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Old 10-09-14, 04:52 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Alliance District 2014-2015 Preview

I’m going to attach this intro to all the breakdowns. I love the sport of wrestling. I love following it, I love watching it, and I love discussing it. However, these breakdowns are just my opinion, not facts. Enjoy them for what they are, a jumping off point for discussion, or feel free to tell me if I’m wrong or ignorant. To any wrestlers reading this, don’t put too much stock in it. Use it to motivate you if you wish, but threads and rankings are generally just the opinions of old guys that are now usually 20+ pounds over our high school weights. Our expectations and opinions do not determine the outcome of the matches, you do. You are the ones doing all the work, and you deserve the credit for the levels of success that you will achieve this year. Good luck to all of the Ohio high school wrestlers during the upcoming season, and enjoy the sport while you’re in it, it goes by fast.
Keep in mind that I have no inside insight into what weights these wrestlers will be occupying this year. I group wrestlers based on a delicate process that combines watching where people on this forum think they will go and guessing based on no real criteria. Will some of the weights be wrong? Definitely. Are some of the wrestlers going to finish the season higher than I have them ranked right now? Of course. Do I sound like a bit of a D answering my own questions? Absolutely.
The first rankings are generally based off of how I think the wrestlers did last season, not how I think they’ll finish this year. There are many results that I don’t know about and many that I may interpret differently than someone else reading the same results. Enough about the process. Let’s get into it.

*-Unsure if wrestler is competing this season

1. Tony Decesare-Padua (2nd, 6th state)
2. Hunter Kosco-Northwest (5th state)
3. Matt Cardello-Canfield (1st Middle School state)
4. Lukus Stricker-Hoban (5th District)
5. Hunter Ryan-Lake Cath. (4th Middle School state)
6. David Massey-Woodridge

Tony Decesare had a bit of a shortened season last year, but that didn’t seem to hinder his progress as he made the jump from state 6th place finisher to state finalist. In one of Decesare’s first matches, he teched district placer Quade Rasmussen (St. Ignatius) 15-0 in a dual meet. The next week, he would face the same wrestler in the semis of the CIT, earning a second period pin on the way to the title match. In the finals, Decesare squared off against Fargo All-American Josh Venia (Toledo C.C.), who finished the season as the D-2 bronze medalist. Venia put Decesare on lockdown, shutting out the state placer by a 6-0 score. However, Tony seemed to use the match as motivation and he would only get better from there on out. Decesare pinned state qualifier Aaron Kelly (Rocky River) in their state duals bout before pulverizing the field at the sectional tournament. None of his three bouts went the full length at SVSM, and Decesare continued his dominance in the first round at Alliance with another stick. Tony controlled the skillful Terrell Grant 9-2 in the quarters before earning a first period pin of state alternate Lukas Stricker (Hoban) in the semis. Decesare earned a resounding 10-2 major over the ever improving state placer Hunter Kosco (Northwest) to close out his first district title and set up a favorable state bracket opposite defending state champ Tyler Warner (Claymont). Decesare opened his second state campaign with a first period pin and pulled out a hard fought 4-2 sudden victory win over the superb freshman Jake Martinez (Licking Valley) in the quarterfinals. Decesare proved his tournament mettle, earning another overtime win in the state semifinals in a rematch of the CIT finals with the superlative Venia. In the finals, Decesare would come up just shy of his goal of a state title, falling 3-1 to the defending champ Warner. That bout signified the closest match any Ohio wrestler gave the nationally ranked Warner last season. 2015 won’t be any easier for Decesare, with the presence of top level talent at both 106 and 113; he will have his hands full on the road to a state title. I doubt that the threat of challenge will dwindle the competitive fire that drives Decesare, and when all is said and done, we may see the Padua junior with a gold medal around his neck.
Hunter Kosco was the best wrestler on a solid all around Northwest squad last year, and he was only a freshman. Like so many of the other Northwest Indians wrestlers, Kosco demonstrated marked improvement throughout the year under coach Meissner’s watchful eye. Early in the year, Hunter finished 2nd at Cambridge to state qualifier Jake Martinez (Licking Hts.) and 3rd at North Canton where he lost to 2x state placer Shane Johnston (Tuslaw) but also pinned state qualifier Mike Baumberger (Madison Comp.) and defeated state alternate Brandon Randolph (Wadsworth) 5-4. Kosco would face stiff competition at Top Gun, teching district placer Alec Schopfer (West Branch) in the first round, majoring a good Joey Oswald (Lake) 13-4 in the second round, and defeating a solid Noah Wakser (Hoover) for a second time to reach the semis. Kosco ran into a juggernaut in nationally ranked California state champ Justin Mejia (Clovis) in the semis and was dispatched by at 13-4 score, subsequently defaulting to 6th place. On the way to his first sectional title, Kosco would best state alternate Lukas Stricker 7-3 in the semis and defeat state qualifier Terrell Grant (Hoban) 3-2 for the crown. The next week, Kosco continued his run with three straight wins to make his first district final, besting returning state qualifier Dante Ginnetti (Poland) 5-2 in the go-to-state match. Kosco pinned his first opponent at state before losing a respectable 6-0 bout against champ Tyler Warner (Claymont) on the way to his second state title. Hunter bounced back with wins over Alex Potts (East Liverpool) and Charlie Nash (Norwalk) to reach the consolation semis. Here Kosco lost a 7-3 bout with bronze medalist Josh Venia (Toledo C.C.) but capped of his year with an excellent 6-4 victory over Justin Stickley (Graham) in their 5th place match. I thought that Kosco would be show significant improvement over the year, but I never though that he’d be closing out his season with a win over a wrestler as good as Stickley. It’s both a testament to the program and to Hunter’s drive to succeed. The figurative next step will be for Kosco to make a push for state title, which is within his grasp if he can continue on his current trajectory.
Youngstown has produced an excellent crop of boxers over its history. From Ray Mancini to Kelly Pavlik to Tony Janiro to Greg Richardson, to all of the other champs and contenders that helped Youngstown leave a mark on the fighting community, the Mahoning Valley’s pension for producing fighters has matched its blue collar nature. I’m glad to see that the Covelli Center has been able to host the Middle School and other OAC wrestling tournament events for the last few years, and I’m still holding out hope that the Valley can develop into an Ohio hotbed of wrestling to match their boxing success. The valley has certainly had their fair share of exceptional wrestlers and quality teams recently from the Fitch squads coached by Brett Powell, the Jackson-Milton squads of Dave Tomaino to the Boardman teams of Dom Mancini, there have always been good wrestlers and quality teams in the valley. We just haven’t won a state team title, but the Canfield wrestling team has taken a legitimate step towards placing an EOWL team in the top 3 in Columbus and earning a team trophy. An already solid high school team was fortified by the addition of 3 middle school state champs to the line-up for the 2014-2015 season. The lightest of these three gold medalists is the excellent Matt Cardello. I was hoping that Cardello would become Poland Seminary’s (my alma mater) first ever state wrestling champion. Unfortunately, for me, he took his talents to rival Canfield for his high school career. Even though coach Stellato is doing a great job building the Poland wrestling program, I understand the move to a young Canfield team that could soon be top 3 in the state. Cardello won the middle school state tournament last year after finishing 2nd to Graham wrestler Tanner Smith as a 7th grader. In the semifinals of that 2013 middle school state tournament, Cardello defeated a familiar foe in Hunter Kosco by a 6-4 score. Cardello bested another Graham Falcon, for the middle school state title in 2014 beating J.D. Stickley 9-7. It’s never a small feat to defeat a Graham wrestler, especially in a state finals match. I think that the potential for Cardello is sky high this season. Will that result in a state title for the excellent freshman? That I can’t forecast, but I do think it’s a distinct possibility.
Lukus Stricker was very good last year as a freshman, despite the fact that he was reported to be a small 106-pounder. He was the bronze medalist at Hudson, and finished 7th at the always competitive Dies tournament, defeating an adroit Luke Dimuzio (Twinsburg) and district placer Brad Trescott (Rootstown) at the latter tournament. After a 7-3 loss to Kosco in the semis at sectionals, Stricker pulled off two straight pins to finish 3rd. He would pin in his first round bout at Alliance, before claiming an admirable 3-1 victory over returning district placer Alec Schopfer to make the semis. After getting pinned by state finalist Tony Decesare (Padua), Stricker suffered another loss to Brady Toth (Perry) in their go-to state match. However, Lukas closed out his freshman season with a legit 7-4 win over 2013 state qualifier Dante Ginnetti in his district 5th place match. Another noteworthy trait that Stricker has showcased is the ability to win his last match of the tournament. He finished 3rd, 7th, 3rd and 5th at the tournaments that he wrestled at last season, at least the one’s that I could find. There’s something to be said for finishing strong at every tournament, and it bodes well for Stricker moving forward.
It’s always difficult to know which weights the incoming freshman will occupy, but regardless, Hunter Ryan and David Massey are two freshmen that seem like they could make an immediate impact on the district and possibly state tournaments this season. At the middle school state tournament, Hunter Ryan was 4th at the 102 weight class won by Cardello. Ryan won the Brecksville district tournament, and David Massey was 4th at that same district. Freshman Josh Baitt (Jefferson Area) could also make some noise following in the footsteps of state qualifier Joey Baitt a year after finishing 5th at the Brecksville middle school district.
We could also see the presence of Justin Mitchell (West Branch) at this weight next year. I’m guessing that he’ll be higher, but he was a district semifinalist at 113 placing 6th at Alliance after starting the season at 106. He posted a pair of nice wins over a quality Ryan Deuly (Crestwood) while finishing 3rd at the West Branch sectional tournament and pulled out a 3rd period pin over Tanner Perry (Edgewood) in the quarterfinals at Alliance to earn his first district medal.

1. Terrell Grant-Tallmadge (SQ)
2. Dante Ginnetti-Poland (6th district, SQ 2013)
3. Brady Toth-Perry (SQ)
4. Alec Schopfer-West Branch (6th district 2013)
5. Jake Ondash-Crestwood
6. Kevon Freeman -Lake Cath. (7th middle school state 2013)

