W.T. Woodson had a very good year in 1986. But after placing behind Robinson in the Northern District and Northern Region, the Cavalier wrestlers, this year, appear ready to garner top honors. However, Robinson, which graduated a large portion of last year's championship team, always fields a tough squad and will be very good. Marshall should be a runaway in the Great Falls District; Chantilly looks very strong in the Potomac District, and West Potomac is the pick in the Gunston District.
Among the top wrestlers returning this year is Nat Wood of South Lakes, the region champion at 145 pounds. Also returning is John Watson of Hayfield, second in the state last year at 126 pounds, and West Potomac's Tommy Ruff, the region champion at 126 and placed third in the state. And Craig Phipps of Jefferson is back after capturing the district and region championship at 105. Phipps was second in the state.GREAT FALLS DISTRICT
The Hornets, who were down in the pack last year hope to be more competitive but are not strong enough all the way through to be a title contender.
Senior Jay Troxell was second in the district at 167 and Junior Kurt McHenry at was runner-up at 119. At 105, junior Ricky Saunders returns for his third year as well as junior Don Handfield, a 112-pounder.
Among the newcomers are junior Doug Bittenbender at 132 pounds and junior Chris King at 126 pounds.
Langley finished fourth last year in the Great Falls District. And according to Coach Bob King, the Saxons are in for another tough year. The Saxons will be forced to forfeit at least three categories: 98 pounds, 185 and unlimited because of a lack of wrestlers. However, the talent King does have looks to be competitive. The team is led by defending district champion, senior Chris Maynor, who placed third in the region.
Also back for King is Dave Stevenson, a 126-pound senior, who placed second in the district last year at 119 pounds. Other returnees include senior Brandon Brown at 132 pounds and Dan Park, a senior at 105. Among King's newcomers are junior Dean Hung at 112 pounds and junior Sung An at 119 pounds.
Madison finished near the the bottom of the heap last year and is hoping for a more respectable finish. The Warhawks are led by senior John Levtov at 138 pounds. At 112 pounds is Matt Vaughan, a junior who placed second in the district at 98 pounds. Junior Scott Hughes at 185 pounds rounds out the returnees.
Coach Charles Ostlund has three top newcomers: freshman Brad Ross at 98 pounds, Senior Neil Reilly at 145 and senior Chris Leinster at 155.
As Madison Coach Ostlund says, "Our district couldn't put together an all-star team that could compete with Marshall." The defending district champions are back with another strong team and appear unstoppable in the Great Falls this year.
The Statesmen have nine starters back from last year's team including four district champions. They are Cuong Do, a senior 105-pounder, who was district champion at 98; senior Chris Sapio at 119, who won the 112-pound class last season; senior 126-pounder Roger Baxter, who won at 126 last year and returning unlimted champion Mike Brown.
"This is one of the strongest teams I've ever had," said Coach Dan Foglio, whose teams have not lost a district match in five years.
The Highlanders return almost their entire team from last year's last place team and are hoping for at least a .500 season this time around.
Senior Steve Platt at 145 pounds placed third in the district and region at the same weight last season. Senior Phil Seifert is at 155. Chris McMichael, a 176-pound senior, Jay Hoffman at 119 and sophomore John Esguerra at 98 pounds are also back.
Senior Chris Schmeil at 105 pounds leads the new faces, which include junior Dan Rountree at 112 and senior Russ Stromberg at 138.
The Seahawks are extremely young this year and will probably equal last year's fifth-place finish. The team's top wrestler is senior Nat Wood at 145. Wood was the district and region champion at 145. Also back is senior Pat MacKellar at 126, senior Harry Helmich at 167 and Junior Tony Pardo at 132. New to the team is sophomore Donovan Hervig at 105.
The Generals, along with Madison, will find the road bumpy this season. The Generals have six returning starters from last year's team, which finished seventh in the district.
Washington-Lee will be led by senior Pablo Cantillana at 105 pounds. He placed second in the district last year at 105. Senior Alex Waters is back at 119 where he placed third last year. Senior Davis Colwell will wrestle at 112, senior Jose Huallpa will be at 126 and Ilhami Tekman will wrestle at 132 pounds.
Among the newcomers are sophomore Walter Granados at 98, freshman George Obando at 138, Ellis Malave at 145 and freshman Leo Boling at 155.
The Patriots have eight returning starters from last year's squad which finished third in the district. And with a few breaks, this team could be one of the major surprises of the year.
Leading the way is senior Amos Smith at 155. Smith placed third in the district last year. Senior Kurt Kreisher at 112 and senior Ricardo Zuniga at 98 also look strong.
Among the newcomers are sophomore Robert Neuner at 126 and sophomore Charlie Schollaert at 138 pounds. Coach Scott Brooks is also high on juniors Juan Mejia at 105 and Paul Andruckonis at 167.
Although the Patriots may not be able to surpass Marshall, this should be one of the more interesting teams to keep an eye on.
