With wins over New Town and Dulaney earlier this week, Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker surpassed the 450 career-wins mark, making him one of the winningest coaches in Maryland Wrestling.
Taking a look at some of his state champion hopefuls, it is easy to see how the Eagles have gone through this 2010-2011 season undefeated.
Warren Mack, 17-0, 12 falls, Knightmare Classic Champion, Franklin Invitational Champion, 30-2 in 2009-2010 before suffering a broken arm
VSN: How does your undefeated start make you feel?
Mack: It makes you feel very strong; like you’re unstoppable. I just work a head leaver to a bar, and just to what my coaches tell me to get the pin.
VSN: How did breaking your arm in last year’s State Duals affect you coming into this season?
Mack: That affected me a lot. I thought the season was going to be a lot harder because I thought I fell back a little bit. But I worked hard over the summer and came back even stronger.
Demetrius Johnson, 15-2, 10 falls, Franklin Invitational Champion, 39-8 in 2009-2010, 2nd in the county, 1st in the region, 6th in the state.
VSN: Talk about how your season has been going for you.
Johnson: My season has been pretty good. There has been a lot of practice getting down to weight in the practice room, and I have just been wrestling hard and getting a lot of pins.
VSN: Finishing last year 39-8 and placing second in the county, how has that loss in the county finals fueled you this season?
Johnson: I lost in the counties and was really upset. I think I practiced hard but maybe could have practiced harder. I am working hard this year and I definitely want to take first in counties.
VSN: Talk about your experience last year at states and how it will help you this year.
Johnson: Last year it was good to go there and see the environment at states and getting sixth was good, but I think I could do better. So this year I am gong to go back there and get first.
I have been working all summer, going to national tournaments to get me ready for this season. I think I am past a lot of people I am going to wrestle this year because of all the practice.
Note: Johnson went to the War at the Shore Nationals (NJ), placing second, the Brute Nationals, placing third, and the West Virginia Nationals, placing first.
Taran Carr, 16-1, 11 falls, Knightmare Classic Champion, Franklin Invitational Champion, 40-4 in 2009-2010, county and region champ, 5th in the state.
VSN: Tell the wrestling community how your season has been so far.
Carr: I think my season, right now, is going pretty well. There is a lot of things I still need to work on and a lot of things I still need to improve on, but there is enough there to have a solid base and enough o get me where I want to be.
VSN: What do you want to get out of this season?
Carr: I think I can do very well this season. There are things I want to accomplish and there are certainly people coming after me given my record right now. I kneed to stay balanced, keep my head about me and go about my season.
Everything from my mindset about wrestling, by physical build, my knowledge about wrestling even my relationships with my teammates has gotten better.
Larry Johnson, 16-1, 10 falls, Knightmare Classic Runner-up, Parkville Invitational Champion, 35-5 in 2009-2010, county and region champ, 4th in the state.
VSN: Talk about how you have been winning all your matcher.
Johnson: I have to thank my father. He works me and my brother with lifting weights and running after practice. I just condition myself after I get out of practice to make sure I stay on top of my game.
VSN: What’s it like being so successful and getting another shot at states?
Johnson: It felt really good for me because I felt like I was underrated and a lot of people didn’t know who I was. So I felt like I had a lot to prove when I went out there on the mat. So every match I went out there like I had something to prove and make sure that it was known who I was.
This year I feel like I have to come back harder and not get fourth and go for first. Right now I am ranked number one right now, so I am trying to fulfil my ranking.
VSN: How do you feel your season is panning out, and where do you expect yourself with the number one ranking?
Johnson: Honestly, I think I have to work a little harder than I am working now. Everyday I go out there someone is trying to take my spot, so I have to work harder to make sure that at the end of the season I am in the state finals; out there on that mat going for first.