The only wrestler to keep his district match with Decesare to a decision last year was Terrell Grant. With the absence of Decesare at this weight (I thought he’d be at 113 when I started typing this all out), Grant becomes the likely favorite for district gold. He won the Smithville and Hephner tournaments last year, and finished as the runner-up at both the Paul McGhee and Bill Dies tourneys. Grant pulled off an impressive 5-2 win over state alternate Drew Fairbanks (Fitch) in the finals of the Hephner tournament where he also placed ahead of state qualifiers Dakota McCloskey (Girard) and Dante Ginnetti. He picked up a 6-2 quarterfinal win over state alternate Stricker at the Dies and 4-1 semifinal win over D.J. Skiba (Brunswick) at the same tournament. Grant also pinned Stricker in their state duals bout and wrestled a tough 5-3 bout with D-1 state placer Jarod Bronstrup (Brecksville) at Ironman before falling in the consolation match. He advanced to the finals of the sectional tournament at Northwest after teching Nathaniel Stubblefield (Ak. Springfield) but eventually dropped a close 3-2 bout to state placer Hunter Kosco for the crown. Terrell moved on to the quarterfinals at Alliance before losing to Decesare, but he then reeled off 4 straight wins on the way to the bronze. The first win was a come from behind 3-2 victory over Sean Kuklisin where Grant had to ride out the Streetsboro senior for the entire third period to earn the victory. His second win was a commanding 11-2 victory over 2013 district placer Alec Schopfer and the third a 4-2 defeat of returning state qualifier Dante Ginnetti in their advance-to-state match. Grant closed the tournament with an 8-0 major of Brady Toth in their bronze medal showdown to earn 3rd place. Grant opened his state tournament with a 10-2 major over senior Skyler St. Peter (Athens). Unfortunately for Grant, he was dispatched by the stellar Hunter Lucas (Lima Shawnee) 7-3 in the quarters and suffered a pin at the hands of the explosive Charlie Nash (Norwalk) in their consolation match to place. Terrell is a legitimate podium contender in 2015, but it’ll certainly be no cake walk in the densely populated D-2 light weights.
Dante Ginnetti is one of the more incendiary light weights at this district and can catch fire during just about any match. The Poland junior will look to make a return trip to Columbus after coming up just shy in a competitive Alliance bracket last year. Ginnetti was 2nd at the KIT to D-1 state placer Harry Feuer (Mayfield), and earned impressive wins in all three matches leading up to the finals. In his opening bout, Dante pinned state placer Charlie Nash, the same wrestler that would later end Terrell Grant’s season. The win was a come from behind, 3rd period stick. Next up, Ginnetti posted a 10-4 win over the blossoming Jake Ondash, and he followed that with a pin of district placer Alec Schopfer in a rematch of their go-to-state bout from a year before. He was 5th at Top Gun losing only to the exemplary state qualifier Anthony Jagel (Middletown) and two time state champ Tyler Warner. Ginnetti was 3rd at the EOWL tournament earning another victory over Schopfer, but fell 2-1 to the West Branch Warrior a few weeks later in sectional finals. Ginnetti would open his district tournament with a pair of pins, one being over eventual state qualifier Brady Toth. Unfortunately, a rough Saturday would result in Ginnetti dropping to 6th with close losses to Kosco (5-2), Grant (4-2), and Stricker (7-4). I’ve got faith that the Poland Bulldog will rebound well this year, and with a little improvement, he could become his school’s third state medalist in 2015.
Brady Toth is a 3rd wrestler with state experience at this weight, and the Perry Pirate will be looking to turn the corner in 2015 and snag his first state medal. Toth showed great progress developing over the course of his first two varsity seasons. Early last year, he finished 5th at Independence, dropping a 4-3 match to Justin McNeely who was Brunswick’s back-up 106 last year, though he was a very good reserve wrestler. After a 3-2 Brecksville tournament, Toth finished 2nd at his home tournament to state placer Jarrod Brezovec (Aurora). He went on to finish a satisfactory 8th place at Clay and 5th at his conference tournament, defeating district placer Ben Kitay (Beachwood) twice at the latter tournament . Toth pinned his way to a sectional title, and stuck his first district foe, but was pinned by Dante Ginnetti in their district quarterfinal match. Unphased, Toth majored Mason Brainard (CVCA) 10-1, defeated Jake Ondash 3-1 and bested Lukus Stricker 7-3 to punch a ticket to his first state tournament. Though Toth lost his last three matches of the year, they were all by decision and against high quality wrestlers (Terrell Grant, Justin Stickley, Alex Potts), and I have enough faith in the Perry program to know that Toth will only be better this season.
There were several peaks and valleys in Alec Schopfer’s junior year, but along the way he demonstrated that he can tangle with just about anyone at this district when he’s at his best. At the beginning of the year, Schopfer was 2nd to state placer Harry Feuer (Mayfield) at the Riverside Rumble, where he pinned state qualifier Dakota McCloskey (Girard) in the semis. Schopfer advanced to the semis at the KIT, besting a solid Sean Kuklisin (Streetsboro) in the quarters, but soon suffered 3 straight pins at the hands of Dante Ginnetti, state placer Charlie Nash (Norwalk), and Noah Georgian (Kenston) to finish 6th. He went a head-scratching 0-2 at Top Gun, getting teched by Hunter Kosco in the first round, and followed it up with a 4th place finish at EOWL, a tournament he had won the year before. Schopfer showed a spark at the sectional tournament, winning the title at home while beating Ondash 3-1 in the semis and earning a 2-1 victory over Dante Ginnetti in the finals. Ginnetti had Schopfer’s number previously, besting him at least 5 times over the last two years. Schopfer lost a 3-1 bout to state alternate Stricker in the 2nd round of the district tourney. Despite rebounding with a consolation win, Schopfer was eliminated by Terrell Grant in the consolation quarterfinals. West Branch has been the most consistent team in the EOWL over the last 10-15 years, churning out state qualifiers and placers each season. They know how to train wrestlers, so we can be sure that they’ll have Schopfer prepared for his final run at the state tournament.
Jake Ondash is another fast improving wrestler to keep an eye on at this weight next year. He went 2-2 at the Alliance District to end his first stint of varsity duty in 2014. Ondash was 7th at Solon and 4th at the KIT before the New Year. He placed ahead of Schopfer at Kenston, where he beat Noah Georgian 3-0 in the consolation semis, and he finished 3rd at the PTC tournament, losing an 8-7 match with district placer Brad Trescott (Rootstown) in the semis. He followed that up with another 3rd place, this time at the West Branch sectional tournament losing only the 3-1 match to Schopfer. At Alliance, Ondash defeated a sound senior wrestler Sean Kuklisin in the opening round 4-0 but was defeated by Hunter Kosco 9-2 in the quarterfinals. After a consolation round pin, Ondash was eliminated in a close 3-1 bout with state qualifier Brady Toth.
Nathaniel Stubblefield won a district bout last season after finishing 4th at both the PTC tournament and Northwest sectional tournament, and Kevon Freeman finished 7th at the middle school state tournament in 2013 as a 7th grader. Both wrestlers will be a threat to place at this district next year. Freeman is an especially intriguing prospect considering Lake Catholic’s track record of churning out state caliber wrestlers.

Last edited by McClearn7; 10-13-14 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:53 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Cory Simpson-Field (4th, 8th state)
2. Paul Petras-Padua (5th state)
*3. Brogan Lovejoy-Ravenna*
4. Brennan Joseph-Marlington (SQ)
5. Eli Yoho-Woodridge (5th district)
6. Luke Wymer-SVSM (5th middle school state tournament)

Cory Simpson, the pride of Field High School, put forth yet another impressive season of wrestling culminating in a 4th place finish at the Schott. This halved his previous place of 8th and moved him a few steps closer to the top of the podium. Simpson started the year at 120, where he was 3rd at North Canton losing in the semis to state bronze medalist Evan Cheek (Edison) before defeating state qualifier Noah Schaub (Green) 3-2 in the consolation finals. Down at 113, Simpson finished 5th at Top Gun, pinning state qualifier Cory Marshall (Dover) and defeating state qualifier Andrew Coghill (Nordonia) 8-2 in the 5th place finals. His two losses were a 13-5 bout with defending state champion and Ohio State recruit Jose Rodriguez (Perry) and an 8-5 defeat at the hands of Tristan Gilliland (Clovis) who was 7th in the one division California state tournament. Simpson would close out the regular season with a 2nd place finish at Wadsworth and a PTC title over state alternate Eli Yoho, dominating their finals match-up by a 17-4 score. He continued to roll at sectionals, pinning all three opponents in the first period including district placer Justin Mitchell (West Branch) and state qualifier Brennan Joseph. Though not as dominant, Simpson was just as impressive at Alliance where he claimed his first district title while defeating all 3 of the other state qualifiers. In the quarters he won a close 1-0 bout with state 5th place finisher Paul Petras, and followed that up with a pin of Brian Persinger (Triway) in the semis. Simpson closed out the tournament in exemplary fashion, shutting out Brennan Joseph 7-0 for his second win over the Marlington wrestler. Simpson’s first two matches at state were lopsided affairs with a tech fall in the opening match and a first period pin of 2x state placer Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling) as he reached his first state semifinals. Simpson went head to head with eventual state champ Eli Stickley (Graham) in the semifinals and lost by a respectable 6-2 score to the nationally ranked Wisconsin Badger recruit. Simpson bounced back in the consolation semis with a 5-1 win in a rematch with Paul Petras, but fell to former state finalist Seth Beard (Napoleon) 5-1 in their bronze medal bout. All three of the wrestlers that placed ahead of Simpson return this season, but the Field wrestler may have been the most improved of the lot last year. I’ll be interested in seeing how close he can inch to the top of the stand in 2015.
Paul Petras showed steady improvement throughout last season, and brought his best stuff to Columbus, grabbing his first state medal as a junior. Padua is a solid all around team that wrestles a deep and trying schedule. Between their duals, Ironman, the CIT, and Brecksville, the Bruins are battle tested by the time they hit the post season trail. Paul Petras was the benefactor of this trial by fire, improving his results in each tournament he wrestled. He was 1-2 at the always hellacious Ironman, 2-2 at Brecksville, and finished 2nd at the CIT, where he defeated district champion Stan Bleich 9-3 (Elyria Cath.) in the semis and took 2x state placer Kristopher Hill (Hartley) into overtime in the finals. During the Bruins state duals run, Petras knocked off state qualifiers Brady Toth (Perry) and Sal Ferrise (SVSM) and defeated the latter competitor while wrestling up a weight. Petras fell to eventual state alternate Eli Yoho in the sectional finals, but took his wrestling to another level during the crucial district tournament bouts. After an opening round tech fall victory, Petras drew eventual district champ Cory Simpson and posted a respectable 1-0 loss to the 2x state placer. From there, Paul dominated his way through the consolation bracket with two pins and two tech falls in his four wrestle-back matches. The go-to-state match was a supremely dominating 17-0 shut-out of Justin Mitchell, and the consolation finals saw Petras pin Brian Persinger who had defeated Eli Yoho the match before. Just as impressive as his consolation run was his first-rate 4-1 win over 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace) in the opening round of the state tournament. Duffy’s known for winning a lot of close matches, but Petras was able to turn the tables on the senior and secure the victory. He dropped an 8-2 quarterfinal bout to state finalist Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) but won two Friday matches over Persinger and Blaine Hunter (Elida) to reach the consolation semifinals. A second loss to Simpson put Petras into a 5th place bout with a very good Lane Peters (Claymont). Petras ended his season the right way, posting a 3-2 victory in the fifth place match and setting up a solid cornerstone on which to build off of this season.
I may well have Lovejoy ranked too high given the fact that he did not participate in the post season tournaments last year, but I believe that the result that he displayed in a truncated junior year warrant serious consideration during 2015. Lovejoy was 4th at the KIT where he pinned state qualifier Kenny Hoberney (North) and defeated state qualifier Tyler Newsome (Lakeside) 7-3 in the consolation rounds before losing a 6-4 bout with state alternate Andre Stowers (Maple Hts.) in the consolation finals. He also went 2-2 at Top Gun which does not sound that impressive on the face of it, but he did tech Darren Goodin (Poland Seminary), who was a point away from placement at the Alliance district tournament last year, and he pulled a 5-0 shutout of district placer Travis Pidgeon (West Branch) in the second round of the tournament. He’ll definitely make some noise during the post season tournament process if he’s wrestling at the end of the year.
Brennan Joseph blossomed into an impressive performer at 113 last year. The sophomore was 6th at Hoover, losing three matches to state placers, two to Brady Barnett (Edison) and one to Chris Doyle (Green). Joseph posted a 7-0 win over a tough Conner Burns (Hoover) and a 5-1 victory over a legit Brandon Bartlome (Lorain) at the same tournament. He also finished 5th at the Hephner tournament and posted dual meet wins over district placers C.J. Brady (Carrollton) and Alec Schopfer (West Branch). Joseph was the runner-up to Simpson at the sectional and district tournaments, posting an 8-1 win over Eli Yoho in the quarterfinals of the latter tournament and pinning Justin Mitchell to earn his first trip to state. Joseph won his first state bout with a sturdy 8-2 defeat of Nathaniel Kehn (Sheridan), but fell to former state finalist Seth Beard and Blaine Hunter in his two attempts at earning state placement. The latter match was an 8-5 defeat in the second round of consolation bouts. Joseph will be back in the thick of the hunt for state placement in 2015, and he should land on the podium if he improves as much as he did between his freshman and sophomore years.
I’m not entirely certain whether Eli Yoho is still wrestling for Woodridge due to the fact that his brother is reportedly wrestling for Cuyahoga Falls this year. Wherever he ends up, the sophomore is a very skilled wrestler, capable of pushing through and earning state qualification this year after coming up a match shy during his freshman stint. Eli was 1-2 at Brecksville, but the two losses he suffered were to 2x state placer Mario Guillen (Perrysburg) and district placer Austin Victor (Mentor). Yoho stormed through to the finals of the Dies tournament with a tech, two pins, and a resounding 16-2 defeat of a solid Kyle West (Canfield) before losing a tight 2-1 bout to another excellent freshman, Ethan Rivera (Brunswick). After a 2nd place finish to Cory Simpson at the PTC tournament, Yoho won the sectional title over state placer Paul Petras (Padua) with a nice 6-3 victory. All four of his district victories ended in a pin, but unfortunately for the Woodridge wrestle he lost a 3-2 consolation semifinal to Brian Persinger to finish a match shy of state.
Collin Langer (Lake Cath.) is a bit of an unknown entity that could make an impact on the district at this weight. He finished 3-2 at Brecksville as a freshman losing only by decision to senior state qualifiers Daniel Clement (Solon) and Luke Nace (Teays Valley). The Lake Catholic freshman also won an 8-3 bout with a quality Kyle West who should also be in contention for placement at this weight in 2015. Langer didn’t participate in the post season tournaments last year but should be a significant factor if he’s back in the line-up for an always tough Lake Catholic team.
Luke Wymer finished 5th at the middle school state tournament last year, earning a district title at Brecksville while defeating 2013 M.S. state placer Kevon Freeman (Lake Cath.) 8-4 in the semifinals. Wymer’s stock should rise over the course of the season as he improves over the course of a grueling SVSM schedule.

