Wrestler of the year
Progressive Christian coach Carlos Sandoval referred to Bressler as the ‘‘most dominant wrestler to ever compete in the state of Maryland.” Bressler’s resume this season may be able to support that, as the junior went 59-2, with 54 of those victories coming by pinfall. A majority of those wins came in the first period. A three-time Maryland Independent Schools state finalist and 2006 champion, and winner of the prestigious St. Albans (D.C.) tournament this season, Bressler capped his campaign with a runner-up showing at the National Preps tournament at Bethlehem, Pa. Ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association at 145 pounds and No. 22 by Wrestling USA at 135, Bressler is 200-27 in his career with 181 pinfalls.
Coach of the year
When Carpenter and his assistant coaches Sean Edelin and Steve Howard evaluated their team at Oxon Hill at the beginning of the season, they expected to have a rebuilding task ahead of them. What they got instead was a group of kids who rewarded them with a County South Division championship, a berth into the 4A/3A South Region Duals, where they were beaten by state champ La Plata in the final, and a runner-up finish in the county tournament. The Clippers improved from 7-5 last season to 12-2 this season, and they did so with six freshmen, two juniors and six limited-experienced seniors. Carpenter has coached the Clippers since 1997 and has been part of the program since 1990. Under his guidance, the team also won the county tournament in both 2001 and 2000, and was runner-up again in 2002.
Andrew Bannister, freshman, McNamara, 103: Bannister became the Forestville program’s first Maryland Independent Schools state champion last month, winning his final three matches at the event in less than two minutes each. He finished with a 53-7 record, including 28 pinfalls, 10 by technical fall and another five by major decision. He placed fifth at the National Preps and won tournaments at Northern and Damascus.
Jonathan Faringer, senior, DeMatha, 112: Faringer won events at South River, Pallotti and St. Albans (D.C.) and defended his Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) crowns en route to a 55-9 record. He also took third at the Maryland Independent Schools states and fourth at the National Preps and participated in last week’s Senior All-Star Classic. Faringer is 152-22 in his prep career with 64 pinfalls.
Jon Hunt, senior, Eleanor Roosevelt, 119: Despite missing time this season with a leg injury, the UMBC-bound Hunt still dominated his division, successfully defending his county championship and taking runner-up honors at the 4A/3A South Region. At the state tournament, he won three matches to place sixth and finished his campaign with a 17-5 record.
Michael Borden, senior, Oxon Hill, 125: One of the many bright spots for the Clippers, Borden’s second year on the mat resulted in a county championship in a competitive field, taking third at the 4A/3A South Region and winning a match at the state tournament. Borden, a team captain, was a runner-up at Ed Peery early in the season and third at Northern.
Steve Sargent, junior, DeMatha, 130: A three-time Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion, Sargent went 51-9 this season with 37 pinfalls, and is 142-25 with 82 pinfalls in his career at the Hyattsville school. Sargent overcame an injury to place seventh at the Nationals Preps, and was third at the Maryland Independent Schools states. He defended his Pallotti and Arundel titles, also winning at Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) and taking runner-up at St. Albans (D.C.).
Reggie Parker, senior, DeMatha, 135: In his three years with the Stags, the Rutgers-bound Parker compiled a 120-46 mark and was 53-9 this season with 14 pinfalls. He won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and St. Albans (D.C.) titles, as well as Ireton (Va.), Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) and Pallotti, and was a runner-up at South River. Parker was fifth at National Preps for the second time and third at the Maryland Independent Schools states.
Matt Brannon, senior, Bowie, 140: In his lone season competing in the local public school scene, Brannon (27-4) reached the 4A/3A state semifinals before settling for fourth place. His loss was a 3-2 decision to eventual champion Tyler Macleod of North Carroll. He was third in the regionals after winning three county tournament matches by pinfall.
Antwaun Johnson, senior, Surrattsville, 152: Johnson became the first regional wrestling champion at the Clinton school, winning all of his regional matches by pinfall, just as he did at the county championships. None of those matches lasted longer than three minutes. He finished 29-4 with the first 26 of those victories won by pinfall en route to a sixth-place showing at the 4A/3A state tournament.
Deven Watson, senior, Bowie, 160: In two years, Watson won 65 matches and was 37-5 this season en route to reaching the 4A/3A state final as that event’s lowest seed. He knocked off two No. 1 seeds to get to the final. Watson breezed through the county tournament, winning three matches by pinfall in a combined 3 minutes, 19 seconds to lead the Bulldogs to a tournament-record 249 points and the team title. He is ranked No. 2 in 4A/3A by the Maryland State Wresting Association.
Paul Santone, senior, Bowie, 171: Ranked for much of the season by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, Santone was an easy winner in three victories at the county tournament, and lost a close decision to Lackey’s Clyde Jones, a state runner-up in the 4A/3A South Region. Santone placed sixth at the states en route to a 39-win season.
Scott Miller, senior, DeMatha, 189: With a 153-62 career record with 101 pinfalls, Miller claimed 32 of his 45 victories this season by pinfall. He was champion at St. Albans (D.C.), Berkeley Springs (W.Va.), South River and Pallotti, and runner-up at the Maryland Independent Schools states. Miler improved his National Preps placing this season to fifth and is a three-time Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion. He will attend John Carroll University (Ohio).
Will Willman, junior, DeMatha, 215: In a year that saw Willman return to the mat after recovering from a stress fracture in his back and later mononucleosis, he had to overcome shoulder and more back pain during the latter stages of this season. He managed to still place eighth at the National Preps, fifth in the Maryland Independent Schools States, fourth at St. Albans (D.C.), and he won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title en route to a 38-13 mark with 19 pinfalls.
Chris Hutton, senior, Largo, 275: In his second year of wrestling, Hutton became his school’s first state finalist in nearly 20 years. He lost that match and the regional final to La Plata’s Eric Jobe, the only wrestler ranked above Hutton all season in the Maryland State Wrestling Association’s public school rankings. He was 30-6 this season and 57-10 in his brief career for the Lions.
103: Tyler Smith, Bowie; 112: Larry Moomau, Northwestern; 119: Will Gurtshaw, Progressive Christian; James McLean, Bowie; 125: Brooks Anderson, Surrattsville; 130: George Lacour,Central; Stephen Tyree, Gwynn Park; 135: Logan Putnam, Progressive Christian; Faruq Demesme, Oxon Hill; 140: Matt Dugan, DeMatha;145: Charles McIntosh, Bowie; 152: Drew Pappas, Progressive Christian; 160: Emmanuel Okafor, DuVal; 171: Joe Eden, DeMatha; 189: Dixon Jordan, Parkdale; 215: James Kale, Oxon Hill;275: Zak Adomanis, Progressive Christian.