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Bombers advance 13 to district mat
Bombers advance 13 to district mat
By TONY LANGE
Kenston's wrestling team finished as runner-up with 235.5 points during last weekend's 11-team Division II Walsh Jesuit Sectional. The Bombers crowned two champs and qualified 13 of their 14 varsity wrestlers to the district tournament, which will be held Feb. 25-26 at Akron Firestone. Only Walsh Jesuit outscored the Bombers with 267.5 points.
Orange's wrestling team also competed at the Walsh Jesuit sectional in Cuyahoga Falls and placed eighth with 72 points. Three Lions wrestlers qualified for the district meet.
Meanwhile, in other Division II action, the West Geauga and University School wrestling teams competed in the 11-team Lake Catholic Sectional. Crowning two champions, the Wolverines placed fourth at the tournament and qualified eight wrestlers to the district tournament in Akron.
The Preppers finished ninth with one champion and qualified three wrestlers to districts.
The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the district tournament from each sectional.
Qualifying 13 wrestlers to districts was very satisfying, Kenston head coach Brian Malloy said.
"It was impressive with how well they came together and wrestled for each other," he said. "Qualifying 13 wrestlers for districts was a first, I think, for Kenston. So that's a big feat. We placed all 14 wrestlers who wrestled at the sectional tournament."
Kenston's Jacob Georgian, a freshman who wrestles in the 103-pound weight class, finished sixth. His points helped the Bombers top Aurora in both the sectional tournament last weekend and the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament earlier in the season, Malloy said.
While most wrestlers have to cut weight to make their weight classes, Georgian had to gain weight before he could join the team.
"Once he broke the 80s and the 90s, he came out for the team to wrestle," Malloy said. "He earned some points at the sectional tournament and actually placed as a very small 103 freshman at 92 pounds I think he weighed in at. He goes out there with a lot of heart and fight," Malloy said.
Kenston senior Tre Smith won the 125-pound sectional title with his 14-6 major-decision championship triumph over Beachwood's Vinny Valenti.
Smith and his teammates are peaking at the right time, Malloy said. "I think Tre is focused," he said. "He definitely has that goal of being a state champ on his mind. And he's definitely been working this year to become that state champion."
Also taking home a sectional title for Kenston was Louis Mantush, who won a 5-0 decision over Walsh's John Manson in the 215-pound championship bout.
"Excellent" was the word Malloy used to describe Mantush's performance. "He looks like he wants it," the coach said. "He's been wrestling at 285 for the team, weighing in at about 217 all year. Now, it's about him getting through, and we'll pull strings together to do it."
While wrestling heavyweight for the Bombers during the regular season, Mantush placed second at the CVC tournament and third at the Kenston Invitational Tournament.
Kenston's Seth Clingerman, who weighs in at about 218 pounds, filled Mantush's shoes and wrestled the 285-pound heavyweight class at sectionals, placing third. Clingerman usually wrestled junior varsity during the regular season. Now he's going to districts.
"It's a wrestler's dream to go to the state tournamament, competing down there and hopefully placing as an ultimate goal," Malloy said. "Hopefully, we can keep extending our season."
In the Lake Catholic Sectional, West Geauga's Mike November won the 112-pound weight class with a 7-5 decision over Lake Catholic's Sean Fee. November also won CVC and KIT tournaments at 112 earlier in the season.
West Geauga's Scott Willis also came up big with a sectional crown in the 130-pound weight class. He pinned his opponent in 5:44 during the championship bout.
University School's Dominic Monaco won the 135-pound weight class with a 10-7 decision over Harvey's Alonzo Turner.
There are three divisions in Ohio high school wrestling. Along with the Walsh Jesuit and Lake Catholic sectionals, the West Branch and Hoover sectionals, also with 11 teams, make up the Firestone District. Columbus East, Goshen and Marion Harding are the other three Division II districts.
At the district tournament, the first two rounds will held Feb. 25, starting at 5 p.m. The later rounds will resume Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., with finals beginning at 6:30 p.m. The top four finishers in each weight class will qualify for the state tournament.
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