1. Georgio Poullas-Canfield (6th state)
2. Brian Persinger-Triway (SQ)
3. Josh Gunter-Coventry (6th district, 5th district 2013)
4. Travis Pidgeon-West Branch (6th district 2013)
5. Isaiah Ngiraingas-Conneaut (SQ)
*6. Joe Boley-Lake Cath.*

The Canfield Cardinals have one of the best young line-ups in the state, and leading the way is stellar sophomore Georgio Poullas. The Cardinals have three freshman who claimed Middle School state titles last year, a state qualifier, a state alternate, a state medalist, as well as a host of other talented yutes in their line-up. Poullas won the Perry Pin City Tournament in dominant fashion, defeating state alternate, and fellow freshman stud Joe Koontz 9-0 for the title. He also earned a tournament title at Salem, defeating a tough Brad Sprau (Rocky River) in the finals. Georgio went on to finish 2nd at the Dies Tournament, soldiering through a brutal weight class to make the finals. Poullas defeated state qualifier Dominic Meehan (Brooklyn), state qualifier Tyler Workman (Parma), and state placer Jarrad Lasko (Madison) consecutively to set up a showdown with 3x state placer Chandler Minnard (Bloom Carroll) in the finals. Minnard edged out the freshman by a thin 8-7 margin, but Poullas hung tough with an excellent and experienced wrestler. He would rebound nicely with his first EOWL title, while pinning another excellent freshman district placer, Matt Steer, in the semifinals. Steer exacted his revenge in front of his home crowd at the West Branch sectional tournament, pinning Poullas for the sectional crown. After an opening round win at Alliance, Poullas squared of against 2x state champ and Kent State recruit Anthony Tutolo (Lake Cath.) who bested the freshman by a respectable 6-1 score. Poullas rebounded in the consolation rounds with 4 straight wins to take 3rd. His final two victories were a 21 second pin over Steer in the rubber match, and another victory over Meehan in the consolation finals. Poullas defeated Luke Leonard (Fostoria) 6-5 in the opening round at state prior to suffering a 5-2 quarterfinal loss to Claymont senior Kollin Clark. A third win over Meehan earned Poullas his first state medal and set up a rematch of the Dies finals with 3x state placer Chandler Minnard. This time it would be the freshman Poullas coming away with the 4-2 win, propelling him into the consolation semis. An 8-4 loss to Devin Rogers (Northwestern) and a 2-0 OT defeat in the rematch with Clark would drop Poullas to 6th, but it’s difficult to imagine that the ever improving sophomore won’t significantly exceed that placement this season.
Brian Persinger was a revelation last year at 113. Not only was he a state qualifier as a freshman, but he was a point away from state placement in Columbus. I’m not sure why I ranked Persinger here rather than at 120, probably just symmetry of weight classes, but he’ll be a potential district finalist at either weight. Early last December, Persinger was 3rd at the Smithville tournament, losing 4-3 to state finalist Cole Woods in the opening round but pinning all four consolation opponents. Persinger dominated at sectionals earning two pins and a 14-3 major in the finals. The sectional title set up a favorable district draw, and Persinger would pin both of his first two district opponents before being stuck by 2x state placer Cory Simpson (Field) in the semis. This set up a go-to-state match with another impressive freshman in Eli Yoho, a bout in which Persinger gutted out with a 3-2 win. After getting pinned by Paul Petras (Padua) for 3rd place, Persinger drew eventual state champ Eli Stickley (Graham) in the opening round of the state tournament. Stickley won this match 17-1, but Persinger showed no signs of discouragement as he posted a tight 1-0 win over Thurston Dyer (Upper Sandusky) to stay alive Thursday night. That win was a nice victory by a freshman over a wrestler with previous state experience. Persinger remained undaunted moving forward as he wrestler Petras in a rematch of their consolation final at Alliance. Persinger lost to Petras, who would go on to finish 5th, but the fact that the freshman gave Petras a 8-7 battle after getting pinned by him the week before shows a great deal of grit and spirit.
Josh Gunter has been a match away from state both of the last two seasons, a burden that was previously carries by Jesse Gunter before he placed 3rd in the state as a senior. During his final season, Gunter will certainly not be satisfied with a 5th place district bout for a third consecutive year. He’ll need to step up his game to guarantee a spot out of these competitive Alliance light weights. Gunter was 2-2 at the Dies tournament last year, getting teched by 2x state placer Josh Heil (Brunswick) and losing 5-3 in OT to D-3 state qualifier Tony Paulucci (Rootstown) in consecutive matches. Two weeks later, Gunter would again fall to Paulucci, this time in a 2-1 finals bout to decide the PTC championship. Gunter then earned a sectional title without much ado, pinning his finals opponent. After a dominating tech fall to open his district run, Gunter defeated Travis Pidgeon 5-4 to reach the district semis. Gunter has had Pidgeon’s number in recent years, besting the West Branch Warrior three times in the last two district tournaments. Josh would lose his remaining three matches at Alliance, falling in lopsided matches with state placers Collin Dees and Brad Taton (Lake Cath.) with an 8-3 defeat at the hands of Isaiah Ngiraingas sandwiched in the middle. I think the district losses will re-motivate Gunter going into his senior year as he makes a final push for his first state qualification.
Travis Pidgeon, like Gunter has been a match away from the state tournament, and like Gunter he’ll be working to make the most of his last shot at state qualification. He started his season off right with a dominating win at the Riverside Rumble pinning 5 opponents and majoring Ben Boysel (Hudson) 11-3 in the finals. Pidgeon’s Top Gun was less fortuitous, as he went 2-2 losing to Brogan Lovejoy and state finalist Cole Woods (1-0). He went on to claim 2nd place finishes at the EOWL and the sectional tournaments, losing to state placer Korey Frost (Canfield) in the finals of both events. Pidgeon posted two pins at the district tournament but suffered the loss to Gunter and a 12-10 shootout loss to state qualifier Sal Ferrise to end his season a match shy of district placement.
Isaiah Ngiraingas raised his performance to a higher echelon at the district tournament this year, and he was rewarded with a spot in the state tournament as a result. Isaiah was 1-2 at North Canton last December but finished 3rd at the Lake Catholic sectional, losing 9-3 to 2x state placer Brad Taton (Lake Cath.) in the semis. After a 4-2 opening round victory over Ryan Lambert (Canton S.) at Alliance, Ngiraingas was teched by district champ Korey Frost 16-0. He responded by methodically working his way through three consolation wins to make the 3rd place final. The first win was a narrow margined 3-2 victory over freshman Erik Gerback (Marlington), a dark horse to watch out for this year. Next was another tight 6-5 match over Darren Goodin (Poland Seminary) to advance to the consolation semis. Ngiraingas staged an explosive second period in the go-to-state match with a takedown and three back points to set up the margin of victory over Gunter to earning his first trip to Columbus. Ngiraingas’s season ended with two pins and a tech in his district consolation final and two state bouts, but he showed great resolve in earning his first state tournament appearance. It’ll be exciting to see if Ngiraingas can keep up the level of success that he sustained at Alliance last year. If he continues to improve, and peaks for the post season again, we could potentially see him on the podium in Columbus.
Joe Boley is a bit of a wildcard in these Alliance lower weights. The last two years, Boley has been pushed up in weight due to the presence of 2x state champ Anthony Tutolo and 2x state placer Brad Taton in the Lake Catholic line-up. In his freshman year, Boley owned an early season 13-3 win over state qualifier Raymond Raimo (River Valley) while wrestling down at 113, but went 1-2 at the district tournament after being bumped up by Taton. Last year, Boley went 132 with Tutolo at 126 and Taton at 120. I’m guessing that he ends up here this year, though it’s possible that he occupies a higher weight class. Either way, Boley should finally have more say in the weight that he ultimately wrestles during this, his junior year. Despite being up in weight and missing part of the season, Boley was 7th at Solon beating Adam Kirsh (Orange) 8-2 in the match to place. At Brecksville, he was 1-2, but only lost to 2x state placer Wes Fritz (St. Paul) and to state champ Nate Hagan (Toledo C.C.). The match with Hagan was an admirable 8-6 bout in the consolation rounds. Boley went on to finish 3rd at the Lake Catholic sectional, losing an 8-5 semifinal bout to state qualifier Joey Baitt. He didn’t wrestle at the district tournament, but if he’s wrestling at an appropriate weight this year, Boley could well outperform this ranking while earning a birth in the state tournament.

1. Ryan Bennett-CVCA (6th, 4th state)
2. Joe Koontz-SVSM (5th district)
3. Aaron Dantimo-Streetsboro
4. Jimmy Lerakis-Howland
5. Andy Maris-Triway
6. Luke McKeon-Lake Cath.

Hopefully, Ryan Bennett will be at full strength this wrestling season. He seemed to be peaking at sectionals before missing the district tournament (I believe due to missing weight). I’m not sure if weight was a problem all season for Bennett, as he defaulted out of the Medina tournament after suffering a quarterfinal pin at the hands of D-1 state finalist Jake Newhouse (Perry). Bennett was a semifinalist at Top Gun, dominating an 11-0 match with a worthy Brogan Lovejoy in the quarters. His next two matches would be against both of the D-1 state finalists, as Bennett fell to Alex Mackall (Walsh) 8-0 and dropped the rematch with Newhouse by a respectable 4-2 score. The CVCA Royal would closeout the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Pennsylvania state qualifier Jarrette Carter (Fort LeBoeuf) to finish 5th. Bennett looked primed for a state title run at sectionals, as he teched all 3 opponents including state qualifier Sal Ferrise (SVSM) in the finals. By comparison, Ferrise only lost 7-1 to state placer Collin Dees (Perry) at Alliance and 7-6 to state finalist Cole Woods (West Holmes) in the opening round of the state tournament. If Bennett can perform like he did at the end of last year, he’ll be in the midst of the dense D-2 state title hunt at either 126 or 132.
Joe Koontz is a very talented sophomore on a very good team. SVSM remains one of the consistent top-tier teams at the Alliance District. With young potential stars like Joe Koontz, Jaret Lester, and freshman Luke Wymer to add to the likes of Carter, Knaus, and Brumley, the Irish will once again contend for a trophy and potential title at the district tournament. Koontz finished 2nd to Poullas at Perry, but there was no one else within eight points of him in his five wins. Even more impressive was his runner-up finish at the Perrysburg Invitational Tournament. In the opening round, Koontz defeated D-3 state bronze medalist Devon Dunbar 7-4 and followed up that win with a 12-2 drubbing of state qualifier Luke Leonard in the semis. He wrestled D-3 state finalist Kyle Keller (Delta) to a tough 9-8 overtime loss in the championship bout. Koontz looked solid despite going 2-2 at Top Gun. He lost a 4-3 bout with state placer Kollin Clark, but defeated freshman D-1 state placer Andrew Sams (LaSalle) 6-4 in a consolation bout. Koontz also finished 3rd at the Hephner tournament where he teched Sam Kirk (Marlington) 15-0 for the bronze medal. Joe grabbed his first sectional title with a 5-0 shutout of state qualifier Dominic Meehan, but would lose to the same wrestler a week later in a head scratching 14-4 go-to-state bout. Koontz capped off an impressive freshman year with a last second pin over Matt Steer, in a back and forth 5th place final at Alliance that ended with Koontz as the state alternate.
Dantimo’s weight fluctuated from 138, down to 126, and back up to 132 last year during his junior campaign. This year, he could be at a wide variety of weights, but will contend for placement regardless of where he resides. Up at 138, Dantimo defeated district placer Anthony Vetturini (W. Geauga) in the quarters of the Paul McGhee tournament before beating state qualifier Jason Sadler (Rootstown) 3-2 in the semis. His only loss in finishing 2nd was a tight 8-7 bout with the tough Chayse Csongedi (Parma) for the title. Dantimo’s results ranged from 5th at Hudson, 3-2 at KIT and the Dies, to a 6th place finish at the PTC Tournament. Dantimo had a solid sectional tournament, defeating district placer Nick Foster (Holy Name) 7-2 in the semis and dropping a 5-1 match to state placer Garrett Carter (SVSM) in the title bout. Aaron had a sturdy district draw, falling to state alternate Nick Farmer (Norton) 6-4 in the first round, winning a consolation bout, and bowing out of the tournament with a 7-1 loss to state qualifier Joey Baitt (Jefferson Area).
Triway is a team that is difficult to find many results from, but they have some solid wrestlers that certainly cannot be overlooked come tournament time. Andy Maris was 2nd at the Smithville Tournament to Hunter Napier (Fairless), and 1st at the Northwest sectional tournament, where he defeated freshman Brad Holmgren (Coventry) 2-1 in the finals. Maris put together a respectable 2-2 district performance only losing by decision to state qualifier Walker Chieffe (University) and Meehan who would finish 2nd and 4th.
Jimmy Lerakis seemed to get better and better as the season went on, ultimately finishing a match away from placement in Alliance. He was 5th at Hudson early in the year, and finished 3-2 at Wadsworth, before finishing 2nd to Poullas at the EOWL tournament and 3rd at the West Branch sectional. Lerakis started his district tournament off with a 10-0 shutout of Brad Holmgren, the wrestler that Maris defeated for the sectional title. However, he ran into a buzz saw in the freshman Koontz in the quarters who earned a dominant 16-0 victory. Lerakis pinned William McClain (Harvey) in the first period of their consolation bout, but the Howland Tiger was dispatched by state placer Poullas 9-2 in their match to place at Alliance. He’ll be a sneaky good potential state qualifier in 2015.
Luke McKeon was 7th at the Middle school state tournament last year, and I’ve got faith in the Lake Catholic coaches and their ability to build young talented wrestlers into good experienced wrestlers. His weight could fluctuate depending on where Boley decides to go, but he should make an impact on the sectional and district climates as a freshman.

