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Region champs lead area mat contingent

March 02, 2001

Region champs lead area mat contingent



By AL DITZEL

alfredd@herald-mail.com

Of the thousands of wrestlers who began the 2000-2001 season, only 416, including 27 from the area, still have hopes of winning a Maryland state championship. When tonight's quarterfinal round concludes at Western Maryland College, that number will be down to 104.

Here's a look at the area's region champs, beginning with seniors in alphabetical order, and their weight classes.

Wayne Boward, North Hagerstown senior, 4A/3A 145-pound weight class

A four-time Washington County champ, four-time region champ, three-time state third-place winner in 2A/1A, Boward (28-0) will meet Northern Calvert sophomore Walter Hoffman (26-8) in the first round.

"I don't care what anybody says, there are decent kids in (2A/1A and 4A/3A)," Boward said. "I'm feeling pretty good, real good. I'm ready for states. I'm in good shape, been drilling real hard, running - I'm not a good runner but I try - and drill, drill, drill. Drill and your dreams can come true."

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No one else in Boward's weight class has placed. His three third places stand out when looking at the weight. DuVal senior Frank Wright (29-3) has one more win, but no one else can match Boward's season record or state placings.

"I think I've done well," Boward said. "I'd like to do better. We'll see what happens."

Ryan McDonald, Williamsport senior, 2A/1A 275

Four-time county champ, three-time region champ, two-time state third-place winner, McDonald is 29-2 this season. His weight class is formidable with Oakland Mills senior Robert Scott (28-3), the returning champ, and second-place winner junior Willie Leonard (31-0) of Kent County. Both are in the opposite bracket of McDonald.

"You mean Williamsport got a break in the state tournament?" Williamsport coach Chuck Martin said.

"I think I got the breaks this year," said McDonald, who is Williamsport's all-time wins and pins leader, including six straight pins heading into the states.

"This is definitely my year to win states. If I don't win, it would be a disappointment. I've already finished third twice, it's time to try something new."

McDonald needed just 4:07 to dispose of three region opponents.

Akil Patterson, Frderick senior, 4A/3A 275

Two-time region champ, placed third last year, Patterson (29-0) lost to Northeast's eventual-state champ Rodney Jones 9-8 in last year's semifinals. Patterson's first-round opponent, River Hill senior Scott Cannon (27-5), did not place last year..

"I know I need three more wins before I reach the finals," said Patterson, who will play football at the University of Maryland in the fall. "I have no fear of losing because I have nothing to lose. I'll be playing football at Maryland. I'll stay active in wrestling some way. I already referee."

He could be the third Patterson from Frederick to reach the state finals. His brother Omari lost in the 171 final in 1999, and his brother Keith finished second at 152 in 1997.

"Omari was known as the hardest worker, Keith was known as the baddest on the mat," Patterson said. "I just want to be known as the biggest."

Ryan Quillen, Smithsburg senior, 2A/1A 152


Quillen (27-6) defeated Northern Garrett returning state champ Brandon Kamp 4-2 in the region final.

"I'm trying not to let it go to my head," Quillen said. "My only goal this year was to qualify for the states, fourth would've been as good as first.

"Now, I'd like to place in the top six and get on the wall."

Smithsburg puts photos of all state placewinners on a wall. Quillen said he'd like to do much of his wrestling on his feet.

"I've scored most of my points this year from neutral," he said. "I have moves on top and bottom, but I'd like to work neutral."

Quillen's weight class also includes Parkside returning state champ Nathan Kilchenstein.

Steve Stone, Williamsport senior, 2A/1A 130


Fourth-place winner last year, Stone (29-1) is unbeaten against Maryland opponents this season. Stone said he learned a valuable lesson from last year's state tournament.

"I think I learned not to worry too much about my weight," Stone said. "I was worried about being overweight after my second match (wrestles weigh in for Saturday's competition after their quarterfinal bouts), so I didn't eat or drink anything and then I didn't have anything for my (quarterfinal) match."

Stone posted a 16-1 technical fall over Walkersville's Jason Gladhill in the region final, after defeating Gladhill 2-0 in the Hub Cup final.

"I was really pumped up," Stone said. "I think (the region final win) gives me a lot of confidence. I think my chances are pretty good to reach the finals."

Stone's first-round opponent is Pikesville junior Grant Posner (23-11) and his possible semifinal opponent is Owings Mills junior Clayton Arnold (37-1).

Also, Northeast of Cecil County senior Jake DeMatt (28-1) is in the opposite bracket. He finished second at 135 last year.

Travis Brown, Williamsport junior, 2A/1A 145


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