GUNSTON DISTRICT Edison
The Eagles have the majority of their wrestlers back from last year's last place team. With such experience, Edison is hopeful that by tournament time, it can produce an improvement over last year.
Senior John Kim, who was second in the district last year at 98 pounds, is up to 105. Returning at heavyweight is Greg Redden, a two-time defending district champion. Junior Todd Gleason at 112 is up from 105 where he placed third in the district, and junior Mike Sandlin returns at 155 pounds where he placed third last year.
Three new faces for the Eagles are seniors James Kim at 98 pounds, Lee Nash at 119 and Scott Metheny at 167 pounds.
The Hawks will have their sights set on West Potomac, which appears to be the strongest team in the Gunston. First-year Coach John Tompkins is fresh from his stint at South Lakes. His team is led by defending 119-pound champion Mark Cain. Senior John Watson, who is wrestling at 132 pounds, was second in the district, region and state last year at 126 pounds. And Quincy Lewis, a senior 176-pounder, was the district champion last year at 167.
Juniors Tom Park at 98 pounds, and David Park at 105 pounds lead the new faces. Also among the newcomers are junior Kelly Sullivan at 126, senior Scott Smith at 138 and senior Paul Kim at 167 pounds.
The Lancers will be a better tournament than dual-meet team this season. After graduating 10 lettermen from last year's squad, which placed third in the district, Lee will have its hands full this year. Carrying a good deal of that load will be sophomore Geoff Bennett at 119 pounds. Bennett was runner-up in the district at 105 last season. Edgar Correa, a 126-pound senior, and senior Jeff Jimmo at 138 must also produce. Jimmo was fourth in the district at 132 last year.
Leading the newcomers is junior Scott Schmader at 145, who was the junior varsity champion last year at 132. Sophomore Chad Shuey at 98 and senior Randy Johnson at 126 will get some experience.
The Majors should have a good season. They've got seven returning starters back from the team that finished second in the district to West Potomac. Among their experienced wrestlers are junior John Hodges at 119, senior Young Yi at 126, senior Chris Cox at 145, senior Erik Fox at 167 and senior Frank Frassetto at 176.
Freshman Ivory Jackson at 98 pounds, junior Lee McLeod at 112 and junior Mike Morris at 132 are new.
"Our aggressiveness should be better this year," said Coach Brian Taylor. "And we will have to rely on that aggressiveness as well as good conditioning if we are to be a top contender for the district title."
The two-time defending district champion Wolverines were third in the region and state last year. Although they only have four starters returning from that squad, the Wolverines have enough strength to once again dominate the district.
Senior Matt McMarton at 112 pounds is up from 98 where he won the district. Senior Dale Cody at 138, is up from 119, where he won the district. Senior Brett Dodson is down from heavyweight, where he placed third, to 185, and junior Tommy Ruff returns at 126 pounds where he won the district, region and finished third in the state.
Coach Dale Eaton also has a host of new wrestlers including senior Jim MacMichael, a 145-pound transfer from Florida; senior Greg Ryan at 119 pounds; senior John Gluck at 132 and junior Mike Skinner at 176.
Although W.T. Woodson and Robinson will probobly compete for district as well as region honors, Lake Braddock will also field a talented team. The Bruins finished third in the district last year and have seven returning starters. Leading the pack for Coach Alan Thompson are brothers, junior Sergio Loza at 112 and Ricardo at 105. Both placed third in the district in their respective weight classes last year. Also back is senior Brent Gehring at 119. He was third last year in the district at 119. Senior heavyweight Mark Mathia was injured last year but is one of the favorites this year for a district title. And senior Rob Couture will wrestle at 155.
Junior newcomer Eric Wisdom at 138 and sophomore Joe Arcona at 98 hope to impress Thompson.
The Cougars have modest hopes this season -- to win more than they lose. Having graduated seven starters from last year's third-place district finisher, that may not be easy.
Senior Brent Newell returns at 185 pounds where he placed third in the district last year. Senior Jay Gregory is back at 138 where he was also third. At 126 is junior Mark McDonnell. And Mike Faul is up to 119 from 112 where he was third last year.
New wrestlers for the Cougars include junior Rob Hope at 105; junior heavyweight Robert Lassiter and junior Bobby Herman at 155.
The Rams won the district, region and were second in the state last year. They also graduated nine starters from that squad. So why won't anyone believe Coach John Epperly when he says that this season will be a rebuilding year and he just hopes to be competitive? Look for Robinson to challenge W.T. Woodson for the district title.
Senior Rob Patten at 155 pounds was third in the district and runnerup in the region last year at 145. Senior Chris Ellison is at 167 after placing second in the district at 155. And senior Chip DeWalt is at 145 pounds.
Among the newcomers are junior Kyle Ellison at 138 and junior David Long at 98. Joining them are freshman Kevin Littley at 105; freshman Brian Hazzard at 119 and junior Stacy Gruber is a transfer from Wisconsin at 132. Look for these newcomers to make names for themselves by year's end.