Last edited by McClearn7; 10-10-14 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:55 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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McClearn7 is on a distinguished road
1. Garrett Carter-SVSM (7th, 7th state)
2. Nick Farmer-Norton (5th district)
3. Brett Bailey-Southeast (6th district)
4. Hunter Flinner-Triway
5. David Crawford-Canfield (1st Middle school state)
6. Kevin Swaney-Hoban

It looks like this weight class will host an intriguing group of talented underclassmen, but leading the way will be senior 2x state placer Garrett Carter. Last year he moved up two weight-classes and didnít miss a beat, soldiering through a dense schedule to come away with his second state medal. Carter was 2nd to state bronze medalist Aaran Gessic (Perry) at the Perry Pin City Tournament, dropping a respectable 3-0 finals bout. At Top Gun, Carter grabbed 6th place while defeating district placers Nick Collica (Nordonia) and Jake Evanich (Hoover). He finished 2nd to state qualifier Justyn Bostic (Jackson) at the Hephner Tournament while placing ahead of district placer Michael Nagy (Lake) and state placer Alec Benedetti (N. Royalton). Garrett won the sectional title with a 5-1 finals victory over Aaron Dantimo (Streetsboro) and followed it up with a run to the district finals. Carter rolled to low scoring controlled triumphs in his first three bouts, claiming a 1-pointer over Dylan Dolph (Canton South), a 3-0 shutout of state qualifier Joey Baitt (Jefferson Area) and a 3-2 semifinal victory over Brett Bailey. He lost a 3-1 district finale to Gessic for the title setting up a first round state tournament match-up with fellow returning state placer Dashawn Haynes (Buckeye Valley). Carter would emerge the victor, pulling out a pin with two seconds left in the match against the explosive Haynes. After a 5-2 quarterfinal defeat at the hands of 3x state placer Wade Hodges (Wauseon), Carter again defeated Joey Baitt, this time by a 7-4 score to earn placement for a second straight year. He lost 5-1 to Connor Nemec (Crestwood) in the wrestle-backs, but closed out the season with a 4-2 victory over Bret Yutzy (Jonathan Alder) for a second 7th place finish. Now a senior leader for the stalwart SVSM team, Carter has the firepower to exceed that placement during his final varsity campaign.
Nick Farmerís potential was highlighted by his state alternate finish as a freshman last year. The Norton wrestler had some very impressive wins as well as several close losses throughout his first year in high school. Consistency, as with many other freshmen, may have been the area that Farmer needs to continue to improve on. As he gains consistency this season, Farmer will make a push for a district title during his sophomore stretch. Early in the year, Farmer won the Smithville Tournament but went 2-2 at Hudson. Itís not as if his Hudson losses were to low quality opponents, but he did lose a lopsided 18-6 blowout to Chris Motter (Hudson) and was pinned by Jimmy Lerakis (Howland). The freshman finished a respectable 5th at the Dies, defeating Kevin Swaney 10-8 in the second round before getting stuck by Chayse Csongedi (Parma) in the semis. Farmer then dropped a close 4-3 match with Coventry senior Austin Shields in the consolation semis. Shields was a thorn in Farmerís side all year, defeating the Norton wrestler on three separate occasions. Later, Farmer finished 4th at the PTC tournament, where he lost 9-1 to Connor Nemec and again to Shields despite besting Aaron Dantimo 3-2 along the road. Farmer was 3rd at the Northwest sectional, falling 7-3 to Hunter Flinner in the semis but rebounding with a nice 9-6 win over the senior Dylan Dolph for 3rd place. At Alliance, Farmer bettered Dantimo again with a 6-4 first round win, and then he pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the quarterfinals, knocking off 2x state placer Connor Nemec 4-3 to avenge the loss at PTC and advance to his first district semifinal. He would not be so fortunate in the semis, losing 15-3 to 3x state placer Aaran Gessic (Perry). Farmer lost a close 3-2 bout with senior Joey Baitt to just miss out on state qualification, but he closed out the season with an 11-10 dogfight win over Brett Bailey for 5th place. The future looks bright for this Norton sophomore.
Brett Bailey was a match away from state last year despite only being a sophomore, and another encouraging aspect of the ever-improving Southeast Pirate is that he wrestles very close matches with high level competition. I couldnít find a loss of over 4 points. Baileyís 2-2 performance at Top Gun showcases this phenomenon as he dropped a 2-1 match to state qualifier Bryson Laytart (Trace) and a 3-2 match to district placer Jake Evanich (Hoover). He finished 8th at a loaded Hephner tournament, falling in a 14-10 shootout with an excellent Antonio Mitchell (South) in his final match. Bailey was 2nd at the PTC tournament where he beat Dantimo 12-7 in the semis before losing a 4-2 bout to Connor Nemec in the finals. Bailey also finished 2nd to Nemec at the West Branch sectional, falling 3-1 in the championship match. After an opening round pin at Alliance, Bailey claimed a 7-3 win over Kevin Swaney to advance to the semis. Here he would lose his final 3 matches by a combined 4 points; 3-2 to Garret Carter in the semis, 5-3 to Connor Nemec, and 11-10 to Farmer. These results show me that Bailey is on the precipice of being great. If he can continue to improve, Bailey will be a state qualifier sooner rather than later.
As a sophomore last year, Hunter Flinner finished 2-2 at Alliance. He is a little harder to gauge than some of the other wrestlers at this weight. Consistency may also be the biggest question mark surrounding him, as he has some nice wins as well as a few lopsided losses. Flinner did claim an early season champion at Smithville, beating Nathan Kennedy (Fairless) in the finals. Fast forward to sectionals, and he posted that 7-3 semifinal win over Nick Framer that jumps out. However, Flinner was subsequently stuck by Kevin Swaney in the sectional finals. Hunter thrashed state alternate Nick Foster (Holy Name) 12-2 in the opening round of the district tournament before getting pinned by Aaran Gessic in the semis. He won 10-3 consolation bout over Steve Shivak (Padua) before getting pinned by Connor Nemec in the wrestle-backs. Flinner is capable of beating almost anyone at this district, but heíll need to continue to improve as he seeks a trip to the district finals in 2015.
David Crawford is the second of the three Canfield middle school state champs that will make their presence felt in the Cardinal line-up this year. I have no idea how their middle weights will shake down, so itís possible that we see Crawford, Frost, and Cooper at 145-160 or higher, but weíll just have to wait and see. Regardless of the weight, Crawford should be yet another talented underclassman to be feared in these middle weights. He defeated Drew Asadorian, a St. Ignatius recruit in the middle school state finals by a 6-2 score and bested another middle school state finalist Joey Baughman (Wadsworth) earlier in the season at the finals at Twinsburg.
Kevin Swaney may be ranked to low here given the fact that he beat Hunter Flinner for the sectional title while Farmer placed 3rd at the same tournament. Like many of the other returning wrestlers at this weight, Swaney was very close to state qualification already, but will need to bring his A-game to Alliance in order to qualify this season. He was 2-2 at the district tournament, with a pair of pins and a pair of close losses, falling 7-3 to Brett Bailey and 4-3 to state qualifier Joey Baitt. Swaney also posted an impressive 10-7 win over a very good Chayse Csongedi while finishing 4th at Hudson but did not place at the Dies Tournament despite going 3-2. Swaney bested Dustin McGraw (Tallmadge) 7-0 to start his sectional tournament, a month after losing to the same wrestler in the state duals. He then bested Dylan Dolph 2-1 and pulled off the previously mentioned pin of Hunter Flinner in the sectional finals.

1. Kyle Kaminski-Padua (5th, 5th state)
2. Spencer Nagy-Alliance (5th district)
3. C.J. Frost-Canfield (SQ)
4. Hunter McPeak-Southeast
5. Josh Romano-Perry
6. Frank Regalbuto-Orange (5th district)

Last season, Kyle Kaminski emerged from that super competitive 138 weight class with his second 5th place finish at state, a solid result but Iím sure a lower placement than he was seeking. This season heíll look to move to the top of the podium in Columbus with his first state title. Kaminski spent most of last year at 145, where he finished 4th at Brecksville while defeating 3x state placer Taleb Rahmani (Marysville) in the consolation semis after pinning both state qualifier Richard Jackson (Toledo C.C.) and a very good Garrett McIlvain (Davidson). Kaminski was the tournament champion at CIT, winning an overtime bout with state qualifier Dakota Stephens (St. Xavier) for the title, and then Kyleís wrestling climbed to an even higher plateau at sectionals. Here he steamrolled to the finals before pinning returning state finalist Ryan Skonieczny (SVSM) for the title. To prove that the sectional win was no fluke, Kaminski again defeated Skonieczny a week later, this time 3-2 in the district finals. Itís also worth mentioning that Kyle beat C.J. Frost 14-2 and Frank Regalbuto 15-3 in the quarters and semis respectively, and those two will likely be among his greatest opposition at Alliance in 2015. Kaminski pinned Jon Watkins (Lexington) to open his state campaign, and defeated returning state finalist Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge) in a 2-1 quarterfinal match. However, it would be Josh Mossing (Toledo C.C.) emerging victorious in the state semis with a 3-1 overtime win over Kaminski. Itís always tough to beat a quality opponent multiple times in the same year, and a third victory over Skonieczny was not to be as the SVSM wrestler was able to best Kaminski 4-2 in the consolation semis. Kaminski finished his year with a second win over Bowshier, defeating the Kenton Ridge senior 5-3 in sudden victory to end the season with a second 5th place medal. These middle weights will likely be crowded once again at state, and Kaminski will be in the middle of the state title storm in 2015. Heíll likely have to overcome one of Grahamís excellent middle weights in order to win the title, and may have a rematch with Josh Mossing on his hands as well. Kyle is capable of seizing the gold, though there a lot of wrestling to be done between now and then.
The two time EOWL Spencer Nagy will be looking to make his first trip to Columbus after coming up a match shy last year and two matches shy the year before. Nagy earned perhaps his most impressive win of the year in an early season dual meet with Minerva, where he bested Claymont District champion Dalton Hartshorn (Minerva) 12-6. Nagy finished 8th at Top Gun losing 11-8 and 5-3 to state placers Caden Herron and Mario Graziani (Boardman) while earning a win over state qualifier Dallam Ambos (Wapakoneta) in-between. He pinned Hunter McPeak in the sectional semis before losing to state placer Nick Wrobel (Crestwood) in OT for the title. At his home district tournament, Nagy rebounded from his lopsided quarterfinal loss to Zack Lake (Coventry) with two close wins over Adam Kirsh (Orange) and district placer Tyler Cross (Geneva) by 3-2 and 4-0 scores to earn his first district placement. Spencer fell in a heartbreakingly close1-0 bout with 2x state placer Dobben in the consolation semis, but bounced back with a 4-2 win over Dan Amato (Tallmadge) in the alternate match to finish in 5th place. Iíve wrestled in that alternate match after a 1-0 loss in a go-to-state bout, and I can tell you it sucks. Itís hard to feel motivated for the match after just coming up just short of a major goal. Fortunately for Nagy, he was only a junior and will get another shot at qualification. Iíll be rooting for him to get through this year.
C.J. Frost made his first state tournament last year, despite only being a sophomore. The Canfield junior will certainly have quality workout partners in the room this season with state placer Georgio Poullas as well as middle school state champions David Crawford and Dominic Cooper on the Canfield squad. C.J. was 4th at Perry, 7th at the Dies tournament where he pinned state qualifier Jason Sadler (Beachwood), and 3rd at the EOWL tournament where defending champ Daniel Hasson (Beaver Local) needed a last second takedown to avoid the upset to Frost. He looked sharp in the semifinals at the West Branch sectional, where he defeated a very good Jimmy Kubitza (Field) 5-4, before being pinned by 2x state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) in the finals. Frost won his first match at Alliance 9-5 over Josh Romano, and bounced back from a one-sided quarterfinal loss to Kyle Kaminski with 3 straight consolation wins. His go-to-state match was a resounding 13-2 win over Anthony Vetturini (W. Geauga) after a solid 8-2 defeat of Bruno Spotelson (Poland) a wrestler who had defeated Frost the year before and will also be in contention for state qualification this year. A second pin at the hands of Zemaitis set up an unfavorable state bracket, and Frost was soon 0-2. However, Frostís stock will only go up in 2015 as he makes a push for state placement during his junior year.
Hunter McPeak posted an impressive 3-2 win over 2x state qualifier Daniel Hasson in their state duals bout. Thatís the same wrestler that beat Frost in the exciting EOWL semifinal match. He earned a 6th place finish at the Hephner Tournament where he fell to Josh Bostic (Jackson) in the 5th place finals. The Southeast wrestler went on to finish 3rd at the PTC tournament, where his only loss was a 2-1 OT bout with state placer Nick Wrobel (Crestwood). McPeak had a rough sectional tournament finishing 4th and getting pinned twice, but he tightened it up a bit for the district tournament, where he lost a decision to state placer Andy Dobben (CVCA) in the opening round and dropped a 3-1 match with district placer Tyler Cross (Geneva) in the consolation rounds. I expect a better district tournament in 2015 and a possible state birth.
Josh Romano went 1-2 at Alliance last year but may actually be underrated based on his wins last year and Perryís recent wrestling success. He finished 2nd at Independence early in the year, besting D-1 state qualifier Christian Camacho (Brunswick) 2-1 in the process. Romano also was a silver medalist at his home tournament where he beat state qualifier Evan Francis (Kirtland) 3-1 in OT in the semis. Romano also defeated state qualifier Jeremy Balboa (Oak Harbor) 10-3 at Clay while finishing 8th. He was 5th at the CVC tournament placing ahead of Vetturini, but lost to the West Geauga wrestler in the sectional semis. This set up a district tournament where Romano went 1-2 while losing to the wrestlers that finished 3rd and 4th in Frost and Zemaitis
Frank Regalbuto had several ups and down to his season, but finished strong as the state alternate at 138. After a 1-2 Solon Comet Classic, Regalbuto snagged 4th place at Independence. He missed placement at the KIT but finished 4th at the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament, pinning district placer Vetturini in the consolation rounds. After taking 4th at the SVSM sectional tournament, Frank advanced to the semifinals at Alliance with an 11-0 win in the opening round and a pin over Bruno Spotelson. Regalbutoís next two matches were against wrestlers who ended the season on the podium at state, and he fell to Ryan Skonieczny and Jake Zemaitis consecutively. Undaunted, Regalbuto put an exclamation point on his season with one more pin of Anthony Vetturini in their 5th place district bout.

