WRESTLERS TO WATCH
Will Powars, 119, Potomac Falls, Jr. -- Began the year with a 78-3 career record. Two-time All-Extra has won the past two Region II titles and is part of what Coach Kris Kelican calls "one of the best teams we've ever had."
Robert Hardey, 125, Loudoun Valley, Jr. -- Went 7-0 at the Brentsville tournament in mid-December and finished 28-7 last year. He is one of 25 wrestlers on the roster and among the most experienced members of a team that may have four freshman starters.
Dan Scanlan, 152, Loudoun County, Soph. -- Wrestling at 152 after finishing 29-2 and winning AA Dulles District and Region II titles last year at 130. Began wrestling at age 6.
Charles Jenkins, 189, Fauquier, Sr. -- Has finished second in the state for two seasons, including a two-overtime loss in the Virginia AAA final in 2001. Has won two consecutive region titles and is 85-5 in that span. He is out until mid-January with a broken hand suffered during football season.
Tim Schluderberg, 215, Broad Run, Sr. -- Won the AA Dulles District heavyweight title last year after wrestling most of the season at 215. It was a switch for Schluderberg, who as a sophomore wrestled at 215, even though he weighed 189.
Will Fauquier be a top "tournament team" again?
Like Jenkins, senior 171-pounder Andrew Wilson is out until early January with a broken hand suffered during football. The Falcons are wrestling without a 103-pounder and a heavyweight because no one tried out, although senior All-Extra Kent Hodgson is back at 140. "We'll be more of a tournament team," Coach Bryan Hurst said. That was the case last year. The team went 10-17 in dual meets, then placed four wrestlers, including Hodgson, among the top six in the state tournament.
What programs could be headed in the right direction?
Liberty already has something it went without last year: A victory. The Eagles were 3-2 in their first dual meet two weeks ago. Sophomore Drew Hicks (140) finished 5-0 and was the team's high-scorer. First-year coach Ken Mullins has help from two assistants, former Virginia wrestler Jeff Moore and former Pennsylvania high school standout Jison Blystone. Heritage has recorded a first -- Brandon Alonzo-Jones placed third at 152 in the school's first tournament, the Sterling Lions Invitational last weekend.
What makes a well-rounded wrestler?
Park View junior Daniel Bernier is one of several wrestlers also involved in the school's plays and chorus. "Daniel's pretty big into it," Coach Greg Mitchell said. "I've seen him a few times, and he's pretty good, though I'm not much of a drama critic." Bernier can wrestle, finishing second at 140 at the Sterling Lions and winning the sportsmanship award. Stone Bridge senior heavyweight Jonathan Chernega, third at the Lions tournament, is also involved in his school's drama department.
-- Christian Swezey