12-0 Cavs, Patterson point for North Carroll; South Carroll seeking 2nd in row over Panthers


South Carroll wrestler Dan Patterson doesn't forget easily, and his confidence is high. That combination is "putting a hurtin'" on most of his competition this season.

Patterson, a sophomore 112-pounder, is 20-2 and one of the Cavaliers' leaders going into tomorrow's match at North Carroll. The unbeaten, fifth-ranked Cavs, who beat the Panthers for the first time last winter, will be trying to make it two in a row.

The JV match will start at 1 p.m., immediately followed by the varsity match.

Patterson placed fourth in his final junior state tournament, then came on strongly last season, going 28-2 through the regionals and 2-2 in the state tournament.

Long-time rival Fran Jackson, of North Carroll, beat him in the county tournament and the regionals for the first two losses, and a 6-3 consolation quarterfinal loss to Bel Air's Brad Stone kept him from placing in the state event.

Still, Patterson set a school record for wins by a freshman, easily eclipsing the previous mark of 22 held by teammate Mike Muller, now a senior.

"In that state match [vs. Thomas Stone], we were tied 2-2, and he got a takedown," Patterson recalled. "Now, placing at states this year is my main goal."

Patterson has 14 pins this season, his two losses coming in December tourney finals -- at Meade to No. 4 Stan Wagner, of Franklin and at Arundel to No. 1 Brandon Lauer, of River Hill, the Class 1A-2A 103-pound state champ.

Two weeks ago, in his team's only other tournament appearance, Patterson earned his second straight Hammond championship, beating Archbishop Curley's Tim Williams in the final.

"I think I came into the program technically solid, but now I'm stronger and have some experience," Patterson said. "Also, I pretty much have the same confidence I've had right along."

Coach Pete Olson sees a difference from a year ago.

"He's got a different aura about him this year. Last season, he was confident; this season, he is very confident."

Last summer, Patterson went to a wrestling camp at Western Maryland began lifting weights. He experienced the benefits in three pre-season tournaments, where he won two and was fourth in the other.

"I've been working on my takedowns right off the bat, and trying to score as many points as I can," he said. "Usually, I go for the takedown and back points, get up 5-0, and then go for the pin."

He got part of it last week against Francis Scott Key's Brian Owings, going ahead 5-0 in the first period, then winding up with an 8-2 decision.

Looking ahead to North Carroll, Patterson said, "This will be our hardest competition so far, so we'll have to get our heads together for it."

South Carroll has walloped 12 opponents (two were shutouts) and has the county leader in seven weight classes; North Carroll (8-2) leads in two. However, between them, they are 1-2 in six classes.

This will be the season's final county dual meet for North Carroll (3-0). South Carroll (2-0) will close its dual season next Thursday at Westminster, which lost to North Carroll, 29-28.

After the North Carroll meet, South Carroll will face a February loaded with challenges. There will be the match with Westminster, the dual-meet championships, and the usual string of county-regional-state championships.

Patterson sees the potential for success.

"As a team, everybody has shown improvement as the season has gone along," he said. "I don't think we have wrestled to our potential, though. If we can do that, we can be really good."

Pub Date: 1/29/99

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