1. Andy Dobben-CVCA (5th, 7th state)
2. Nick Wrobel-Crestwood (7th state)
3. Zach Lake-Coventry (SQ)
4. Chris Jackson-Northwest
5. Dominic Cooper-Canfield (1st Middle School state)
6. Anthony Vetturini-West Geauga (6th district)

There was a high level of parity among the top wrestlers at 145 at the Alliance District last year, and thereís a high probability that we could see the majority of these same participants at 152 this season.
Andy Dobben is the highest returning state placer from the 145 weight class after a 5th place finish in Columbus last season. Dobben will have a shot at a state title this season, but heíll have to put forth an excellent tournament just to come away with a district title in 2015. He started last year at 138, with fluctuating success. He had a nice tech fall over state qualifier Jeremy Balboa (Oak Harbor) at Medina and dropped a close 2-1 bout to 2x state placer Nick Boggs (Riverside) in the quarters. After a consolation win, Andy ran into another Boggs (Seth) and Dobben wound up as one of Boggsís four consecutive consolation pins. Seth Boggs would finish 5th while Dobben closed out at 7th. Dobben continued the trend at Top Gun after making the jump up to 145. He finished 2-2 pinning district placer Colin Boswell (West Branch) and defeating another quality opponent in Hunter McPeak (Southeast) before losing a 6-3 match with state placer Mike Decesare (Nordonia) and a consolation bout with state qualifier Walt Gibson (SVSM). Dobben turned around that second loss at sectionals, defeating Gibson in the rematch by a 12-8 score while earning the title. He opened his district tournament with consecutive wins that included another victory over McPeak (14-7). Dobben fell 2-1 to Wrobel in the semis setting up a go-to-state match with Spencer Nagy in his home gym. Andy won a tight 1-0 bout to advance to the state tournament for a second consecutive year. That match demonstrated the tight level of competition at this weight, when the margin between the highest state placer from the district and the 5th place finisher in the district is a 1-0 bout. Dobben would win the rubber match with Gibson 3-1 to finish 3rd at Alliance. Andy won his first match at state in OT, besting Richard Jackson (Toledo C.C.) 4-2, and then he shut out district champ Dalton Hartshorn (Minerva) 3-0 in the quarters moving him a match away from a state finals birth. Unluckily for Dobben, the semifinal match was a bout with one of the top wrestlers in the nation, Micah Jordan. After the semifinal loss, Dobben dropped a 7-3 bout to Caden Herron, (Claymont) but ended with a 7-3 victory over Tyler Wiederholt (Bellbrook) to place 5th. Dobbenís weight in 2015 could be determined by where the team feels that he has the best shot at a state title which could result in a return to 145. At either weight, heís a legit finals contender and a threat to everyone at this district.
Nick Wrobel also placed at state last year, finishing 7th after changing schools from Lake Catholic to Crestwood. Wrobel got a late start (possibly due to changing schools), but finished a solid 2nd at the PTC tournament, falling in OT to Zack Lake in the finals. Two weeks later, Wrobel won the West Branch sectional, pulling out a 3-0 overtime win over Spencer Nagy in the finals. He earned his first state tournament birth after three close wins including the 2-1 semifinal triumph over state placer Andy Dobben. After another loss to Lake in the district finals, Wrobel entered the state tournament as a district runner-up. He claimed a close win in his opening bout at state with a 3-2 victory over Ben Petersen (Oak Harbor). Wrobel suffered a first period pin at the hands of the transcendent Micah Jordan in the quarters, but moved past the loss with a 9-4 victory against Dallas Ambos (Wapakoneta) to earn state placement. Wrobel again demonstrated the ability to bounce back from a loss with a 6-5 win in a rematch with Ben Petersen in their 7th place match, after Nick lost a 3-1 bout with Tyler Wiederholt (Bellbrook) in the consolation quarters. Heís already shown the ability to beat Dobben, now heíll need to show himself that he can beat Lake to earn a district title.
Zack Lake may be a bit overlooked and under-ranked by me, given the fact that he actually won this district tournament over the likes of Dobben and Wrobel last year. Lake looked solid at the Dies tournament, where he finished 3rd with two wins over the impressive freshman state qualifier Zach Steiner (Norwayne). He suffered a 6-5 dual meet loss to Walt Gibson in their state duals match, but came back a week later to win his conference tournament over Wrobel. After rolling through the sectional field, Lake strung together a phenomenal district tournament to emerge with the title. The Comet junior drew Spencer Nagy in the quarters after a first round pin. This was a match that I felt would be a toss up, but Lake emphatically proved me wrong coming away with a dominating 14-3 victory. He next won a shootout in the semis, reversing the earlier loss to Walt Gibson with an 11-9 victory. If there were any other doubts around Lake, he put them to bed with a 3-0 shutout of Wrobel in the finals to earn the top spot on the district podium. Lakeís fortunes turned at state where he was pinned twice after a first round overtime win against Dallas Ambos. Despite his misfortunes at the Schott, Lake had a phenomenal season, and he could certainly pull a state finals appearance this season as he continues to improve.
Chris Jackson is another valuable cog in the Northwest machine. Just a match away from placement at the district tournament last year, he lost a close 5-4 bout to Dan Amato a week after besting the same wrestler in their sectional semifinal match. His other loss at Alliance was a 5-1 match against state placer Wrobel in the quarterfinals. Jackson also posted a 5th place finish at Cambridge early in the year and had some mixed mid season results. However, like so many others Northwest wrestlers, he was peaking at the most important time last year, tournament time.
Dominic Cooper is the third of the Canfield middle school state champions from last year. Itís difficult to tell how immediate an impact these middle weight freshmen can have on the district landscape, but Iíve got faith that they will be in prime form come tournament time. Cooper won the state title with an exciting 7-5 win over Edisonís Sam Stoll. Iím intrigued to see how many of the three state champs Canfield can advance to Columbus in their first year of varsity wrestling.
Anthony Vetturini surprised me at the end of last year. After failing to place at Aurora, Olentangy Liberty, and the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament, he won the Lake Catholic sectional, beating Josh Romano 5-4 in the semifinals. Vetturini opened the district tournament with two pins including an impressive overtime fall against a sturdy Chris Dynowski (Streetsboro). He would drop three straight to close the season, but could certainly make some noise for qualification at these open middle weights in 2015 if he can build off of the excellent end to the season that he posted in 2014.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:55 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Ben Knaus-SVSM (SQ)
2. Jordan Radich-Howland (5th district, SQ 2013)
3. Kristian Jackson-Alliance (8th state)
4. Eric Fasnacht-Padua (5th district)
5. Evan Schenk-Perry
6. Marcus Howells-Crestwood

Man do the St. Vís kids get a lot of matches. Between high quality tournaments and duals, the Fighting Irish schedule prepares these wrestlers for the post season, if they can survive the gauntlet of the regular season. Ben Knaus may have been the most improved wrestler on a good SVSM squad last year. Frequently, wrestlers will make their greatest strides between their freshman and sophomore years, and Knaus has certainly fit that formula so far qualifying for state after a 3rd place finish at the Alliance district. Ben grabbed placement at tournaments throughout the year, finishing 8th at the Hephner, 5th at Perry, and 7th at Top Gun. Knaus drew state placer Andrew McNally (Lake) in the first round at Top Gun, losing a 7-2 bout to the standout sophomore, but he took the hard road back, winning 5 straight matches to earn placement, including a 6-3 victory over state alternate Garrett Poling (Jackson). Knaus finished 2nd to state placer Jeff Hojnacki (CVCA) at the SVSM sectional, and after an opening round win at Alliance, Knaus dropped a 9-8 match to West Branch senior Colin Boswell in the quarters. Ben once again took the difficult consolation road back to placement, beating Quincy Harvey (Kenmore) 6-4, impressive freshman Evan Schenk (Perry) 1-0 in a rematch of an earlier match won by Schenk, and state alternate Eric Fasnacht (Padua) 6-4 to punch through to state. Knaus closed out his district tournament with a pin over eventual state placer Kristian Jackson in their third place match. In Columbus, Knaus finished a match shy of placement, rebounding from a 2-1 opening round loss to Garrett Jordan (Graham) to pin Alex Arbogast (Dover) on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Knaus ran into the eventual state bronze medalist Reyse Wallbrown (Indian Lake), and his season ended on Friday morning. With ST. Vís track record of developing wrestlers, I think weíll likely see Knaus on the podium of the Schottenstein Center by the end of this season.
I have no idea what weight Radich will end up at this season. Itís possible that teammate Whisler will be at 160 or 170, and we could see Jordan anywhere from 152 to 170. He started last year at 152 and eventually made the jump to 160 after Whisler dropped to 152, so he could make his way back down to either of those weights or jump up to 170. Wherever he resides, the 2x defending EOWL champ will make a serious push for a return trip to state after a yearís absence. Last season, Radich finished 2nd at 152 at the Hudson tournament, losing a 10-8 shootout with state-placer Dejon Moss (Maple Hts.) in the finals. After making the leap to 160, Radich was 3rd at Wadsworth, where he impressively defeated state qualifier Shane Mast (Wadsworth) in the bronze medal match. Radich pinned Anthony Audi (Poland) in the EOWL finals in a weight that state qualifier Mason Hughes finished 3rd. Jordan pinned Audi again in the sectional semis, but Mason Hughes emerged with the sectional title after defeating Radich 4-2. Radich wrestled 6 matches at the Alliance district and 5 of them were decided by one point (the other was a two point match). He bested a quality Cameron Winters (Perry) 9-8 in the first round, but was upset by Dalton Cox the sophomore from Northwest in the quarterfinals. Radich beat Audi for a third time on the season with a 3-2 victory in the consolation rounds, and he followed that up with an 8-6 win over district placer Ryan McCullough to earn a go-to-state bout with Mason Hughes, The West Branch Warrior proved that the first victory was not merely home field advantage as Hughes knocked off Radich by a 3-2 count. Radich bounced back with a 2-1 triumph in a rematch with Dalton Cox to earn the alternate honors at Alliance. Jordan has the advantage of training with Whisler every day, and that combined with his overall talent, will likely net him a return trip to Columbus.
Kristian Jackson deserved a lot of credit for his performance last year. A solid wrestler, he had an up and down season, but pulled it together at the most important time to earn a spot on the podium in Columbus. Jackson went 1-2 at his home Top Gun Tournament, but followed up with a solid 3rd place finish at the EOWL tournament, while besting a good Anthony Mancini (Boardman) in the consolation semis. He coasted to the West Branch sectional finals, but was pinned by David-Brian Whisler (Howland) in the title match. Jackson had the advantage of a home district tournament, and he responded well, making the quarterfinals before falling to Jeff Hojnacki. The loss didnít seem to slow him down, as he won three straight, including a 13-7 go-to-state bout with Colin Boswell to make his first state tournament. Jackson once again demonstrated the ability to rebound from a loss after falling to bronze medalist Wallbrown in the opening round of the state tournament. He pinned his first consolation opponent and then defeated Garrett Jordan, the wrestler who had defeated Knaus in the first round, by an 8-4 score to punch through to the medal rounds. Jackson and Spencer Nagy should continue to push each other to greater heights this year. Another interesting dynamic with the Aviator line-up is the presence of Parker Utley, Marcus Davis, and Duce Johnson. All three freshmen were middle school state placers last season, with Utley finishing 8th at 132, Davis finishing 4th at 146 and Johnson grabbing 3rd at 154. I believe that all three are attending Alliance this year, and theyíll create quite a logjam of talent in the middle weights.
Eric Fasnacht is another of the strong underclassmen contingent at this weight. He, like Knaus made great strides between his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He started off the year with a respectable 2nd place finish at Independence and went 4-2 at Brecksville. His only losses at the latter tournament were to 2x state champ Alex Mossing (Toledo C.C.) and state finalist Ben Darmstadt (Elyria), but he was able to best state qualifier Patrick Stover (Ready) 11-7 in the consolation rounds. Stover reversed that result in the finals of the CIT, beating Fasnacht 3-2 after Fasnacht defeated state qualifier Jerot Schill (Elyria Cath.) in the quarters. Despite a 4th place finish at sectionals, Fasnacht started off his district tournament with two straight wins to advance to the semifinals. The first win was a 6-4 triumph over sectional champ Evan Schenk and the second was a 7-2 victory over rangy EOWL finalist Kade Byland (Salem). After losing a semifinal bout to Hojnacki and the 6-4 consolation semi to Knaus, Fasnacht ended his season with a dominating 11-1 win over Colin Boswell to finish as the state alternate.
Evan Schenk is another young talent around this weight who come from good stock. After a 2-2 Brecksville where he was eliminated from the tournament by John Szep, Schenk posted a 4th place finish at Perry, where he defeated freshman district placer Bubba Arslanian (Aurora) 7-6 and bested Ben Knaus 4-1. Schenk again defeated Arslanian in the opening round of their conference tournament, this time by a 13-8 score. After losing in the quarterfinals, Schenk defeated 4 straight opponents to finish 3rd, including a third victory over Arslanian. Evan finished a perfect 3-0 at the Lake Catholic Sectional, defeating Szep 3-2 in the finals to reverse the previous loss. Despite dropping the opening bout at Alliance to Fasnacht, Schenk, won two consolation bouts at Alliance including a 5-4 win over Szep in the rubber match before a close 1-0 loss to Knaus to end his season.
Marcus Howells (Crestwood) is another wrestler flying under the radar around this weight. He didnít wrestle in the post season process, but did claim a 5-3 win over Schenk in their state duals match. Howells was 3rd at the PTC tournament, beating a solid Jacob Henson (Ravenna) twice and losing a 3-1 bout to state qualifier Josh Horning (Waterloo).
Henson will be another wrestler to keep an eye on at this weight. He didnít make it out of a tough sectional tournament after losing an 8-7 match with Knaus and another bout with Justin Gildar, but he placed consistently and wrestled capably throughout the course of last year. He finished 6th at the KIT, where he fell to state alternate Amier Cobb-Bradley (Shaker Hts.) in the 5th place finals, and he placed 3rd at the Hephner where he defeated a solid Brad Powell (Copley) in the consolation finals and placed ahead of Cobb-Bradley, state alternate Garrett Poling (Jackson), and Ben Knaus. Henson went 3-2 at Top Gun and finished 4th at the PTC tournament with a pair of losses to Marcus Howells.

