Scott Church sought a little extra motivation on the eve of the Maryland 4A/3A wrestling semifinals.
So as a reminder of his season-long goals, the Richard Montgomery senior wrote a note on hotel stationary and taped it above his hotel room bed: "State champion."
"I just laid in bed looking at [the note] and thinking about being a state champion," said Church. "I kept waking up ready to wrestle,"
Church proved he was ready to wrestle the rest of the day, winning his next two matches -- including an 8-6 championship win over South Carroll's Andrew Winfield -- to claim his first and Richard Montgomery's first title since 1982. That championship was won by current Damascus Coach Dave Hopkins.
The state title is even more special for Church (39-0) considering the painful fashion his season ended last season. Church placed third in last season's tournament despite tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during his final match.
"That kept me from pole vaulting [last spring]," Church said. "I just focused all my attention on wrestling."
Church was a part of a contingent of six Montgomery County champions -- the most of any county in the tournament.
Churchill senior Brandon Shapiro (119 pounds) and junior Danny April (125) each defended their titles. April became one of 24 wrestlers to earn three state championships and next season will shoot to make history as only the fourth wrestler to win four titles.
"I'm going to quit and play basketball next season," the 5-foot-5 April joked.
April (35-1) improved his career mark to 104-2 after defeating Old Mill junior Doug West, 3-2, in the final.
Shapiro improved to 34-0 and posted a 88-8 mark over his final three seasons.
"This is what we have been dreaming about all season," Endler said of his two state champions. "It would be great to have one state champion and to have two champions is unbelievable."
Northwest senior Sean Clark made his first trip to the state tournament last season. Though brief, Clark lost his only match, the experience proved pivotal in his ascent to the 140-pound championship this season.
Clark (33-3), who placed second at the county tournament and first in the region, knocked off Liberty junior Chris DeVilbiss, 6-3, to earn the Germantown school's first championship.
"He qualified for states last year, got his feet wet and got the nerves out," said Northwest Coach Joe Vukovich. "A lot of people may be shocked that he could come in here and win the championship, but we're not. It's not a surprise to us."
Bethesda Chevy Chase junior Sonny Nucci was one of three Barons' finalists and claimed only the school's third state title. Junior twins Chad and Eric Jeronimo each placed second in the 2A/1A finals.
Damascus senior Greg Cohen capped his career with his first state title. Cohen (35-1), who won just one match at last year's state tournament, capped a dominating season by knocking off Northern's previously undefeated Walter Hoffman, 6-4, in the 171-pound final.