One of the best moments at last weekend's state wrestling tournament at College Park did not occur on a mat.
It happened Saturday when 2000 River Hill grad Brandon Lauer and his father, Earl, were inducted into the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Brandon went 111-0 in his three-year high school career at River Hill before becoming an All-American at West Virginia. Earl was a longtime coach at Atholton before moving to River Hill when the school opened in 2006. A teacher and coach in Howard County for 35 years, he led the Hawks to five county championships, one state dual meet title and was 150-28-2 before handing the position to Brandon last season.
"It's just an incredible honor, and to be able to go in with my dad made it that much more special," said Brandon, who guided Hawks 112-pound junior Scott Mantua to his second straight state title.
More wrestling -- Glenelg was well prepared to capture its first Class 2A-1A state championship, dominating the field with three individual champs and two second-place finishers, and winning by a 134.5-105 margin over runner-up Southern of Garrett County. After a strong junior class came up short last season, the Gladiators beefed up their regular-season schedule with matches against private school power Mount St. Joseph and Class 4A-3A state champ La Plata, and also competed in the Mount Mat Madness tournament midway through the campaign. "Last year was kind of like a benchmark in that we have to improve off of what we did," said senior Tim Chase, who captured the 152-pound class and finished the season 34-1. "For me right now, it's euphoria being a state champ, and having the team win on top doubles the feeling of the accomplishment that we've all worked so hard for. "In the Class 4A-3A ranks, Atholton sophomore Kevin Beck made the most of his first season of high school wrestling. The 103-pound standout, who wrestled in the junior leagues last year, was able to grind out a 6-4 decision over Hubie Blake's Rasheim Smith to become a state champion. "I'm proud, especially because it's my first year wrestling in high school," said Beck, who finished 39-1. "I just chilled and kept it cool at my house [over the weekend]. I think it was really important because it came down to the wire in that final match. It was really close, so I needed every ounce of strength I had."