Northeast-AA freshman Beau Schmidt wants to give himself an early birthday present by winning this weekend’s Class 2A-1A West Region’s 132-pound title at Manchester Valley.

If victorious, Schmidt will focus on the Class 2A-1A state tournament, to be held on March 3-4 at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro of Prince George’s County.

“It would be a great birthday present,” said Schmidt, who turns 15 on Feb. 28. “My goal is to win states this year, but I know it’s going to be extremely tough.”

Schmidt improved to 23-0 by winning the Anne Arundel County tournament at Broadneck last weekend. He led his county title bout, 13-1, before planting Cole Figueroa of Arundel in 4:58, having reached the finals following a pin and a 12-2 semifinal major decision over eventual third-place finisher Luke Ruel.

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Calling his performance against Figueroa “the best of the weekend,” Schmidt said he “felt quick, strong and fast.”

Schmidt will carry that momentum into this week’s practice and throughout the final two weeks of the season.

"I've got the defending state champion in my weight class, but I believe it's possible to beat him," said Northeast's 132-pound Beau Schmidt (left), who improved to 23-0 by winning the Anne Arundel County Tournament title. (Beau Schmidt)

“I came to Northeast to make a statement for myself and in my own name because no one expects there to be a good wrestler competing at Northeast,” Schmidt said.

“I try to work at the highest capacity at 110 percent so that everyone can look at and see me, and they’ll be influenced to do the same thing. I’m just trying to influence everybody to do well and to make the team better.”

As the region’s fourth seed, Schmidt’s first-round match will be against Camden Yowell of Manchester Valley. The No. 1 seed is sixth-place state finishing junior Stephen Stottlemeyer of Middletown of Frederick County, followed by No. 2 seed Caleb Brenneman of Northern-Garrett County and third seeded Howard County champion Mason Cowell of Oakland Mills.

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“I always tell Beau that it doesn’t matter what you’re seeded, you have to wrestle everybody anyway,” Coach Chris Dyke said. “Beau’s a freshman, but it’s not like he hasn’t wrestled good competition to earn his undefeated record.”

Among Schmidt’s victories is a 3-2 decision over fourth-place Class 2A-1A state finisher Atley Turner of Marriotts Ridge, an 8-7 loser to Cowell in last weekend’s Howard County tournament finals.

Schmidt also owns a 2-0 decision over Reservoir’s Sebastian Meza, a third-place Howard County tournament finisher who was pinned in 49 seconds by Cowell.

Another quality win for Schmidt is his 3-2 victory over Calvert Hall sophomore Griffin Stewart, a third place finisher at last weekend’s private schools state tournament.

“We’ve put Beau in against the best kids,” Dyke said. “I think 17 of Beau’s opponents are ranked.”

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Schmidt’s path to a state title may include Class 2A-1A state champion senior Dom Ambrosino of Sparrows Point, who is ranked No. 1 in Billy B’s Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings among 132 pounders in the 2A-1A.

“I’ve got the defending state champion in my weight class,” Schmidt said. “But I believe it’s very possible to beat him.”

There is also returning fifth-place state finishing junior Brian Davis of Calvert County High, who edged Stottlemeyer, 4-3, at states. Davis and Stottlemeyer are ranked second and fourth among 132 pounders in Class 2A-1A.

Stephen Decatur has Logan Intrieri, who is ranked fourth at 138 and has an 11-5 victory over Ambrosino.

There is also fourth-place state finishing sophomore Dylan Ohler (132) of Liberty, a fifth-ranked wrestler who earned his second straight Carroll County title on Saturday.

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Another threat is North Harford’s eighth-ranked senior Cruz Cespedes, who won his second straight Upper Chesapeake Athletic Conference crown on Saturday over previously unbeaten Chris Nice of Bel Air.

Cespedes overcame a three-point deficit with a four-point move in the final 30 seconds for a 5-4 decision over Nice. Cespedes pinned twice to earn a shot at Nice, a sixth-place Class 4A-3A state finisher who slipped to 39-1 and was runner-up for the second straight season.

Schmidt needs to look no further for inspiration than Dyke and assistant Maurice Fleming.

Dyke is a 2003 Northeast graduate who won two each of county and regional crowns and placed third and fourth at states, and Fleming, a 2008 Northeast graduate and winner of two each in county, region and state titles.

Fleming transferred from Gilman, where he earned Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and private school state titles and placed as high as fifth at National Preps.

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“Beau is tough. He grinds everyday in practice. He’s a ‘Yes sir coach’ type of kid who will run through a brick wall if you ask him to. Every practice he tries to challenge himself by wrestling upper weights,” said Fleming, a third-place finisher in the National High School Coaches Association Tournament.

“We talk all the time about being a leader of the team both on and off of the mat. Our last conversation was about working through the next three weeks and progressing to his peak at the state tournament. Beau wants to be great and that’s what makes coaching him so easy. Beau is a wrestler every coach would love to have on their team.”

An undefeated former junior league state champion as an eighth-grader, Schmidt sites Fleming’s presence among his reasons for choosing Northeast over potentially attending an area private school.

“When I heard Coach Fleming was at Northeast, I knew that was the sort of discipline and direction that I needed,” Schmidt said. “Coach Fleming is an amazing wrestler who was a two or three-time state champion, so he knows it all.”

Schmidt is aware of the Eagles’ storied wrestling history, including that of the late Kusick twins, Marty and Mike. The siblings were three-time state champions before graduating in 1995, with Mike being a four-time state finalist, and Marty placing third as a freshman.

Northeast Beau Schmidt (right) is an unbeaten 132-pound Anne Arundel County Tournament champion who recruited his twin brother Max (left) into the sport. A talented baseball player, Max was a 152-pound county runner-up on the junior varsity. (Lem Satterfield)

Marty split bouts with DeMatha’s top-ranked, two-time National Prep champ, Todd Beckerman, handing the latter his only career loss in high school, 8-7, before losing their rematch, 5-3.

Marty routed Oklahoma’s Bubba McCullough, 11-2, to become a National High School champion. At the Nationals, Marty outscored his four opponents by a combined 47-5.

To that end, Beau finally has succeeded in recruiting twin brother, Max, onto the wrestling mats from the baseball diamond, where he has starred as a left-handed pitcher and all-round player.

“I’ve been trying to get Max to wrestle my whole life,” Beau said. “He’s never found interest in it or wanted to do it. But I finally got him to come out and do it this year, and I knew he was going to be good.”

Max posted a record of 16-4 and was a county tournament runner-up at 152 pounds in last weekend’s junior varsity tournament.

“I’ve played pitcher, first base, second base, short stop and used to play catcher,” Max said. “I’m going to try out for the baseball team, but I’m definitely going to continue wrestling.”

The twins are the sixth and seventh of nine siblings -- five girls and four boys -- whose parents are Chris and Autumn Schmidt.

“Growing up, Max and Beau have always been close. They would always cheer for each other,” Chris Schmdt said. “Max would sit on the side of the wrestling mats and cheer for Beau, and during baseball, Beau would sit on the game box at the backstop and say, ‘That’s my brother pitching.’”

“Max and I will be working out all summer, non-stop,” Beau said. “We’ll be grinding 110 percent for the entire summer to get both of us performing at the same level. Whether I win states or not, next year, we’ll both be way better.”

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