Hammond co-coach Paul DiRienzo has thrown down the gauntlet to River Hill.
The two teams with unbeaten county records battle at 5 p.m. today at River Hill in the final regular-season match with the county dual-meet championship at stake.
"River Hill will not win," declared DiRienzo, whose team is ranked No. 11 in metro Baltimore.
Three-year-old River Hill, just a step down in this week's rankings at 12th, has not won a wrestling title. But the Hawks (10-0-1 overall, 8-0 league) finished second to Milford (Del.) 218 1/2-188 1/2 last Saturday in a highly competitive Wicomico Tournament, turning out four tourney champs and one runner-up.
Hammond (10-3, 8-0) is the defending Class 1A-2A state dual meet and tournament champion, as well as three-time defending county dual-meet champ. But the Bears graduated five county champions from last season and got just one back for this winter, Vaymond Dennis.
DiRienzo, who shares coaching with Scott Farrow, doesn't foresee a rout like last winter's 61-6 Hammond win but does expect a Hammond victory.
"Mainly what we're worried about is filling the hole left by Ryan Mackin at 125," DiRienzo said. Mackin has a knee injury.
DiRienzo's reason for confidence is that he has six wrestlers with at least 16 victories apiece, including Jason Freiert (103, 22-3), Mark Read (112, 17-4), state champ Vaymond Dennis (135, 21-2), Nick LaSalle (130, 17-8), Pat Jameson (152, 17-7) and Matt Nelson (heavyweight, 16-4).
Hammond has had to fill holes this season at 119 (Jimmy Davis), at 140 (Rob Osborn), at 160 (Kevin Chrapaty), at 171 (Will Shields) and at 189 (Mike Cameron).
River Hill coach Earl Lauer is a veteran coach whose son Brandon (22-0 at 112 pounds) is a state champion. Brandon beat previously unbeaten Kevin Stine in a 112-pound bout at Wicomico.
Derek Dauberman (135, 19-3), Mike Romano (130, 18-6), Mike Dauberman (112, 14-1), Ryan Green (125, 18-5), Danny Allen (103, 11-2), Jason Fawcett (171, 17-3) and Scott Cannon (heavyweight, 18-5) are the Hawks' top wrestlers. Both Dauberman brothers and Green won at Wicomico; Fawcett was second.
At current weights, the four best match-ups would occur at 103, 130, 135 and heavyweight. But lineups may be juggled in all of those but the heavyweight bout.
Derek Dauberman, whose only four losses last season were all to Dennis, might drop to 130. And Mike Dauberman could drop from 112 to 103.
Hammond's three losses this season were to No. 4 South Carroll, Peddie Prep (N.J.), and No. 7 McDonogh.
Pub Date: 2/04/99