Each weight class is comprised of the top four finishers from each of the state's four regions -- with the West's usually being the best.
"The bottom line is that the West is always the strongest, so everybody has a shot from out here," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said at last weekend's West championships. "You go through this thing, it's like a meat-grinder. Our top four have been better than the other three's top four on a regular basis."
Seven Washington County wrestlers qualified for the 2A-1A state tourney -- South Hagerstown's Ian Anderson (145); Williamsport's Kemper Baker (119), Joey Sutch (135) and Robbie Mies (215); and Smithsburg's Dean White (140), Tyler Scott (189) and Hovermale.
Mies (30-4), Scott (30-2) and Hovermale are the only returnees, while Mies is the only one who placed last year. He was fifth at 160.
Mies' goal this year: "Do the best I can and beat last year's," he said after winning a region title last weekend.
Scott, the county's other region champ, went 1-2 at 189 last year at states.
"Last year I was so disappointed not to place," Scott said. "This year, I want to make a run at it. I'd definitely like to try to win it."
White (20-13) might have the most difficult first-round assignment as he faces River Hill's Nathan White (43-1), the state runner-up at 130 last year. Two-time state champ Brutus Scheffel (37-4) of Southern Garrett also is in their half of the bracket.
If Baker (32-2) wins his first-round bout against Bohemia Manor's Bijan Banks (28-7), he'll likely meet River Hill's Cameron Kirby (39-7) in the quarterfinals. Kirby placed second at 103 last year.
Baker's two losses this year are to Brunswick's Tyler Bartholomew (32-4) and Glenelg's Zack Gerber (30-7), both of whom are on the other half of his bracket.
Some upsets and surprises are probably the only certainties this weekend.
"You get a call here and there, you never know," Dietrich said.
* Three members of the Washington County Wrestling Officials Association will be working at the tournament.
Rick Hare is serving as head official, Larry Steele as a referee and Walt Roberts as a table official.