[ back ]
Area wrestlers advance to district meets
Area wrestlers advance to district meets
By STEVE NOVAK
Solon in Division I and Kenston in Division II were among the area schools having the most wrestlers advance to this weekend's district tournaments. The top four in each weight advance to districts.
At Austintown Fitch
Solon had one champion among seven district qualifiers for the Mentor tournament. The Comets finished third with 157 points at the sectional, behind champion Twinsburg with 242 and Youngstown Boardman with 213 1/2.
Devin Orr won the 145-pound championship with a 4-3 decision over Madison's Jake Montgomery.
At 112 pounds, Anthony Collica was a second-place finisher as he dropped a 6-4 championship match to Shawn Ague, of Austintown Fitch.
In the 130-pound class, Brandon Koczek finished second when he lost the title match to Boardman's Rick Zupko by a pin.
At 140 pounds, Justin Kresevic lost the title bout to Nico Graziani, of Boardman, 5-2.
In the 103-pound division, Brandon Thompson had a third-place finish when he beat Nick Mancini, of Boardman, 8-1.
Brian Dunn was a fourth-place finisher in the 152-pound division as he dropped a 15-6 decision to Chet Bissel, of Twinsburg.
Kyle Kutsko was fourth at 171 pounds after being pinned by Matt O'Hara, of Chardon.
At Walsh Jesuit
Kenston advanced nine wrestlers to the district at Akron Firestone after finishing third behind Aurora and Walsh Jesuit at the sectional. Aurora compiled 239 points, while Walsh Jesuit had 231 and Kenston with 227.
Six Bombers were runners-up. They were Andrew Sawayda at 112 pounds, Ben Kazimir at 119, Tre Smith at 125, Jake Kazimir at 135, Brendan Gilday at 152 and heavyweight Louis Mantush.
Other Bombers moving on were Mike Braun, who was third at 160, Patrick Hanlon, who was fourth at 140, and Jeremy Etling, who was fourth at 145.
Orange, which wound up 10th with 55 points, had two qualifiers.
Robert Jones at 103 pounds and Tony Tarulli at 125 pounds both placed fourth.
The Bombers appear to be running on momentum from their Chagrin Valley Conference championship as head coach Brian Malloy said there was a renewed sense of purpose for the team at the sectional.
"They're wrestling more as a team now," he said. "They don't want to let their teammates down. It was very apparent at the CVC tournament. They finally came together as a team. We've been preaching it all year, but they finally done it."
He said that the Bombers' efforts during the past two weeks have shown a marked improvement in the way the athletes support each other during practice and during bouts.
"Wrestling is an individual sport, sure, but it's also a team sport," Malloy said. "Now you can see that they believe in each other."
At Lake Catholic
University School captured three of four championships in placing third with 146 1/2 points. Lake Catholic was the winner with 241 1/2 and Geneva was runner-up with 166 1/2.
Dominic Monaco won the 130-pound division with a pin of West Geauga's Scott Willis in 5:59.
Harrison Hightower won the 152-pound weight class with a pin of Lake Catholic's Jon Kosir in 1:24 seconds.
Brad Wukie won the 160-pound title with a technical fall over Painesville Harvey's Devonte Martin-Rouse.
The Preppers' Michael Tassone finished second at 112 pounds and Joe Glynias was third at 215 pounds.
West Geauga, which placed sixth with 119 1/2 points, had two champions among six qualifiers for the district.
In the 112-pound division, Mike November won the title with a 3-2 decision over Michael Tassone of University School. At 119 pounds, Dennis Leonetti took first place with a 19-14 decision over Arden Bennett, of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
The Wolverines' had two second-place finishers. In the 145-pound division, Ben Ditto lost the title bout to Lake Catholic's Dan Bryan. In the 130-pound category, Willis dropped the title match to University School's Monaco.
West Geauga's Jim Carlo at 125 pounds placed third and Frank Mercuri at 135 pounds was fourth as both advanced to the district.
University School head coach Sean Grosz said there was a one-two punch of expected victories combined with a few unexpected wins for his team throughout the two-day event.
"We had four of our guys come out (to semifinal round). We won the ones that we were supposed to, and we won a couple of the ones that we weren't supposed to, also," Grosz said.
Hightower won all three of his bouts at sectionals, giving him a season record of 35-2. He is attempting to reach to what Grosz calls "rarified air." Hightower is a two-time state champion who is on his way to qualifying for another state tournament and potentially a third state crown.
Wukie finished fourth in the state at 152 pounds last year.
West Geauga head coach Joe Marino said that November's victory over Tassone at 112 was important to build confidence for the district. Last year, November and Tassone were state qualifiers. November's victory, Marino said, could provide needed momentum.
"I told him, you have to go down swinging. It's better to go down swinging than not to try at all," Marino said. "You've got two state qualifiers (November and Tassone) getting through and now going to districts."
Hawken School had three champions as the Hawks finished sixth with 114 points. Pymatuning Valley won the tournament with 183 1/2 points.
Mickey Baratz won the 130-pound title with a 13-6 decision over Logan Henderson, of Berkshire.
Eric Meisel pinned Zach Jones, of Pymatuning, at 135 pounds.
Andrew Thomas won the heavyweight division when he pinned Thomas Tesar, of Chagrin Falls.
Also qualifying for district competition for Hawken were Hunter Moeller, who was third at 103 pounds, and Alex Harrison, who was fourth, at 119.
In addition to Tesar qualifying, Chagrin Falls had two other wrestlers advance.
In the 160-pound division, Ricky Kochert won the title with a pin of Evan Brettrager, of Kirtland.
At 171, Tom Kuenzig finished fourth.
[ back ]