1. David-Brian Whisler-Howland (7th, 4th state)
2. Matt Ludwig-Lake Cath. (6th state)
3. Tony Rupert-Marlington (SQ)
4. Dalton Cox ĖNorthwest (6th district)
5. Anthony Audi-Poland
6. Ryan McCullough-Padua (6th district 2013)

Iím guessing that Alex Marinelliís choice of weight will affect the state landscape at both 160 and 170 as we see wrestlers seeking a state title by avoiding the Ohio State recruit. The Howland senior David-Brian Whisler already has a middle school state title, a 4th place state finish, a 7th place state finish, and a freestyle All-American honor to his name. A high school state championship remains the elusive prey that Whisler will look to capture during his senior year. Last season, Whisler placed a respectable 8th at the brutal Ironman tournament while wrestling as one of the several independent or partial teams at the Nationís premier in-season tournament. He beat 2x state placer Nick Stencel (Clay) and claimed a little revenge against 2x state placer Ben Schram (Bellbrook) who had defeated him for third place at the state tournament the year before. His only losses were a trio of decisions to nationally ranked wrestlers in Austin Reese, Kamal Bey, and Chris Weiler. Whisler went on to win titles at Wadsworth, Hudson, the EOWL, the West Branch sectional and the Alliance district. At Hudson, he beat 2x state placer Michael Coleman (Hudson) 6-4 in the finals of his home tournament. At Wadsworth, Whisler majored state placer Robbie Bosley (Wadsworth) 9-1 in the semis and shutout 3x state placer Jeff Hojnacki (CVCA) 6-0 in the finals. David rolled to a sectional title with a pin over state placer Kristian Jackson (Alliance) in the finals, and continued his momentum with a district title, defeating Hojnacki by an identical 6-0 score in the finals. The weight cut caught up to Whisler in Columbus where he dropped a 9-8 match to emergent state finalist Mike Repko (Vermillion) in the quarterfinals and fell to eventual bronze medalist Reyse Wallbrown (Indian Lake) 6-4 in the consolation quarters. Whisler closed out his year with a 14-1 major over frequent foe Kristian Jackson. Iím confident that Whisler will exceed that placement this season and the only question is; can the future Maryland Terrapin claim his first state crown in 2015?
Matt Ludwig strung together an impressive junior year, culminating in a 6th place finish at state. He opened the year with a tournament championship at the Solon Comet Classic, where he defeated state placer Alonzo Tuner (Harvey) 7-2 in the finals. Turner would later be the wrestler that defeated Ludwig in his final match in Columbus. Mid January, Ludwig finished 2nd to Lucas Beauch (Toledo C.C.) at the CIT. Beauch is one of the more dangerous wrestlers in the state when heís on, as evidence of his dual meet win over 2x state champ Alex Marinelli can attest. In the semis at CIT, Ludwig bettered D-1 state placer Jake Conners (Elder) in a 5-2 bout. Ludwig would finish 2nd to Alonzo Turner at both the sectional and district levels, being pinned by the Harvey senior in both matches. Outside of the Turner losses, Ludwig was very impressive, pinning his way to the sectional final and dominating in his first three district bouts. In the first round at Alliance, Ludwig majored state qualifier Tony Rupert 12-3. Rupert will likely provide some of his greatest competition at Alliance this year. His next two matches were pins of district placers Ryan McCullough and Dalton Cox earning Ludwig his first state tournament birth. Matt started off his state tourney with a 7-2 win over Will Navin (Granville) before being pinned by state champ Alex Marinelli (Graham) in the quarters. Ludwig won his first consolation bout 3-2 in a rematch of the CIT finals with the ever dangerous Lucas Beauch. This victory earned Ludwig his first state medal, and he followed it up with a 9-3 victory over Caleb Horn (Amanda-Clearcreek) to advance to the consolation semis. Despite suffering losses in his final two bouts, Ludwig finished strong, taking 2x state bronze medalist Ben Schram (Bellbrook) into OT and losing a close 3-2 bout with Alonzo Turner to close out the year.
Tony Rupert was a solid wrestler that jumped up to an even higher plateau of performance last year. The Marlington junior reached his first state tournament after an impressive season. In December, Rupert finished 2nd to state placer Andrew McNally (Lake) at North Canton, besting the prolific scoring state qualifier Cody Pollitt (Olentangy) in the semis. Tony snagged 3rd place at the West Branch sectional, falling to hometown boy Mason Hughes, but also defeating a good Ricky Kollman (Crestwood) 8-2 and a sound Anthony Audi 5-2. Rupert had the unfortunate distinction of drawing Matt Ludwig in the first round of the district tournament, but reeled of 5 straight consolation wins to finish third after suffering the opening round loss. Rupert bested Dalton Cox 11-5 in their go-to-state match and then defeated Mason Hughes 4-1 in a rematch of their sectional clash. Despite suffering an abrupt 0-2 exit from Columbus, Rupert now has that experience under his belt and will be even more difficult to stop this season as he looks to make the podium.
Dalton Cox was just one of a host of Northwest wrestlers that showed significant improvement throughout the year under the coaching of Zach Meissner. He finished 3rd at Cambridge early in the year but failed to place at North Canton or Top Gun, falling 6-4 to state qualifier Mason Hughes in the consolation rounds of the latter tournament. Cox rolled to a sectional title with two major decisions and a pin, and he continued to ride that surge into the district semis after the quarterfinal win over returning state qualifier Jordan Radich. He should be a legit qualification contender in 2015, and weíll see if he and a handful of other Northwest wrestlers can make the climb onto the podium in Columbus.
Anthony Audi cobbled together a solid sophomore season, qualifying for his first district tournament after making a second consecutive EOWL final. Radich has been a bane for Audi over the last two years, defeating the Poland Bulldog at least 5 times. One encouraging note for Audi is that the 3-2 district match this past year was the closest in the series between the two, plus Audi is younger and theoretically at the steeper end of the learning curve. Anthony was 4th at the KIT, splitting two matches with state qualifier Nolan Kondik (Kenston) and defeating a good Rick Kollman 3-2 in the consolation semis. Audi beat Kollman again in the opening round of the sectional tournament, this time by a 5-1 score. From there Audi would go on to finish 4th at the dense sectional before going 1-2 at the district tournament. The Poland wrestler will look to match his brotherís feat of qualify for state in his junior year, and itís certainly within the realm of possibility that he will do just that.
Rick Kollman, Anthony Mazolla (Ravenna) and Jaret Lester (SVSM) are three other very capable wrestlers that will add depth to Alliance and push for state qualification. Lester especially will be one to keep an eye on. Two years ago he finished 2nd at the Middle School state tournament, though we could see him at 182 based on his super 32 registration weight.

1. Zeck Lehman-Revere (3rd state)
2. Brendon Winning-Ravenna (8th state)
3. Mason Hughes-West Branch (SQ)
4. Kyle Myers-Revere (5th district)
5. John Szep-Lake Cath.
6. Dylan Whyde-Norton

Zeck Lehman had one of the more impressive consolation runs at the state tournament last year. It wasnít just the fact that the Revere junior was one of eight wrestlers to come all the way back and finish 3rd after losing in the first round, but it was also the high level of talent that he defeated during his surge through the wrestle-backs. Early in the year, Lehman finished 2nd to 2x state champ Ryan Harris (Beachwood) at Beachwood and defeated Graham Falcon state placer Lane Thomas 3-1 in their dual meet. Lehman had his worst tournament of the year at the Dies. The term worst is relative here, as he finished 2-2 beating stellar freshman J.T. Brown (Elyria) but losing 1-0 to state placer Troy Lang (Brecksville) and 8-3 to state placer Craig Sloan (Garfield Hts.). Lehman would turn it around after that, winning titles at the Suburban League Tournament and the SVSM Sectional Tournament. He earned a nice 3-1 win over state qualifier Shane Mast (Wadsworth) in the championship of the Suburban League Tournament, reversing an earlier loss to the same wrestler. In the sectional final, Lehman bested state placer Brandon Winning (Ravenna) 8-6. He pinned his first two district foes to reach the semis at Alliance, prior to losing a semifinal bout with Kaz Struna (Lake Cath.). Lehman rebounded nicely, pinning Kyle Myers to qualify for state and defeating Brandon Winning for a second straight week to claim 3rd place. In the opening round of the state tournament, Lehman would square off against state placer Lane Thomas in a rematch of the dual meet won by Lehman. Thomas would emerge with the win, claiming the match by a 10-5 score. From there, Lehmanís run began. The Revere junior pinned Alex Tetzloff (Perkins), shut out Austin Robbins (Tippecanoe) 5-0, majored the champion of his district Mike Audi (Poland) 10-0, bested the impressive Alec Eisnnicher (Big Walnut) 4-3, and closed out with a 4-3 win over Russell Miller (Trace) who had just defeated state finalist Aaron Schuette (Wauseon) in his consolation semis. 182 will undoubtedly be a deep weight in D-2 this year as Lehman placed himself among the contenders in this wrestling quagmire.
Brendon Winning was sneaky good last year, grabbing his first state medal as a junior. This season, heíll push for greater placement in a crowded D-2 climate. Winning placed 5th at the KIT, soundly defeating a good Ricky Kollman (Crestwood) twice (9-1 and 12-2) while losing a pair of 2-point matches to state placer Craig Sloan and state qualifier Nolan Kondik (Kenston). Brendon finished 7th at Top Gun, pinning state qualifier Jim Brittsan (Buckeye Valley) and defeating state alternate Kyle Myers along the road. He was 2nd at the PTC and sectional tournaments, before achieving a 4th place finish at the Alliance district tournament. His most notable district wins were over the wrestlers that finished 5th and 6th winning 7-3 in rematch with Myers and besting Josh Lorence (Crestwood) 6-2 to grab his first set of state tickets. After a first sound defeat at the hands of state finalist Jimmy Sandlin (Carlisle), Winning lived up to his name by winning a resounding 13-2 bout with Zach Gibson (Bloom Carroll) in their Thursday night match. The Ravenna junior followed that victory with an even more impressive 9-7 overtime triumph over Graham senior and returning state placer Lane Thomas, earning him his first state medal. Winning lost his final two matches 7-3 to Russell Miller and 4-3 to district champ Mike Audi, but Brendon shown that he is competitive on a state level, and heíll be the third highest returning placer from that weight class this year.
We could see state qualifier Mason Hughes at a lower weight, but I just guessed that he would be up here based on the jump from 145 in 2013 to 160 last year after he started the season off at 170. Regardless, heíll certainly be in the mix for a state trip once again. Hughes started the year with a bang, pinning his way through the Riverside Rumble to claim the gold medal. He would come back from an opening round loss at Top Gun to win four straight matches and ultimately finish 8th. The most notable win was 6-4 victory over district placer Dalton Cox (Northwest). Mason finished 3rd at the EOWL tournament, but defeated the 2x EOWL champ Jordan Radich (Howland) two weeks later for the sectional title at his home school of West Branch. Just as notable was a 7-4 semifinal win over state qualifier Tony Rupert (Marlington) in the semis of the same sectional tournament. At the Alliance district, Hughes opened up with a pin over Zach Collins (Jefferson) and followed up with a solid 3-0 win over Anthony Mazzola (Ravenna) to reach his first district semifinal. Here he was given the business by state placer and district champ Alonzo Turner (Harvey) in a 23-7 setback. Give Hughes credit, he came right back and defeated 2013 state qualifier Jordan Radich for a second straight week, and this time it would be a 3-2 victory to earn him a trip to Columbus. Hughes would fall to Tony Rupert in the consolation finals in a rematch of the sectional semifinal from the week before. After losing a decision to state placer Brendan Scherer (River View) in the opening round of the state tournament, Hughes drew the dangerous Lucas Beauch in his first consolation match. Here he would be pinned late in the match, ending his season on Thursday. Iím interested to see how much Hughes can improve this season. Iím guessing that not many people pictured Hughes as a state qualifier coming into the season, but West Branch continues to get the most out of their talent. I wouldnít be surprise to see him make an appearance on the podium this year, though it will be a highly competitive weight in 2015.
Kyle Myers was a mere match away from Columbus last year and should only get better with another year under his belt. He was 3rd Cambridge only losing to state placer Brendan Scherer 6-0, 6th at Hoover where he beat a solid Johnny Minick (Lake) 4-1 , and won the Northwest sectional over a quality Evan Chenot (Coventry) 3-2. Myers also grabbed a nice win in the sectional semis where he defeated Mike Dyer (Norton) 11-7, and majored a solid Aaron Wank (mentor) 15-3 while going 2-2 at Top Gun. He pinned Logan Nagy (West Branch) in the first round at Alliance and lose a 7-3 match with state placer Winning in the quarterfinals. Myers won his first consolation bout 4-1 in a rematch of the sectional final bout with Chenot and followed it up with a pin over Vee Sealey (Harvey) to reach the consolation semis. Myers lost his go-to-state bout with state bronze medalist Lehman before ending the year with a gritty 8-7 win over Josh Lorence (Crestwood) to finish as the state alternate.
Szep is another junior with significant aspirations at this weight. He defeated Evan Schenk (Perry) 3-1 and pinned a solid Alex Goodman (Solon) at Brecksville, finished 4th at Solon, and bested D-3 state qualifier Jerot Schill 7-2 at the CIT where he just missed out on placing. Szep lost a close 3-2 sectional final rematch with Schenk, earned an opening match 5-4 win over senior Justin Gildar (Orange) at Alliance, and gave district champ David-Brian Whisler his closest district bout in an 8-3 defeat. He would lose his first consolation bout in a close 5-4 rubber match with Evan Schenk.
Dylan Whyde won the Northwest Sectional last year as only a sophomore, pinning all three foes that stepped onto the mat with him, including a finals pin over Nate Gissinger (Northwest). The next week the Norton wrestler finished 2-2 at Alliance while losing to state qualifier Ahmad Khatib (Revere) and Jake Hartman (Padua) who finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Whyde will continue to benefit from working with 3x state placer Sean Rutherford every day, looking to improve enough to punch his state ticket. Whyde also finished 4th at Hudson and 2nd at the PTC tournament where he pinned freshman state qualifier Will Bolanz (Waterloo) in the semifinals.
Joe Fornaro was also 2-2 at Alliance last year, picking up placement at all six of the other tournaments that he wrestled at last year. Fornaro bested district placer Brian Evans (Aurora) while taking 2nd at Perry, and defeated another district placer in Joshua Bialosky (Beachwood) while finishing 5th at the KIT.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:56 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Posts: 1,040
McClearn7 is on a distinguished road
1. Kyle Kremiller-Perry (4th state)
2. Tyler Rowland-Streetsboro (5th district)
3. Cody Jenkins –Woodridge (SQ)
4. Jesse Slocum-Salem (5th district)
5. Tyler Whitacre-Hubbard
6. Jaret Bunch -Canfield

