Last season, Reservoir senior Mark Colabucci had the type of year any wrestler would dream of. He led the Gators to their first county and Class 4A-3A East Regional Tournament titles, as well as their first Class 4A-3A state dual meet and tournament crowns. And, after defeating La Plata’s Connar Zimmerman in the 4A-3A 145-pound final, Colabucci finished his season a perfect 44-0.

This season, Colabucci wants to do it all again.

“I want to go undefeated and win a state championship again,” Colabucci said. “I want to dominate more and just prove to everyone that I’m the best in the state.”

Colabucci, whose undefeated season sparked offers to wrestle on the collegiate level, knows that 2010-2011 will be different, now that he is the one with the target on his back.

“There’s definitely going to be some people coming after me thinking they can beat me or can take me down and stuff, and I’m sure they have goals to be the one who does it.” Colabucci said. “But it just pushes me to be better than I was last year, and be more dominate than last year and just keep improving.”

On the Division I level, Colabucci has Maryland, N.C. State, and West Virginia as top prospects to further his wrestling career.

“Mark outworked a lot of kids last year. It was a lot of fun to be the man in his corner for the ride,” Ryan Kanaskie, former Reservoir and Baltimore Sun Head Coach of the Year, said of Colabucci. “Even though I’m not there to see him in practice everyday, I know he has the desire to be better than he was last year. I know he is going to be successful in whatever he puts his heart into.”

Kanaskie moved back home to Pennsylvania earlier this year to start a family, but he knows Coabucci wants another crown. “Knowing Mark, I’m sure he won’t be satisfied if he graduates with only one state title.”

Colabucci says he has been working out with other elite wrestlers in the state and hitting the weight room to prepare for his senior season and his future of Division I wrestling.

“I worked out a lot over the summer with the Maryland National Team, which was great. Some of my workout partners there were top guys in the state like Brady Massaro from Mt. St. Joeseph and Brad Mutchnik from St. Paul’s,” Colabucci said.

“I worked really hard this summer. The MSWA set up a great program with lots of camps and went to four different top Division I programs. I went to Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., went to Fargo and wrestled okay. Knowing I can go six-minutes with anybody has really built my confidence, but I know I can still improve.”

The competitive balance between high school and college is something Colabucci knows he needs to prepare for, as well as a new weight class.

“I lifted a lot over the summer because I knew I’d grow and get heavier, so being in a new weight class this year is something I have prepared for,” he explained.  “The styles will be different compared to lower weights, but I think that will be an advantage for me.”

With a state title at 145, Colabucci plans to start the season at 171-pounds and drop to 160 at some time during the year.

But for now, the state champ has his focus set on only one thing: Glenelg.

“We have Glenelg (ranked number 5 in the state) our first match, and that’s going to be a big one. Last year we lost to them in our first match of the year and it really pushed us the rest of the season.

“Glenelg is one of the top teams, so if we win, we know we can compete with anybody in the state. If we lose, we will learn from it like last year and use it as motivation the rest of the year. But we are a lot better team than people expect us to be.”

So what does Colabucci want to accomplish this year? “I’m ready to dominate and repeat what I did last year. Just win everything.”

Tim Schwartz, a 2009 graduate of Reservoir High School, is a sophomore journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park.  As a Gator, Schwartz was a three-time county place-winner, and won a 2009 county championship en route to a fourth place finish in the MPSSAA State Tournament.