By Keith Mills
The "Path To Fargo."
It began back in the spring when nearly 60 young wrestlers from Maryland high schools began training for next week's Cadet/Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, N.D.
"Maryland's always taken a backseat to other states when it comes to freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling," said Neil Adelberg, the former wrestling coach at Mount St. Joseph and one of the area's biggest advocates for local wrestling. "So, the Maryland State Wrestling Association decided to put together a program that would help our kids be more competitive nationally and defray some of the costs to send a team to the nationals."
That program has been called the "Path To Fargo" and includes 58 young Maryland wrestlers, who will make the trip to North Dakota for the July 18 tournament.
The team is divided into two groups: Cadets, rising high school freshman and sophomores, and Juniors, rising juniors and seniors.
Many of the team's 58 wrestlers are from the Baltimore area including: Cadets Brett Brigman (Archbishop Curley); Tony Farace and Etienne Seldon of Oakland Mills; Eric Friedman, Peter Galli, Mike Green, Brad Mutchnik and Nick Skudrna of St. Paul's; Daniel Gallagher and Charlie Lynch of Archbishop Spalding; Tyler Goodwin, Alex Rice and Tyler Tippett of Mount St. Joe; Kenneth Green (South River); Nathan Kraisser (Centennial); Tom Kuegler (Bel Air); Kevin Marvel and Tyler Patrick of McDonogh; Brady Massaro (Severna Park); David Mohler (Loyola); and Ryan Sherman of Marriots Ridge.
Area Juniors include: Steve Asifo, Doug Chadwick, Michael Daniel and Ivan Gutierrez of Oakland Mills; Michael Bowersox, Myzar Mendoza and Gus Mohlhenrich of Winters Mill; Bobby Bowman, Frank Goodwin and Karl Green of Mount St. Joe; Brian Cavey (Spalding); Steve Cross, Dante Leoni and Justin Lorber of Bel Air; Tony Gardner and Ethan Keiser of Calvert Hall; Andrew Hollern (Parkville); Brandon Phillips (McDonogh); and Pat Prada (DeMatha).
Helen Maroulis is the lone local girl heading to the nationals, and she is no stranger to big-time competition. The Rockville native won the nationals a year ago and is training with the United States junior team in Colorado.
Getting to Fargo meant a grueling series of prep matches and tournaments that featured the East Coast Duals last month at University of Maryland Baltimore County, which featured wrestlers from 12 different states. It also included regional tournaments in Hagerstown, Huntington and Aberdeen and a unique chance to train with some of the nation's premier coaches.
"It's been great," Adelberg said. "Our kids have had the chance to work with Cary Kolat (former NCAA champ and U.S. Olympian) at his training facility in Cockeysville, Bruce Bennett, the former Olympic team coach and now the head coach at Navy, and Kerry McCoy, the coach at Maryland who is also the current U.S. Olympic coach. So our guys have been working real hard and getting some top-notch instruction."
The newly formed board of directors for the MSWA will also subsidize $150 of the trip to Fargo.
"We feel this is a major step in making Maryland wrestling competitive with some of the other states in the country," said Adelberg, who is also the founder and organizer of the Mount Mat Madness tournament, one of the most prestigious high school tournaments on the East Coast.
Posted July 15, 2009