Perry doesn’t have quite the firepower they had the last few years with the graduation of 2x state champ Billy Miller, 2x state placer Alec Schenk, state placer Collin Dees, and 3x state placer Aaron Gessic, but they will still be solid top to bottom. The Pirate coaching staff deserves a great deal of credit for establishing one of the best public school teams in D-2 over the last few seasons, perennially churning out one quality wrestler after another. Kyle Kremiller represents the Pirates’ best shot at an individual state title this season. The Perry senior polished off a sterling junior campaign with a 4th place finish in Columbus. He was 2nd early in the year at Independence defeating state qualifier Drew Schiemann (Madison) in the semis. Kremiller finished 4th at Brecksville, defeating Ohio state qualifiers Marshall Messer (Clyde) and Jeremiah Jones (Trace) as well as Michigan state placer Grant Tennehill (Catholic Central). His only losses were an 8-7 bout with 2x state qualifier Lenn’S Kamba (Ole. Orange) and a 3-2 bout with D-1 bronze medalist Kadin Llewellyn (Perrysburg) in the consolation finals. Kremiller rolled to a title at his home tournament, defeating D-3 state placer Glen Zaller (Grand Valley) 6-1 in the finals. Equally impressive was the fact that Kremiller defeated 3 straight state qualifiers to make the finals at Clay before a close 3-2 loss to D-1 state placer Ross Lonsway (Holl. Springfield). The first win was a 3-2 victory over D-3 bronze medalist Kyle Dieringer (Versailles), the second a 5-1 triumph over state qualifier Robbie Fusner (Central Crossing), and the final win was a 5-3 win over Matthew Lybarger (Mount Vernon) who finished 5th in D-1. Kremiller went on to win a sectional title and finished 3rd at the district tournament before starting his state tournament off with a second period pin of James Ritchie (Carlisle). In the quarterfinals, Kremiller would meet one of the state title favorites, returning state medalist Clayton Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe). Kremiller handed Bullard his first defeat of the year, emerging with a 9-3 victory over the previously 49-0 Bullard. After a 5-3 loss to Kenny Jackson (Crestwood) in the state semis, Kremiller would face another of the pre-tournament favorites, Bailey Faust, in his consolation semifinal bout. Kremiller again demonstrated impressive resolve defeating Faust by an 8-2 score. It’s very difficult to beat a great wrestler twice, especially in the same tournament. Kremiller would find that out dropping a close 5-4 match with Bullard in the consolation finals to finish 4th. There will likely be a handful of talented wrestlers returning to this weight in 2015 with legitimate state title aspirations, but Kremiller has proven that he can hang with and defeat any of them.
Tyler Rowland was the lone wrestler to defeat Kyle Kremiller at the Alliance district last year, sending the Perry wrestler into the consolation bracket. Unfortunately for Rowland, he would drop his next two matches to fall just short of state qualification. I don’t believe that Rowland will be denied a second time, as the Streetsboro senior seeks to make his first state tournament. His two losses at Alliance were a razor thin 3-2 loss to state finalist Kenny Jackson and a 6-2 defeat to 2x state qualifier Cody Jenkins (Woodridge) in the consolation finals. A week before, Rowland had defeated Jenkins 9-1 in the semifinals of the SVSM sectional tournament, but it’s been nearly impossible to defeat Jenkins in the consolation semis at Alliance over the last two years. Rowland posted impressive results all throughout last season, winning the Paul McGhee and Hudson tournaments in dominant fashion. He pinned D-1 state qualifier Monterol Johnson (Maple Hts.) in the finals of the latter tournament as well as in the consolation finals of the KIT, where he finished 3rd losing only to state champ Kyle Conel (Lakeside). Rowland was also a finalist at the Dies tournament, posting a 6-3 win over Jaret Bunch and a pin over Travis Darago (Tallmadge), both of whom will be contenders for state qualification this year.
Cody Jenkins is a bit of a conundrum. The Woodridge senior has already qualified for Columbus twice, but both of the last two years he has had to rebound from a lopsided loss to an opponent from Field to wrestle back and finish 4th. In 2013, Jenkins was pinned by Matt Hettick in the opening round at Alliance, but bounced back with 4 straight wins (3 by one point) to punch a ticket to state. This past season, Jenkins defeated Travis Darago 7-5 in the opening round of the district tournament and subsequently suffered a 15-1 loss to a very good Andy Eckhart (Field) in the quarterfinals. He came back with 3 straight wins including the defeat of Rowland to make it back to state. I’m always impressed by the gamers who save their best for the most important part of the season, and Jenkins is clearly one of those. Earlier in the year, Jenkins failed to place at both Brecksville and the Dies tournament, getting pinned by Bunch at the latter event. He would finish 2nd at the PTC tournament to state finalist Kenny Jackson, but was 4th at SVSM where he lost to Tony Adkins, who I believe was in his first year of varsity wrestling. The only way that Jenkins can top his impressive district performances of the previous two years would be if he could replicate that type of run at the Schottenstein Center this year.
The last three wrestlers that I ranked here are all EOWL wrestlers who could face each other multiple times throughout this year prior to the district tournament. Salem doesn’t get a lot of recognition, but the team has some quality young coaches on staff, and could make a return to prominence if they can get the numbers for the team up. Jesse Slocum is the Quakers best wrestler, and although they don’t wrestle a high profile schedule, the coaching staff certainly had Slocum ready for the post season last year. Jesse was 5th at the sectional tournament in 2013, but improved that placement drastically by winning his first sectional crown in 2014. His most impressive win at West Branch was a 4-3 semifinal win over 2013 state alternate Stan Socha (Canfield), a wrestler who had defeated Kyle Kremiller twice at the district tournament the year before. Slocum won his first two district bouts to earn his first semifinal birth, but was pinned by 2x state champ Aaron Adkins (SVSM) in the semis and by Jake Hartman (Padua) in the consolation semis. The junior closed out his season with a 5-4 win in the rematch with Stan Socha in the 5th place bout. Slocum jumped from 5th at sectionals to 5th at districts. The next logical step would be the jump to 5th in the state. We’ll see if he can continue to follow the trend in 2015.
Tyler Whitacre is the second EOWL wrestler at this weight with state aspirations, and like Slocum he flies a bit under the radar but should not be overlooked at this weight. Whitacre was 2nd to state finalist Kenny Jackson at sectionals, losing a respectable 3-1 bout, and finished 2-2 at the district tournament. His only losses at Alliance were a 7-6 consolation bout with 2x qualifier Cody Jenkins and a 9-3 loss to eventual state champ Tyler MacLellan (CVCA).
Jaret Bunch is another sneaky wrestler around this weight, the Canfield junior is not as high profile as many of his fellow Cardinal teammates, but is sure to make a push for qualification under the tutelage of the impressive Canfield coaching staff. Bunch finished 4th at Perry, 1st at Salem, and 6th at the Dies, where he picked up a pin over Cody Jenkins and a 5-2 win over Travis Darago. Bunch finished 4th at sectionals where he lost a three point match and a four point match to district placer Andy Eckhart. He would go 0-2 at Alliance, but wrestled Kyle Kremiller tough in a 5-1 first round bout and fell to a tough T.J. Mays (Kenmore) 6-4 in his first consolation match.

1. Sean Rutherford-Norton (3rd, 3rd, 7th state)
2. Jake Esarco-Canfield (5th district)
3. Brandon Truhn-Perry (6th district)
4. Ben Higgins-Marlington
5. Mark Weddell-Coventry
6. Josh Mason-Padua

