Coming off a 13-14 season in 2009-2010, the Mt. Hebron wrestling program is returning a number of seniors and is hoping to be amongst the top teams in a tough Howard County field.
“We were a solid team [last year], and we have a lot of seniors this year, so I am hoping this is the season that we blossom,” Vikings coach Todd DeCrispino said. “ I have had all these guys, who are seniors now, since they were freshman, so I am hoping to see a solid performance from the team this year.”
Of those seniors, DeCrispino is looking to senior 125-pounder Drew Vickers, a county place-winner and regional qualifier, and senior heavyweight AJ Wade, another regional qualifier, to be the leader for the matured Viking squad.
Other Viking standouts include, seniors Alex Steward (119), Zack Fernande (135) and Jon Iwaskiw (189), a Howard County place-winner and state qualifier, and sophomore 130-pounder Joe Kendrick.
“My goal this year is to get five to the states. Hopefully, we have eight or nine in the regions,” DeCrispino said. “I have a lot of seniors with a lot of experience, and I know our region is tough, going through the 3A/4A East and Anne Arundel County to get to the states, but I think we have a solid enough team that we should do well.
“We will have a good tournament team. We should have a lot of kids placing top four in the tournaments. Whether we will have a number of champions is still to be seen, but we will have a lot of kids who have the ability to place.”
DeCrispino admits that tough Howard County competition will be faced in the season, including an experienced Glenelg team along with Hammond and a reloading Reservoir program, but the Mt. Hebron coach says not to count out River Hill just yet.
“Right now, I don’t have a 103 or 112-pounder, and I am concerned I will be giving up 12 points every match,” DeCrispino admitted. “and you have to bang heads later in the lineup to get those points.
To make up for losing those early dual-meet points, DeCrispino is looking to 189-pound Iwaskiw as his pinner.
“Iwaskiw is a solid pinner and flies under the radar in the county,” DeCrispino said. “Last year he wrestled for us at 215 and was giving up at least 10-12 pounds every match.
Through the off-season and football, Iwaskiw has trimmed down from his 205-pound frame to come into the season at 195, putting him on track to be the team’s 189-pound starter.
“I think he will do much better at 189 than he did at 215,” DeCrispino said. “He did well at 215, but you could see him lose a match because he just couldn’t finish a takedown or move when they guy have 12 pounds on him.”
As for Wade, the senior heavyweight enters the season with 90 career wins and has a chance to earn his 100th win before the Christmas break.
The senior has consistently won 29 to 30 matches each year, according to DeCrispino, and the team’s tri-meets to start the season could witness the wrestler’s accomplishment.
For more information on Mt. Hebron, Howard County and Wade’s shot at 100 wins, comeback and view the VSN Wrestling Homepage.