Wrestlers to Watch

Chris McRae, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sr.: Will wrestle in the 130-pound class after finishing 25-9 last season in the 119-pound class. Won the county championship and placed third at the 4A/3A South Region tournament.

Mike Rowe, DeMatha, Soph.: Will compete in the 112-pound class after the All-Met dominated the 103-pound class last season, going 45-2 and winning the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Maryland Independent Schools and National Prep championships.

Rudy Rueda III, DeMatha, Jr.: Two-time All-Met ruled the 125-pound class last season by going 42-6 after winning his second consecutive National Prep and WCAC championships, and will look to continue his success in the 135-pound class this season. Has an 82-10 career record.

Team Story Lines

DeMatha's lineup remains mostly intact from last season's team that was 14-0 in dual matches and won its 17th consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. Rowe, Rueda and sophomore 119-pound All-Met Cam Watkins (48-4 last year at 112 pounds) will lead the Stags.

Eleanor Roosevelt won 13 of 15 dual matches and its first county title in 15 years. The Raiders eventually reached the 4A/3A South Region dual final before losing to Northern. McRae is the team's only returning county champion. Junior 125-pounder Kyle Bruin (18-12), junior 171-pounder Brandon Laureys (17-10 at 189) and sophomore 119-pounder Phil Tacconelli (22-12 at 103) also return.

First-year coach William Hall said he does not expect Suitland to win many dual meets this season, but said his Rams will be tough to beat in tournaments. They have just eight wrestlers and do not have a competitor in seven weight classes, but Hall said Suitland has quality. Desmond Thomas, a 112-pound junior, was 30-4 last season and was second at both the county and region meets. Three other wrestlers -- senior 152-pounder Tunde{acute} Fashina (16-8 at 145), senior 145-pounder Ben Turner (12-12 at 140) and 160-pound senior Maurice Gibson (20-8 at 160) -- are all good enough to place in the postseason.

-- Jon Gallo