South Carroll, undefeated in its regular-season dual meets, will try to add its first county wrestling championship tomorrow when the 30th annual program is held at Westminster High School.
The Cavaliers' gaudy 14-0 record (plus 2-1 in the state duals) does not presage an easy passage to a county crown, however. Instead of one opponent, four are ready to take their best shots.
North Carroll (11), Westminster (10, with three straight), and Francis Scott Key (eight) own all the team awards.
Among the individuals are six returning champions, including three going for a third straight honor: Westminster's Chris Reiter and Kyle Burger and South Carroll's Mike Muller. Reiter (27-5 at 125) had previous wins at 103 and 112. Burger (23-3 at 135) won at 125 and 130. And Muller (25-4 at 152) won twice at 145.
The other holdover champions are North Carroll's Fran Jackson (18-2 at 125), who won a state title as a 103-pounder; Clint Day (19-6 at 140), Francis Scott Key; and Westminster's John Muse (22-4 at 145).
In addition to Muller, who has 18 pins, South Carroll will send out at least five with outstanding records -- Dan Patterson (25-2, 17 pins) at 112; Bryan Hamper (25-4, 19 pins) at 130; Brad Mann (24-4, 17 pins) at 160; Chris Currence (22-6, 13 pins) at 171; and Leroy Eyler (19-3, 15 pins) at 189.
Among their toughest challengers will be Westminster's Sam Hughes (26-6) at 130; Liberty's Rich Skelly (12-2) at 160; and North Carroll's Anton Enrique (15-5), who has split with Eyler in their two meetings.
Of the remaining three classes, Francis Scott Key has top contenders in Nate Yinger (16-1 at 103) and Greg Frech (20-4 at heavyweight), and North Carroll has Ross Bell (14-6 at 119).
Provisions for predicted inclement weather are in place.
Depending on the strength of the system forecast for tonight and tomorrow, there is room to tighten the time schedule in the event the start of the wrestling program is delayed, or the meet will be pushed along to next week.
If tonight's scheduled girls basketball game at Westminster (against South Carroll) is played, but the wrestling is postponed, it will be held Tuesday. If the girls basketball and the wrestling are postponed, the basketball will be Tuesday, and the wrestling, Wednesday.
Top games tonight
Westminster (13-8, 4-1 county) will be looking for its second straight county boys basketball title when it plays at South Carroll (11-8, 3-1).
Westminster won the first meeting on an overtime buzzer-beating basket by Andy Leister.
Among the girls, North Carroll (11-10, 5-0) will try to complete a perfect county season when it meets visiting Liberty (11-9, 3-1) in the first game of a girls-boys varsity doubleheader at 5: 30 p.m.
The JV teams will play at Liberty, with games at 4 p.m. and 5: 30 p.m.
Francis Scott Key's girls team will attempt to move within one game of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League championship at Williamsport (9-7). Key is 13-3, followed by Middletown and Smithsburg at 12-4.
Key finishes its regular season Wednesday against North Hagerstown (3-12). Middletown played Catoctin (4-12) last night, and will play Boonsboro (1-13) Wednesday, and Smithsburg has Brunswick (11-6) and South Hagerstown (2-13) left.
The draw for the regional tournaments will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring. Play for boys and girls will begin Feb. 25.
Liberty is accepting applications (deadline, March 12) for the positions of head coach and assistant coach in girls soccer.
York (Pa.) College freshman John Ely (Mount Airy/South Carroll) set a career record with 23 points, a spree that included five three-pointers, in an 87-61 loss to Catholic University last week.
Sykesville's Ryan McKenzie (Mount St. Joseph), Westminster's Jimmy Butcher (Parkville), and Hampstead's Justin Horst (Hereford) are on the pre-season men's lacrosse roster at Salisbury State University. McKenzie, is a junior midfielder. Butcher is a junior defenseman. And Horst is a freshman midfielder.
Returning wrestling champions in Carroll County:
125: Chris Reiter, Westminster (1997, 1998)
125: Fran Jackson, North Carroll (1998)
135: Kyle Burger, Westminster (1997, 1998)
140: Clint Day, Francis Scott Key (1998)
145: John Muse, Westminster (1998)
152: Mike Muller, South Carroll (1997, 1998)
Pub Date: 2/19/99