Not only was Sean Rutherford one of eight wrestlers to lose in the opening round of the state tournament and battle all the way back to take 3rd place, but he also owns the distinction of being the only one that pinned all 5 of his consolation opponents. He’s got to be one of the only wrestlers in Ohio history to accomplish that feat. The Norton Panther is one of the most prolific pinners in the state, and the only thing that remains to be added to his prestigious resume is a state title. Sean pinned his way through the Hudson and Dies tournaments, tearing through district placer Rudy Ware (Cuyahoga Falls) twice, state qualifier Noel Caraballo (Olmsted Falls), and state qualifier Mason Hilling (Woodridge) in the process. Rutherford would never make it to the third period of any of those matches, and he rolled through the PTC and sectional tournaments untested. Sean would meet his first stern challenge of the season in the opening round of the Alliance district when he defeated Chris Williams (Harvey) 3-0. His next two matches were business as usual as he pinned Hilling for a third time in the quarters and Brandon Truhn in the semis. State placer Dre’k Brumley (SVSM) handed Rutherford his first loss of the season in the district finals. Brumley was a heavyweight state placer as a sophomore in 2013, but made the drop to 220 for the post season in 2014. Unfortunately, Rutherford’s 2014 state title dreams ended Thursday night in a 3-2 overtime loss to a very good Tylor Pritchard (Upper Sandusky). Undeterred by the setback, Rutherford would pin southwest district champ Michael Crockett (Franklin) and northwest district champ Chris Norwood (Toledo C.C.) to start off his consolation comeback. Rutherford claimed vengeance in his next two matches, defeating both of the wrestlers that had beaten him in 2014. First he stuck Dre’k Brumley to get revenge for the district final defeat, and then he pinned Pritchard in the rematch of their first round overtime bout. Rutherford squared off against 2x state placer and fellow pin-fiend Harrison Hoppel in the consolation finals. Rutherford completed the comeback with a fall to end his season with a second state bronze medal. It’s been reported that Rutherford may drop to 195 to compete this season, but regardless of weight he’ll be among the favorites for a state title.
Jacob Esarco is yet another key cog in Canfield’s talented young line-up, and the junior will look to improve upon a sophomore year in which he finished a match away from state. Esarco posted a championship at the Perry Pin City Tournament, defeating state qualifier Moose Al-Najjar (North Olmsted) 5-3 for the title. He would follow that up win with a 6th place finish at a deep Dies Tournament. Jacob pinned state alternate Paul Flowers (Beachwood) and defeated state qualifier Mitch Murray (Norwayne) in the consolation rounds of this tournament. The sophomore claimed a 2nd place finish at the EOWL tournament, dropping a match to state placer Adontis Watson (Alliance) in the finals. Esarco would win the sectional title with a 5-3 semifinal win over Ben Higgins and a pin over state alternate Mike Bell (Howland) in the finals, while Watson finished 3rd. Due to the district bracketing, Esarco may have actually hurt his chances at qualifying for state by winning the sectional. He won his first two matches convincingly before being pinned in the semis by Brumley. After that Esarco suffered an 8-6 setback to two-time state qualifier Mason Hilling in the go-to-match, while Watson who was 3rd at the same sectional had a go-to-state match against Brandon Truhn. Esarco would go on to defeat Truhn 7-2 in the alternate match.
Both Esarco and Truhn will be considered favorites for qualification out of Alliance this season.
We could see Truhn make the jump back up to heavyweight where he was at as a sophomore now that 2x state champ Billy Miller has graduated. Truhn started last season with a 4th place finish at Independence where he pinned Mark Weddell in the quarterfinals, and that is significant because Weddell is the type of opponent that Truhn could see in a go-to-state match at Alliance this year. After a 2-2 finish at Brecksville, Truhn was 5th at his home tournament, defeating a solid James Henderson (Euclid) twice. Clay may have been Truhn’s most impressive tournament. The junior lost his first match, but rolled off six straight victories to take grab 3rd place, reminiscent of Rutherford’s state run. His final three win were a 9-3 decision over district placer Kyle Lhamon (Bath), a pin over Devon Richards (Delta) who was 5th in the state in D-3, and a pin over D-1 state qualifier Chandler Evanichko (Grove City) in their third place bout. Truhn went on to shut out Josh Mason 7-0 during their state duals match, and claimed his first sectional title while defeating Chris Williams, a wrestler he had lost to twice before. Brandon started off with two wins at Alliance to make the semis, but fell to state placers Rutherford and Watson in his advancement matches before losing the 7-2 decision to Esarco in their 5th place match.
Ben Higgins, a junior to be, has already qualified for the district tournament twice. He should be on the cusp of state qualification this year, and we’ll see if he can summon the necessary push to propel him to Columbus. His most impressive win last year was a 3-1 dual meet victory over state 6th place finisher Adontis Watson. Higgins finished 4th at the West Branch sectional, earning an overtime win over a solid Doug Battiest (Crestwood) to push through to district. Though he lost two matches at West Branch, they were a 5-3 match with state alternate Esarco and a 7-3 rematch with Watson. Higgins was 1-2 at Alliance, defeating Joe Federico (Lake Cath.) 5-0 and dropping matches to state placer Brumley and state qualifier Hilling.
Mark Weddell also notched a win over Federico at Alliance but suffered losses to Brumley and Watson (5-3) in his next two matches. Weddell only lost to high level talent last year, finishing 7th at Independence, going 3-2 at the Dies losing 9-3 and 2-0 to state qualifiers Mitch Murray and Devin King (Sheridan). He’ll be an integral part of a quality Coventry team that could be top 5 in the district.
Josh Mason narrowly missed out on district qualification last year, but should be a significant player in the state qualification landscape this season. His two losses at sectionals were 3-1 to Allen Viancourt (Lake Cath.) and 5-3 to Michael Meadows (CVCA), both quality wrestlers.
Two other names to keep an eye on at this weight are David Blanchard (Buchtel) and Brandon Matlock (Howland) who finished 3rd and 7th at the Middle School state tournament last year. Traditionally, it’s been more difficult for upper weights to make the immediate impact that lightweights make on the district and state landscape, but more and more we are seeing freshman upper weights emerging varsity ready.

1. Dre’k Brumley-SVSM (8th, 7th state)
2. Mike Bell-Howland (5th district 2013)
3. Shawn Barnes-Alliance
4. Mitchell Bischoff-Norton
5. Isaiah Pope-Cleveland C.C.
6. Ben Cipa-Tallmadge

All six of the heavyweight placers from last year’s Alliance District graduated, but between the 220s that are likely to move up and the potential of the talented underclassmen, there should be solid competition at 285 once again.
Brumley made a surprise drop to 220 last year for the post season tournaments, and it resulted in his first district title over one of the state title favorites, Sean Rutherford (Norton). Brumley would have an up and down state tournament resulting in him placing 8th and coming away with his second state medal. Whether he returns to 285 where he wrestled most of last season and placed 7th in the state as a sophomore, or makes the drop back down to 220, he’ll play a significant roll in the state title picture. Brumley was 2nd at the Perry Pin City Tournament, losing in the finals to 2x state champ Billy Miller at his home tournament. At Perrysburg, he lost in the first round to D-3 state placer Chance Veller (Delta) but battled back with 4 consolation wins to finish 3rd. The final win was a 33 second pin in the rematch with Veller. Brumley went out at 2-2 at Top Gun, but defeated Shawn Barnes, another contender at this weight, in a 7-1 second round bout. Dre’K made the cut to 220 for sectionals and looked dominant with 3 pins including a first period fall over state qualifier Mason Hilling (Woodridge) in the finals. Brumley steamrolled to the district final with a 13-2 major and two pins before knocking off 3x state placer Sean Rutherford 6-4. He opened his state tournament with a default win against state placer Kordell Chaney (Perkins), but lost his quarterfinal bout 3-1 to 2x state placer Harrison Hoppel (Minerva). Brumley earned his second state placement with a 15-10 win over the capable freshman Reece Human (Carlisle) before being pinned by Rutherford in the rematch of their district final. His season would end on a 5-2 sour note to Chaney in the rematch of their opening round bout. However, Brumley will certainly be among the favorites at this weight for the 2015 tournament as he looks for his first state wrestling title to pair with his football championships.
Mike Bell’s path mirror’s Brumley’s in that he wrestling at heavyweight in 2013, started last year at 285, but eventually made his way down to 220. In 2013, Bell finished as the state alternate at 285, defeating 2014 state qualifier Kostas Parrish (University) in the 5th place bout. While at heavyweight, Bell finished 2nd to state placer Josh Burger (Aurora) at the Hudson tournament while suffering a 2-1 OT loss to the Aurora Greenman in the finals. Bell’s semifinal win was a 4-3 OT match with the brawny Samson Demand (Cuyahoga Falls). Bell also won a 3-0 state duals match with heavyweight state alternate Curtis Burns (Canfield) before making the cut to 220. After making the drop, Bell pinned his way to the tournament title at Wadsworth, and finished 3rd at the EOWL tournament, losing a close bout with state placer Adontis Watson (Alliance) in the semis. Bell reversed that result, beating Watson 3-1 in overtime in the sectional semis, before getting pinned by state alternate Jacob Esarco (Canfield) for the sectional title. Unfortunately, Bell did not participate in the district tournament last season, but hopefully he’ll be back this season contending for a state birth.
Shawn Barnes came on strong at sectionals last year. The sophomore claimed a 12-5 victory over district qualifier Jarrod Webb (Marlington) in the first round and then pinned eventual state alternate Curtis Burns (Canfield) in the semifinals. Barnes had mixed results at his two home tournaments, going 1-2 at the Alliance district tournament but defeating district placer Jerrad Cox (Northwest) and sectional champion Will Kanters (Jackson) at the Top Gun Tournament. Barnes also claimed a win over state qualifier Cody Martsolf (Beaver Local) at the EOWL tournament while finishing 3rd.
I expected Mitchell Bischoff to reside at heavyweight last year after backing up state placer Rutherford and solid heavyweight John Glas in 2014. However, with the recent revelation that Rutherford may drop to 195, we could see Bischoff stay at 220. Either way, last year’s reserve wrestler will be this year’s state qualification contender. In his limited tournament action last year, Bischoff finished 3rd at Smithville and Hudson, only losing 2-1 to state qualifier Mitch Murray (Norwayne) in the former and to district placer Rudy Ware (Cuyahoga Falls) at the latter tournament. Among his wins at Hudson was a 6-0 shutout of district placer Jeff Virden (New Philadelphia) in the opening round.
I love rooting for the underdog, and it’s hard not to consider Cleveland C.C. and underdog in wrestling. I knew basically nothing about Isaiah Pope last year, but he finished a respectable 2nd place at the SVSM sectional and went on to win a district bout with a pin over Jarrod Webb. He could see Webb again at Alliance this year, as both wrestlers return to a weight that will likely have several unheralded wrestlers making the push for qualification. It should also be noted that Pope finished 5th at the CIT tournament where he pinned a solid Marcus Desantis (Lake Cath.) in his last match.
Ben Cipa didn’t participate in the post season tournament process, but he looked solid in his varsity action last year. He was 3rd at Smithville, losing only to John Glas, posted two pins over district qualifier Carl Roman (Revere), and pinned district qualifier Jeremy Randolph (Wadsworth) in their dual meet. Both of the previous two wrestlers mentioned finished a match shy of placement at their respective district tournaments.
Another wrestler to consider is Tyreek Daniels (Hubbard) who was a district qualifier as a freshman, pinning Shawn Barnes at sectionals and defeating state alternates Mike Bell and Corley Lamb (Jackson-Milton) at the 2013 EOWL tournament. However, his results were limited last year, and it’s possible that he’ll be focusing exclusively on football going forward.
I almost overlooked the fact that we will see another Sharp at 285 for West Branch this year. After an impressive history of state placing heavyweights, the sophomore Ian will take over the reigns for the Warriors. Previously Seth (3rd-place), Nathan (2nd, 1st, 1st,), Connor (3rd, 4th), and Logan (2nd) have earned 7 state medals for West Branch. I’m not sure just how good Ian can be, but history suggests that he will be very good. In his limited action last year as a freshman, Ian finished 2nd at the Riverside Rumble (to Logan) pinning district qualifier Norman Benjamin (Girard) in the semifinals.

A special thanks to Baum’s Page, Track Wrestling, Boro, Fan and Jake’s Wrestling, for being extremely helpful in compiling wrestling results and weight class information and of course a thanks to the Godfather, Brian Brakeman who started it all.

-Max Pearce

Last edited by McClearn7; 10-13-14 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:57 PM
cruiser_96 cruiser_96 is offline
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Old 10-09-14, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiser_96 View Post
So good, and I only laugh because I know you're joking.

Seriously, this is amazing. Thanks so much for the hard work that went into it.
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Old 10-09-14, 08:06 PM
benedictine proud benedictine proud is offline
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simply amazing and thank

you have done a fantastic job and the effort is appreciated
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Old 10-09-14, 08:23 PM
northwest ohio northwest ohio is offline
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Good work. That was a good read.
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Old 10-09-14, 10:00 PM
NWD NWD is offline
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Absolute pleasure to read. Thank you!
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Old 10-09-14, 11:57 PM
Boro Fan Boro Fan is online now
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Originally Posted by cruiser_96 View Post
Had to google it, you taught me something new!
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Old 10-10-14, 05:43 AM
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These young kids and their slang.
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Old 10-10-14, 06:54 AM
cruiser_96 cruiser_96 is offline
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Here's the crazy thing... I know a fair amount of names from that district (I'm a Columbus guy, mainly D-I, so a lot of times, names and weights from other areas and divisions don't stick) but that entire read was legit. BIG TIME PROPS, good sir.

Also, I really enjoyed the 126 write-up. I think, if those kids all stay, that weight will be a donnybrook.
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Old 10-10-14, 07:20 AM
mrroosevelt mrroosevelt is offline
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Well done. Very well done.
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Old 10-10-14, 08:17 AM
Blast Double Blast Double is offline
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I'm sure a lot of these kids will be at different weights, but your number one 126 Georgio was wrestling 145 this summer at the Cadet Duals.
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Old 10-10-14, 10:01 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Originally Posted by Blast Double View Post
I'm sure a lot of these kids will be at different weights, but your number one 126 Georgio was wrestling 145 this summer at the Cadet Duals.
I'm sure you're right about that. There'll be a lot of changes over the year. I heard that Poullas doesn't cut over the summer, and he is registered at 126 for the Super 32 tournament which is at the end of the month.
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Old 10-10-14, 11:05 AM
FirestoneFan FirestoneFan is offline
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Excellent job McClearn7!! I'm getting ready for the season and the sectionals I will rank. Your take will be invaluable and the insight on the incoming freshman is appreciated.
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Old 10-10-14, 11:20 AM
toledodean toledodean is offline
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Great read from (the formally)BG DII guy. Also great accolades to wrestlers outside of your district, in the context of the Alliance guys.
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Old 10-10-14, 12:37 PM
RCR RCR is offline
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Great read, as always. Nice job!! Spot on.
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Old 10-10-14, 01:59 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'll be doing these for all the D-1 and D-2 districts and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get to D-3 before the season starts.

Last edited by McClearn7; 10-10-14 at 06:22 PM.
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