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Second place is benefit in disguise for Solon
Second place is benefit in disguise for Solon
By TONY LANGE
Photo by Chris Meier
While Solon and Kenston had two sectional champions each during last weekend's Division I Austintown Fitch wrestling sectional, the Comets' second and third places added to a team championship.
In Division II, meanwhile, Orange, West Geauga, Chagrin Falls and University School all advanced wrestlers to the district competition.
Hawken School, competing in Division III, also has wrestlers moving along the road toward states.
Solon's Brandon Thompson, 113 pounds, and Anthony Collica, 145 pounds, both produced pins during their final bouts at the sectional tournament last Saturday.
The Comets won the meet with 216 points, edging runner-up Twinsburg, which scored 193.5 points, third-place Kenston, with 163.5 points, and the rest of the 11-team field.
Last year, Collica won the state championship at 130 pounds, and Thompson won the state championship at 103 pounds.
Thompson said he tries not to look past the match in front of him. "I just take it one match at a time," he said. "I'm not trying to think about districts when I'm at sectionals. It's just one of the tournaments I have to get through, and I have to concentrate on that in order to get back to the state finals."
While Thompson and Collica won their weight classes at sectionals, three other Comets lost their championship matches.
Timothy Duran, 120 pounds, Shawn Williams, 126 pounds, and Brian Hawkins, 152 pounds, finished as runners-up in their respective weight classes.
"They got beat in matches where they gave up five-point moves in the match. They were a little bit wild, and I think they got a little bit crazy in their matches," head coach Tony DiGiovanni said. "All of them wrestled real hard and were almost able to come back. It's hard to win giving up five-point moves though. They just didn't do what they were supposed to do when that happened."
Getting beat at sectionals isn't necessarily a bad thing, because sometimes it can set up a district championship, DiGiovanni said.
"Sometimes I would rather take second than first, because the kids listen to you better next week. So that's how I feel right now. I'm glad some of those kids lost, because they did things we've been trying to get them to stop doing. So I'm real happy with second places."
Solon also had three third-place finishes with Anthony Restifo, 138 pounds, Justin Kresevic, 160 pounds, and Shaq Morehouse, 182 pounds.
The top four placers in each weight class qualified for the Northeast District championship tournament at Mentor High School, which begins first and second rounds at 5 p.m. Feb. 24. Consolations and semifinals begin at 12:30 p.m., and finals begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25.
Joining the eight Comets at the district tournament, seven Kenston Bombers also will wrestle this weekend. Two of them, Matt Olson, 170 pounds, and Sal Severino, 152 pounds, won sectional titles last Saturday.
Severino defeated Solon's Hawkins during their finals match, and Olson won his title by default when Cuyahoga Falls' Joey Repasky chose not to contend in the championship bout.
"I guess he hurt his knee or something like that, and he didn't want to injure it before districts," Olson said of Repasky. "So he just defaulted the match. I didn't even wrestle the finals match."
After beating his first two opponents with second-period pins, Olson said his semifinals bout, in which he beat Kent Roosevelt's John Spurney, was his toughest match of the tournament.
"He was strong, so I just had to wrestle smart," Olson said. "I ended up winning, 11-6. I just had to stay in control the whole time and stay aggressive."
Also advancing to districts for the Bombers, Neil Roff, 132 pounds, finished as runner-up, Michael Braun, 195 pounds, and Nate Lewis, 220 pounds, placed third, and Dennis DiSanto, 138 pounds, and Sam Gambatese, 145 pounds, finished fourth.
During last Saturday's 12-team Division II Lake Catholic sectional, West Geauga finished seventh with 79 points, Chagrin Falls was ninth with 52 points, and University School took 11th with 40 points.
West Geauga was led by David Eippert, who was runner-up in the 152-pound weight class, and Rob Alcorn, who placed fourth in the 145-pound weight class.
Chagrin Falls was led by Ricky Kochert, who was runner-up in the 160-pound weight class, and Alex Goebel, who placed fourth in the 195-pound weight class.
University School was led by Walker Chieffe, who placed third in the 113-pound weight class, and Kostas Parrish, who placed third in the heavyweight division.
Meanwhile, in last Saturday's 11-team Division II Walsh Jesuit sectional, Orange finished ninth with 53 points. Hunter Auletta led the Lions with a championship pin against Ravenna's Justin Kyer in the 195-pound finals bout.
Those seven wrestlers advanced to the Division II Northeast District tournament at Alliance High School, which will be held Feb. 24 and 25.
During last Saturday's 12-team Division III Beachwood sectional, Hawken School finished eighth with 95 points.
The Hawks were led by Louis DeMarco, who won an 11-2 major decision against Justin MacCartney during the 106-pound championship bout.
Alex Stotter was runner-up in the 170-pound weight class.
Chris Tatsuoka placed third in the 120-pound weight class.
Sean McKinley finished fourth in the 113-pound weight class.
Those four wrestlers advance to the Division III Northeast District tournament at Garfield Heights High School, which will be held Feb. 24 and 25.
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