Four of five returning county champions have earned the top seed for tomorrow's county wrestling tournament at 10 a.m. at Francis Scott Key.
Senior heavyweight Greg Frech of Francis Scott Key, senior 160-pounder Rich Skelly of Liberty, and junior 130-pounder Dan Patterson and senior 171-pounder Chris Currence of South Carroll carry unblemished county records into tomorrow's tournament.
North Carroll junior Ross Bell, a champ at 119 pounds last season, will likely earn a No. 3 seed.
Wrestlers are seeded based on their county records, and tiebreakers include (in the following order) head-to-head records and cumulative points based on pins, technical falls, and decisions.
The seeding draw took place late last night at the Carroll County school system offices in Westminster.
Seventh-ranked South Carroll, which is seeking its second straight tournament championship after barely missing a shot at competing in the Class 3A/4A North regional dual-meet championships last week, could have top seeds in sophomore Buddy Olson, junior Kellen Weber, junior Josh Wampler, junior Bryan Hamper and junior Travis Mohlhenrich.
Assuming that many of the county's top wrestlers compete in the weight classes they wrestled in for most of the regular season, here are the projected top two seeds (with their county records) in each division:
103 -- sophomore Tyler Graham of North Carroll (4-0) and freshman Everett Thrift of South Carroll (3-1).
112 -- sophomore Paul Hartman of Liberty (4-0) and sophomore Ron Lewis of South Carroll (3-1).
119 -- Olson (4-0) and junior Adam Tenney of Westminster (4-0).
125 -- Weber (3-1) and junior Ryan Miller of Westminster (3-1).
130 -- Patterson (4-0) and freshman Jason Brown of Westminster (3-1).
135 -- Wampler (4-0) and junior Scott Wittbecker of Westminster (2-1).
140 -- Hamper (4-0) and senior Gabe Wilson of Westminster (3-1).
145 -- senior Kevin Henry of Westminster (3-0) and senior Kevin Clark of South Carroll (2-0).
152 -- Mohlhenrich (3-1) and junior Jon Burger of Westminster (3-1).
160 -- Skelly (4-0) and sophomore Nick Burger of Westminster (3-0).
171 -- Currence (4-0) and senior Mark Lanham of Westminster (3-1).
189 -- junior Randy Green of Westminster (3-0) and sophomore Joe Brammer of Francis Scott Key (2-1).
Heavyweight -- Frech (4-0) and sophomore Jake Creech of South Carroll (3-1).
Sparked by loss
Losses usually don't help, but don't tell that to the South Carroll boys basketball team.
The Cavaliers (10-10 overall, 6-6 in the Central Maryland Conference) have won six of their last seven games, including a 60-47 victory over visiting Frederick Tuesday night.
The surge has helped South Carroll reach .500 for the first time since it was 3-3 after a tournament at Middletown on Dec. 22.
Senior guard Derek Boswell said the team's winning ways began after Linganore defeated the Cavaliers, 94-76, on Feb. 1.
"Even though we lost that game, we came out with a lot of intensity against them," said Boswell, who leads the team in scoring with more than 18 points per game. "We followed that up with Liberty, and we got the win (63-51). Those two games gave us a lot of confidence."
Coach Jim Carnes also pointed to the loss to Linganore as the turning point of the season.
"We got beat by a very good team, but they were hanging on for the very end," Carnes said. "We're playing better defense, and we're running our offense better. Instead of one pass and shoot, we're finding second and third shots."
Two of the six wins have come against the Cadets. South Carroll has limited Frederick standout center Tommy Kapust to a total of 11 points in those two games.
The spurt has moved the Cavaliers out of the cellar of the Central Maryland Conference standings to fifth place. The lone blemish during the run was a 97-64 loss to Damascus last Friday.
South Carroll's next test is tonight against conference-leading Westminster, which can clinch the conference championship with a victory.
Owls at a loss
Still searching for that elusive first win in the Central Maryland Conference this year, the Westminster girls basketball team's chances were dealt a blow two weeks ago.
Center Amber Nazelrod was declared academically ineligible for the remainder of the season after the Feb. 4 home game against Frederick, said Owls coach Dick Ebersole.
The 6-foot-1 senior averaged six points per game, but Ebersole said she will be missed for her defensive abilities.
"She gave us a presence on the inside," Ebersole said of Nazelrod. "I'm not trying to make excuses, but that's another tall, mobile person I can't use."
Westminster has shown it can compete in the conference, yielding a four-point loss to South Carroll on Jan. 21, a one-point loss to Liberty on Jan. 28, and a three-point loss to conference powerhouse Urbana last Friday.
But the Owls are young -- forward Lindsay Schulteis is the lone senior on the roster -- and have been plagued by inconsistent efforts in all four quarters.
Forty lacrosse teams from New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are expected to converge on Hampstead for the third annual Lax Shootout at the Four Seasons Sports Complex.
The tournament will feature boys and girls squads in six separate divisions, and trophies will be awarded to the champions and runners-up in each division.
The festivities will include the debut performance of By Chanz, a two-girl band from Virginia. Kelley Hagood, 17, and Marina Harrison, 18, will perform "Lax Girl -- Lax World."
For more information, call tournament organizer Jon Kier at 410-363-8610.