Rockville’s Cameron Hoppman can earn his 100th career victory against visiting Northwest on Thursday.
A senior who finished third at the county tournament and second at regionals, Hoppman is 21-1 on the year with 15 pins, his lone setback coming by disqualification in a bout he was winning by seven points.
Hoppman was a regional runner-up to graduated county champion Gibbs Tinne of Paint Branch, who finished with a record of 43-1 and third at last year’s Class 4A-3A state tournament. Hoppman won one of two bouts at states, with his losses being against Tinne and state champion A.J. Strott of Reservoir High in Howard County.
“My main focus is getting points for our team, but as far as 100 wins, that would be a great accomplishment,” said Hoppman. “The Northwest match is really important. It will tell us how far we’ve come and where we’re at compared to the elite programs in the area.”
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Coached by Will Morris, the Rams are 8-1, with big wins over Clarksburg, Magruder, Quince Orchard and Whitman, and their lone setback being against Sherwood, 45-22, in December.
“This is my fourth year with Rockville, and this is we’ve been to the toughest tournaments since I’ve been here,” said Morris. “I knew we could be successful this year, but it’s been a pretty special year.”
Seniors Jonathan Cabrera (126) and Junior Pimentel (220) are both 27-3 on the year, with Cabrera having matched the 27-victory season he posted as a junior within a deep 113-pound weight class.
Cabrera and Pimentel received Outstanding Wrestler at the Rocket Duals at Richard Montgomery where the Rams finished third overall in early December, and Cabrera finished at the Franklin Tournament later that month.
Pimentel has won a combined 54 matches in two seasons, placing sixth and fifth in the past two regionals, the latter after falling, 3-2, in an overtime semifinal to graduated sixth-place state finisher Pat Bernardo of Wootton.
During Saturday’s 36-25 win over Clarksburg, Pimentel earned a measure of revenge by winning his 285-pound bout, 7-2, over Daniel Oh. A sixth-place regional finisher, Oh had beaten Pimentel, 5-1, in the quarterfinals of last year’s county tournament, where Oh finished fourth.
Pimentel also own a pin over Whitman’s John Luke Iglesias, winner of tournaments this year at Springbrook and Northern of Calvert County.
The Rams lost two of 14 bouts during last Saturday’s 72-7 victory over Blake High, getting pins from Cabrera (33 seconds), Nate Eig (106), Eddie Eckroth (113), Carlos Carrasquillo (145), Tony Araujo (152), Adrian Docal (160) and Deondre Tilman (170).
“We’re dong much better than in previous years,” said Hoppman. “We have a strong team, top to bottom, and, personally, I’m looking to take my first county, regional and state championships.”