The 2013 wrestling season has just begun and, fresh off a victory at last weekend’s Ray Oliver Tournament, McDonogh School opens the year at No. 1 VSN Wrestling Top 20.
Here is the entire poll, with the outlook for watch squad.
1. McDonogh (0-0)
The Eagles are the class of the state once again and are loaded with talent. McDonogh recently won its Ray Oliver Tournament. The Eagles had four champions in the tournament: Toby Hague (152), Myles Martin (170), Mike Smith (182) and Wyatt Cook (285). Cameron Harrell (145), a transfer from Broadneck, advanced to the finals where he met Bishop McNamara’s Alfred Bannister, a National Preps champion last season, and lost a 3-2 decision. T.K. Megonigal (113) also returns after winning MIAA and MIS titles last season.
2. Mount St. Joseph (2-0)
After a huge win against John Carroll, the Gaels won the 12th annual War on the Shore. Winning titles for Mount St. Joseph were: Sam Rowell (160), Dan Hawkins (195) and Shane Lowman (285), while Zeke Salvo (132) and Malik Wood (120) were second. The Gaels will be a formidable challenge for McDonogh.
3. John Carroll (1-1)
The Patriots lost their opener to Mount St. Joseph but also took down St. Mary’s. The also won the Mule Classic at Solanco (PA) last weekend. John Carroll will be led by Hunter Ritter, who finished 55-4 at 170 pounds last season. He won the MIAA Tournament, the Maryland Independent Schools State title and was third at the National Preps tourney. Other key returnees include: CJ Skokowski (second in state at 106); Austin Smith (All American at 113); Zach Dwyer (All-American at 120); Chris Almony (two-time All American at 152); Chris Scott (fifth in state at 160); and, Andrew Reininger (qualified for Nationals at 220).
4. River Hill (1-0)
The Hawks will be powerful once again and took down Tuscarora, 56-7, in their season opener. Cory Daniel returns after finishing last season, 42-0, and won the Class 4A/3A state title at 195 pounds. Other top returning wrestlers to watch are Logan Kirby (195) and Michael Beck (120). Kirby was second in the state tournament and finished the season 36-1. His only loss was to Northwest of Montgomery County’s Luis Beteta (40-0) in the state final.
5. Glenelg (1-0)
The Gladiators took down MIAA power Archbishop Spalding 42-21 in their season opener. Glenelg wrestling moved up to the Class 4A/3A East region and has a new coach in Matt Bichner. The Gladiators’ strongest weight classes will be with Parker Griffie (126), Austin Pagnotta (138), Mike Budock (145) and Austin Twigg (195). The team also has depth, graduating only three seniors from last season. Twigg, who was 41-1 last season, is a two-time defending state champion.
6. Archbishop Curley (1-0)
The Friars opened the season with a solid 57-18 win over Gilman. Curley will be led by Tyshaw Williams (126) and the return of former MIAA champ Corey Huntley, who was out last season with a back injury.
7. Archbishop Spalding (0-1)
The Cavaliers lost to Glenelg in their opener, and finished eighth out of 16 teams in the Ray Oliver Tournament at McDonogh. Spalding will be led by Logan Breitenbach who won titles in the MIAA and Maryland Independent Schools tournament last season. Breitenbach knocked off McDonogh’s Bobby Twigg with a 15-0 technical fall in the championship at 160.
8. Hereford (2-0)
The Bulls opened the season with victories over Harford Tech (65-9) and Eastern Tech (67-3). Hereford is led by Anthony Genco (113), who finished second in the state, Billy Hess (170) and Brock Turnbaugh (195).
9. Bel Air (2-1)
The Bobcats will battle for supremacy in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference. Bel Air will be led by John Cross, who was a solid performer at 152 last season. Bel Air opened with a 2-1 mark at the Aberdeen Duals, last weekend, losing to Marriotts Ridge on criteria after a 33-33 draw and defeating High Point, 69-12, and host Aberdeen, 50-12.
10. Owings Mills (0-0)
The legendary Guy Pritzker steps down after recording more than 450 wins. Shawn Girch takes over and inherits a talented team led by Jacob Rendelman, a regional champ at 106 last season. In their first outing of the year, the Eagles placed third at Parkville’s Knightmare Invitational.
11. Reservoir (1-0)
Reservoir dropped a league rival, Centennial, in the league opener. Reservoir is led by Mason Kilcarr (138), a state finalist last season; Hans Wicklein (145) and Wes Beattie (170).
12. Calvert Hall (1-0)
The Cardinals opened the season with a solid 45-36 victory over league rival St. Paul’s, before tying for 5th at Parkville’s Knightmare Invitational. Calvert Hall will be led by Junior Matt Wagner who won the Stan Leinsky Tournament in New York last season at 126.
13. South Carroll (1-0)
The Cavaliers knocked off Howard County’s Wilde Lake in their season opener. South Carroll is led by Steve Schmitz who is looking to win his second consecutive state title at 182.
14. South River (1-0)
The Seahawks overcame an early deficit to drop Severna Park, 48-27, in their opener. South River is led by Josh Owens (126), Tre Puccinelli (145), and Joel Hoover (160).
15. Winters Mill (0-0)
The three-time defending Class 1A/2A state champions will look to make another deep postseaspn run. Winters Mill will be led by Jake Utz, who was runner-up in 1A/2A at 285, but moved down to 220 pounds this season. He played a key role last season in helping the Falcons complete their first undefeated regular season in school history.
16. Mount Hebron (0-1)
The Vikings lost their opener to Frederick County power, Urbana High School, 42-30. Mount Hebron is led by Jeff Haden (126), a state finalist last season, Ryan Hassan (220) and Connor Strunk (152).
17. St. Paul’s (0-1)
The Crusaders looking to rebound from an opening loss to Calvert Hall. St. Paul’s is led by Jach Mutchnik (126), a defending MIAA and Maryland Independent Schools champion. He has aready committed to American University, Ryan Friedman (125), a Junior who also won titles in the MIAA and MIS.
18. Broadneck (0-0)
The Bruins have a strong, deep team that will challenge for the county title, after finishing 20-3 last season. They will be led by Shane Middleton (170), Jack Knapp (160-170) and Bryan Wand (126).
19. Patterson Mill (1-0)
The Huskies blanked Havre De Grace in their opener. Colin McDonald (113), Josh Holbrock (160), Matt Skiles (170), Andrew Wilkinson (182), Joe King (195) and Eric Eckstein (220) each recorded pins in the opener.
20. Western Tech (1-0)
The Baltimore County power is poised for a post-season run and toppled Pikesville in their opener 42-30. They are led by one of the top wrestlers in the region in Tejon Anthony (138), who won a state championship two years ago as a sophomore.