hamper, and taking a 7-4 lead into the third period. Then Hamper (13-2) caught him in a move, and, with control, his pin came at 29 seconds.
"He's technically proficient; he just got caught," Weis said of LeBlanc.
The team has no seniors and only two juniors, so the freshmen and sophomores were the ones to benefit from some positive results last week, when every wrestler placed in the Smithsburg holiday tournament.
Pub Date: 1/05/99