By: Connor Sapin
For years, the Guttentag brothers have dominated the Maryland wrestling scene. Eli, Drew and Ike all competed for B-CC Varsity Wrestling last year. The Barons, led by Eli -- now a freshman at Michigan -- reached the state dual semifinals. They fell just short to Springbrook, the eventual Maryland 4A State Dual Champion.
Eli was one of the greatest wrestlers in B-CC history, racking up school records and coming close to capturing other statistical categories. He has the most all time wins of any B-CC wrestler (159); he holds the record for most tech falls (13) -- a win by 15+ points; he is tied for most wins in a single season; he is second all-time in Major Decisions (16) and Pins (76); and he has won two County Championships and a Regional title. All that is missing from his exceptional resume is a state championship.
During nearly all four of his years at B-CC, Eli came very close to winning gold. In his freshman season, he placed third at the state tournament; in his sophomore year, he missed out on qualifying; in his junior campaign, he once again placed third; and ultimately, in his final season, he finished as a runner up to Division 1 wrestler Earl Blake. Blake, who now wrestles at Kent State, was a four-time state champion and went 152-11 in his high school career, with a placement of 2nd at Nationals his junior year.
Eli faced stiff competition in his way for glory but he feels his younger brothers have a unique opportunity: he believes that “they both are outstanding wrestlers. By the end of their [wrestling] careers, they will rival or surpass my accomplishments,” said Eli. He cannot wait to see Drew and Ike follow in his footsteps. He is most certain “that they will continue [to promote the] fantastic culture and work ethic of the wrestling team, [which] I learned from [the] upperclassman before me,” said Eli. There is one question that looms over the wrestling program: will Drew and Ike live up to the greatness of Eli?
Drew, who is well regarded as a leader in the wrestling program, is eager to step on the mat for his junior campaign. He has had a great two years leading up to this season. Before injuring his hip during practice in freshman year, he was dominating the MoCo competition. Last season was his best season yet: he boasted a record of 40-6 record, winning the 4A West Region Championship and placing second at the county tournament. At the state tournament, he made it to the semifinals where he faced Sherwood’s Chris Sanchez, who is now a Division 1 wrestler for Campbell University. After falling to Sanchez, he still managed to place fifth at the tournament. Going into his junior season, he remains confident in his skills, knowing he has the skill set to compete with anybody in Maryland.
Eli seems to have been a role model for Drew throughout his wrestling career. Drew has had the opportunity to learn from Eli and took many aspects of his wrestling style. “His composure and concentration impressed me the most. He never look flustered, and I have definitely changed my game seeing all the success he had with his style,” said Drew. He has been putting in many hours of hard work on the mat and it will certainly show once the season begins. With two years remaining, Drew wants to be known as someone who worked hard to achieve his goals. “People remembering Eli for the person he was and not his accomplishments, that’s the hope for myself,” said Drew. It is clear that Drew has the mindset of a future state champion.
Ike may have had the best overall season for the Barons. He went 36-2, only losing to opponents outside of Maryland, who would go on to be state champions in Virginia and West Virginia. Unfortunately, Ike’s season was cut short after he broke his hand while preparing for the County Championships. He had all the tools for a legitimate shot at an individual state title.
Ike has always looked up to his oldest brother and taking aspects from his game. “From [observing Eli wrestling, I took away his patience. I have applied it to my game by waiting for the perfect opportunity for a take down,” said Ike. He wants to be remembered not only as a great wrestler but as a great leader. He wishes to add another name to the wall of state champions.
The 2019-2020 wrestling season could be the most monumental in B-CC history. With many projections showing that the Barons are likely to win the 4A State Dual Championship, the brothers will have to lead the men to battle every single match. It is an all-or-nothing season for the program, and the excitement around this team is something that B-CC has not felt in years. Drew and Ike have everything they need to live up to the legacy of being a Guttentag and to surpass the accomplishments of their older brother.