By Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe)
State Wrestling Champs trying to duplicate the feat in Football; Wrestling Weekend Primer
Even though the wrestling season started this past weekend, and continues with the first “full” week of action this coming weekend, the state football playoffs still hold a dominant place in the prep sports landscape. In fact, some of the teams competing for state titles this coming weekend in Stark County are the beneficiaries of key contributions from high level wrestlers.
Cincinnati Moeller, which will be after its second straight Division I state football title on Saturday afternoon, has five potential starting wrestlers on its football squad. Dean Meyer (160/170), a state placer in 2011, is part of the running back rotation; Dakota Sizemore (170/182), a state champion wrestler at 160 pounds last year, is a starting linebacker; Quinton Rosser (182/195), a state runner-up at 182 pounds last year, plays linebacker; Chalmer Frueauf (220/285), a state champion at 220 pounds last year, leads the team in sacks as a defensive lineman; while Max Swoboda (285) is an offensive lineman.
Loveland, which is undefeated and seeks a Division II state football title on Friday night, has four starting wrestlers on its football squad. James Caniglia (170), a state qualifier last year, is a starter at defensive end; Michael Weber (182), a two-time state placer, is a starter at linebacker; Gunner Gambill (195), a two-time state placer, is a starter at running back; while Andrew Alten (285), a state qualifier in 2012, is a starter along the offensive line.
Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, which is undefeated and will be after a second straight Division III state title on Thursday evening, has two key wrestlers manning positions on a dominant defensive line. Aaron Adkins (182/195), a state champion last year at 182 pounds, starts at defensive end; while Drek Brumley (285), who placed seventh at 285 pounds, starts at defensive tackle.
One of the highlight regular season dual meets will happen this Saturday night when a pair of nationally ranked teams will match up, No. 12 Brecksville travels to No. 48 Claymont. Each squad features a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers: Austin Assad (120) and Josh Murphy (195) for the Bees, and for the Mustangs they are Tyler (106) and Dustin (113) Warner. Highlight matches in the dual meet include the three-time state placer Cody Burcher from Claymont going against state fourth placer Sonny Lucas at 138 pounds, 2012 state qualifier Caden Herron from Claymont going against notable freshman Luke Strnad at 145, a battle of state qualifiers at 182 pounds with Claymont’s Matt Dennis going against Troy Lang, and the nationally ranked Josh Murphy of Brecksville going against state alternate Colt Crall at 195.
The highlight tournament of the weekend is the Solon Comet Classic, which will be held on Friday and Saturday in the Greater Cleveland area. Championship finals for the event will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Notable among the 25 teams are Crestwood, Solon, Oregon Clay, and Toledo Central Catholic – all of whom made the regional finals of last year’s state dual meet tournament. Anchoring the tournament field from an individual standpoint is a pair of returning state champions in Anthony Tutolo (126) of Lake Catholic and Alex Mossing (138/145) of Toledo Central Catholic.
Another dual meet between nationally ranked teams will come on Saturday in Lakewood, when No. 24 St. Edward takes on No. 11 Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.) as part of a triangular meet. Both teams will also wrestle CVCA in dual meet action. St. Edward will likely be without the services of three starters due to their state semifinal run in football: Michael O’Malley (195), state qualifier Parker Knapp (220), and district placer Ralph Nichols (285); while the nationally ranked Shamrocks are likely to be without returning state placer Nick Giese (195) and Dylan Roney (285), as they were part of a state runner-up football team that lost in the state final this past weekend. Potential matchups of interest include a match at 120 pounds between two-time state placer Ryan Bennett of CVCA against either 2012 state qualifier L.J. Bentley or Mason Daugherty from St. Edward; Andy Dobben of CVCA going against Myles Amine of Detroit Catholic Central in a battle of state placers at 138; two-time state placer Jeff Hojnacki of CVCA going against nationally ranked Nick Bennett of Detroit Catholic Central at 152; along with the round-robin at 182 between state placer Tyler McClellan of CVCA, state qualifier Gabe Dzuro of St. Edward, and nationally ranked state runner-up Logan Marcicki of Detroit Catholic Central.
The last two events to highlight from the upcoming weekend docket are dual meet tournaments: the Moeller Duals to be held in Cincinnati on Saturday, and the Fricker’s Duals to be held at Defiance College on Friday and Saturday.
Cincinnati Moeller, which is ranked No. 12 nationally, will welcome seven other teams to the Moeller Duals on Saturday. Those teams are Akron SVSM, third at individual state last year; Centerville, state dual meet tournament qualifier; Elyria; Westerville North; Parkersburg South, third in the West Virginia Class AAA state tournament; Father Ryan, state runners-up in Tennessee’s Division II; and Louisville St. Xavier, Kentucky state champions. Ohio state tournament runners-up Armando Torres (120) of Elyria and Ryan Skonieczny (138) of Akron SVSM anchor the field among those available to compete, while St. Xavier has a returning state champ and returning state runner-up, and Father Ryan has four returning state runners-up. Teams in this event will be split into two pools of four, and wrestle a fourth match against the team placing in the same position of the opposite pool.
The Fricker’s Duals, will be held at Defiance College on Friday and Saturday. The 20-team field is anchored by Davison (Mich.), which is ranked No. 20 nationally; Hudson (Mich.), small-school state champions last year; as well as Archbold, Clyde, Lexington, and Perrysburg who were all regional runners-up in last year’s state dual meet tournament. Returning (or previous) state finalists in the field include Lincoln Olson (126), Justin Oliver (138), Matt Miller (145/152), and Jordan Cooks (170) of Davison; Roddy Hamdan (113), Isaac Dusseau (120), Cole Weaver (138), and J.D. Waters (145) of Hudson; Logan Day (145) of Archbold; Aaron Schuette (170) of Wauseon; and Seth Beard (113) of Napoleon.
Notable matchups on Friday include Hudson (Mich.) vs. Lexington and Perrysburg vs. Archbold in round 1, Clyde vs. Perrysburg in round 2, Clyde vs. Archbold in round 3, and Davison (Mich.) vs. Hudson (Mich.) in round 5. Notable matchups on Saturday include Davison (Mich.) vs. Lexington in round 6, Hudson (Mich.) vs. Archbold and Lexington vs. Perrysburg in round 7, Hudson (Mich.) vs. Perrysburg in round 8, Davison (Mich.) vs. Archbold in round 9, and Davison (Mich.) vs. Perrysburg in round 10.
Josh Lowe is currently a national high school wrestling analyst for InterMatWrestle.com and was named the 2013 OHSWCA Media Service Award winner. JJHuddle.com is proud to announce he covers wrestling for us as well. Today we introduce a new column by Lowe that will appear weekly. The topic? High school wrestling. The writer? One of the sports best. Today we welcome Josh to the roster.