Last year the Titans finished 1-13. This year they are looking forward to improvement under first-year Coach Way T. Crawford. But it will be a very young squad with only two senors. Armando Quispe at 176 and John Paramore at 185 are the veteran wrestlers. Among the younger clan are juniors' Paul Keller at 167, Todd Sandoz at 145 and Luis Tobles at 138. Sophomore Dwayne Gregory at 155 and freshmen Patrick Roblets at 112 and Steve Smeltzer at 126 will try to turn the team's fortunes around.
The Spartans should have a good dual meet team. Tournament wise, this team will need improvement in order to qualify wrestlers for the state.
Senior Scott Addison (176/185) was third in district last year at 167. Sophomore Ross Iaci returns at 105 where he placed fourth in the district. Senior Lani Fritts is up to 155 from 145 where he placed fourth in the district, and Eddie Mahoney has jumped to 132 from 119 where he garnered a fourth-place finish in the district.
The newcomers include Jonathan Blais, a junior 155-pounder and junior heavyweight John Barnett.
The Cavaliers have had their fill of playing bridesmaid, having finished runnerup to Robinson last year in the district and region. This year the Cavaliers have an excellent chance at district and region honors.
The Cavaliers have five starters back including senior defending district champion Brook Leonard at 155 pounds. Also returning is Trent Bowers, a senior at 185 pounds. Bowers was second in the district and region last year at 175. Junior Jacob Phillips is up to 138 pounds from 132, where he placed second in the district and fourth in the region. Others returning include junior Trent Overboe at 145 and senior Brian Kerns at 167.
Some newcomers who should make a mark this year are senior James Harrington at 126, sophomore Jay Entlich at 105, junior Marc Rabin at 112 and senior Matt Duff at 176.
"We're young at the lower weight classes but strong in the middle and upper weights," concedes Coach Paul Labazzetta. "It all depends on how our young kids come along." Watch for them to make rapid progress.
The Atoms are going to have to really work for everything they get. They have only four returning wrestlers from a squad that placed fourth in the district. Among their returning wrestlers is senior Jung Cha, a district champion at 145 who is now at 155. At 145 this year is Alan Marlowe, who was third in the district at 138. Junior Pete Menard at 119 and senior Jim Fraser at 185 are the crux of this team's experience.
New to the team is heavyweight Tom Zaebst, who was the junior varsity district champion last year. At 132 is junior Matt Kier. He is joined by Bo Lee, a 167-pound senior and Ed Goyea a 138-pound sophomore.
Chantilly should win the district. After finishing second last year, the Chargers have brought nine starters back. At 185 is the defending district champion, senior Jack Vick, who also placed second in the region. Also back is senior defending district heavyweight champion, Steve Crouch. At 138 is senior Andy Stever and at 167 is senior Jim Schneider, a district runnerup. Another defending district champion is Josh Webb who returns at 176. Sophomore Rob Giecek is new at 155 pounds.
The Rebels have two returning champions from their squad that won the district and placed sixth in the region last year. They are senior Rob McGaough at 167 and senior John Curtis at 176. McGaough won the district at 155 and Curtis won at 167. Unfortunately for the Rebels, they also graduated nine senors from last year's squad so the team will "be definitely emphasizing individual achievement," said Coach Mitchell Suttefield.
Other wrestlers to watch for are senior Ben Miller at 105 and newcomer David Anderson at 126. "We'll be good in a couple of years," said Suttefield, "but now we've got to recover from graduation loss."
Craig Phipps is the wrestler to watch at Jefferson. The defending district and regional champion, Phipps placed second in the state at 105 pounds. He's up to 119 this year. Otherwise, the Colonials, who finished third in the district last year, will experience the pains of rebuilding.
Other top players include Mike Mukai, a junior at 155, senior Seung Je Yo at 126 and senior John Choi at 167. New are sophomore Dan Organek at 98, sophomore John Lupinos at 132 and junior Jim Song at 138.
The Raiders are another team that will have a better chance at tournament time than in dual meets. The Raiders graduated the majority of last year's starters. Back is senior Narin Sihavong at 112. He won the district last year, was fourth in the state and third in the region. Also returning is Mark Maldonado, a 138-pound senior who was third in the district. Senior Art Cook at 126 was also third in the district. Among the new faces are freshman Ben Cook at 98 pounds and freshman Felong Tong at 105.
The Warriors have one district and regional champion back this year. He is 98-pounder, senior Wilber Salas. Al Acevedo at 176 was the district runnerup last year. Also back are senior Sit Song at 155, senior heavyweight Eric Bea, who was third in the district last year and senior Insu Hwang at 126. Ed Grose at 105 and Jeff Humphries at 167 are new. Because of a lack of wrestlers the Warriors will be forced to forfeit up to five weight classes. So until tournament time, team-wise, it will be a tough year.