Thursday, March 20, 2008

2008 All-County Wrestling Team

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Brenda Ahearn⁄The Gazette
The Gazette-Star All-County Wrestling Team includes: (front row, from left) Joseph Rollins, Sam Yirenkyi, Tyler Smith, Andrew Bannister, Pat Prada; (middle row, from left) Mike Aguggia, Nigel Cross, Coach of the Year Odist Felder, Abby Solomon, Anthony Nero; (back row, from left) Mike Munno, Paul Tshikaya, Zane McBride, Isaac Fagbuyi, Ben Hatef, Matt Dugan.
Wrestler of the Year

Andrew Bannister

For the second time in as many seasons, Bannister was ranked No. 1 the entire season at 125 pounds by the Maryland State Wrestling Association. The junior won 54 matches to improve to 163-17 in his career at Bishop McNamara. He became a three-time Maryland Independent Schools State champion and was named most outstanding wrestler at the tournament for the third time after defeating his final three opponents by a combined 44-3. He also took a career-best fourth at National Preps and fifth at the Beast of the East tournament.

Coach of the Year

Odist Felder

In his second season as the head coach at Charles H. Flowers, Felder guided the program to eight milestones, including most team wins (11), regional qualifiers (10) and state qualifiers (3). The Jaguars had a top-six finisher at the state tournament for the first time and had five top-six regional placers. Flowers also qualified for the 4A⁄3A South Region Duals for the first time. Jamal Geter and Kirk Jackson are assistant coaches under Felder.

First team

Sam Yirenkyi, Parkdale, 103: The sophomore qualified for the 4A⁄3A state tournament for the second time as part of a 35-4 campaign that also saw him win his first county tournament. He also won Parkdale’s Blitz and the Howard Duals, and proved dominant against county opposition.

Pat Prada, DeMatha, 103: Notching 50 victories, the sophomore won nearly half of his matches by pinfall. He won tournaments at South River and Milford (Del.) and was in title matches at four other events. He took third at the Maryland Independent Schools tournament and eighth at National Preps.

Abby Solomon, Oxon Hill, 112: More than doubling his win total from a season ago, the junior helped the Clippers to an unbeaten season. He improved from fifth to first at the county tournament and qualified for his first 4A⁄3A state tournament.

Tyler Smith, Bowie, 119: Named outstanding wrestler at the Bowie Duals, Smith won the county title for the third time and earned the Joseph Murphy Award, given to the senior who accumulates the most points in his career at the county tournament. His six matches at the state tournament were decided by just nine points, as he took fifth-place.

Joseph Rollins Jr., Surrattsville, 130: A winner in his first 18 matches this season, including county and 2A⁄1A South Region titles, the sophomore became the Hornets’ first wrestler to finish a regular season with an undefeated record. He also won his division at the Parkdale Blitz.

Isaac Fagbuyi, Eleanor Roosevelt, 135: The senior leader on a team without a true standout, Fagbuyi’s county tournament title helped seal the Raiders’ first championship at the event since 2002. He also qualified for the 4A⁄3A South Region and state tournaments for the first time and will attend West Virginia University in the fall.

Matt Dugan, DeMatha, 140: The Drexel University-bound senior finished his career with 184 wins. His 55-8 mark this season included 42 falls and tournament titles at Milford (Del.), Arundel, South River and St. Albans (D.C.). He also became a three-time Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champ, was a runner up at the state private schools tournament and took fifth at the National Preps.

Mike Munno, DeMatha, 145: Winning a career-high 50 matches this season with 37 falls, the senior won at Milford (Del.) and South River and was a repeat WCAC champion. He also was the runner up in the state private schools tournament and finished with 116 career wins. He is considering attending York College or Millersville (Pa.) University.

Paul Tshikaya, Parkdale, 152: The junior won his first county title and made his debut at the state tournament as part of a 35-win campaign. He also won the Parkdale Blitz and posted a winning mark at the Howard Duals.

Anthony Nero, Bladensburg, 160: A runner-up for the second consecutive season at the county tournament by a single point, Nero bounced back to reach the 4A⁄3A South Region final and lost in the last seconds. The senior’s 24-win campaign included a championship at the Parkdale Blitz.

Zane McBride, Charles H. Flowers, 171: McBride gave Flowers its first top-six finisher in the state when he took fifth in the 4A⁄3A tournament. The senior’s career-best season resulted in 35 wins and championship berths in the county and regional tournaments and consolation titles at Northern and Lackey.

Mike Aguggia, DeMatha, 189: The American University-bound senior was 50-8 with 37 falls and has 151 career wins with 90 falls. He is a three-time WCAC champion and was named most outstanding wrestler after winning titles at the Arundel and South River tournaments. He won at St. Albans (D.C.) and battled a concussion to take second at the state private school tournament.

Ben Hatef, DeMatha, 215: A first-time WCAC winner, Hatef capped his junior season with a consolation title at the National Preps. He also was a finalist at the private schools state tournament, Milford (Del.) and Berkeley Springs (W.Va.), and won consolation crowns at South River and St. Albans (D.C.). He was 44-8 with 26 falls.

Nigel Cross, Oxon Hill, 285: Nobody could stop Cross this season. The heavyweight gave the county its first public school state champion in five years, as he won 37 of 38 matches. The junior also took the county and 4A⁄3A South Region titles and won tournaments at Northern and South River and was the anchor in the Clippers’ 14-0 season that resulted in a County South Division title.

Second team

103: Scott Barish, Roosevelt.

112: John Chenault, Pallotti; Toby Onyekweli, DeMatha.

119: Eric Jones, Bladensburg.

125: Martin Mitchell, Laurel.

130: Eric Bulger, Bowie.

135: Andre Wilcox, Oxon Hill.

140: Ronnie Sinclair, Bowie; Jordan Murphy, Oxon Hill; Josh Bressler, Princeton Claremont.

145: Damion Butler, Northwestern.

152: Nate Tharp, Pallotti.

160: Tevin Dixon, Northwestern.

171: Charles Thomas, Northwestern.

189: Robert Wynter, Northwestern.

215: Andre Johnson, Surrattsville; Ralph Parson, Oxon Hill.

285: DeAnthony Cloyd, Friendly.

All-county teams are selected by the Star⁄Gazette sports staff based on our observations, athletes’ performances and nominations from coaches. Staff writer Adam Rubenstein compiled the writeups on this page.