Ohio Lowedown: North Canton Holiday, Beast of the East, SWOWCA among this week’s main wrestling plots


Ohio Lowedown

By Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe)

Lake edges Wadsworth, Two Ohio teams travel East, Moe the favorite in Cincy and Grove City tops HT Invite

Outside of the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, one of the bigger events this past weekend had to be the North Canton Holiday Invitational. The 54th edition of the event was a two-team show between Uniontown Lake and Wadsworth, which the Blue Streaks ended up winning 228-211.5. Each team had 10 placers inside the top six. Green (125 points) was 86 points back in third.

Lake had two weight class champions – returning state runner-up Zac Carson (145) and state qualifier Andrew McNally (160), who earned five pins (in 13:02) from his five matches. Alec Cotton was runner-up at 126 pounds, losing to Michigan state runner-up Martin Rodriguez (Holt) 1-0. A trio of wrestlers – Michael Nagy (132), Trey Sommers (182), and Chris Meffert (195) – placed third for Lake.

Wadsworth did not have a single champion, but did have three second place finishers in Noah Baughman (113), Darrin Gilkerson (132) and Shane Mast (170). Baughman beat Michigan state champion and defending tournament champion, Benny Gomez (Holt) 5-3 in the semifinal before losing 4-3 to state placer Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) in the final. Gilkerson lost 5-3 to state qualifier Justyn Bostic (Massillon Jackson) in the 132 final.  Another pair of Grizzlies placed third – Jordan Schleigh (138) and Robby Bosley (152).

JJH-LoweSomething that hurt the Grizzlies this week was the absence of two starters – Connor Gray (120), though backup Cody Surratt did placed fifth, and returning state qualifier Tim Knipl (182).

Two other schools joined Lake with a pair of champions – Bedford and Mansfield. The Bearcats got titles from state qualifier Jairod James (152) and Marquise Copeland (220), who earned five first period pins. Mansfield titles were won by Jesse Palser (170) and state qualifier Traevon Dickerson (182), who earned a 10-1 major decision over fellow state qualifier Nate Hall (Olentangy).

Additional champions included district placer Devione Edwards (Lorain), who beat state placer Shane Johnston (Tuslaw) by 13-1 major decision at 106 pounds; state placer Evan Cheek (Milan Edison) at 120; Ryan Kaminski (Green), who beat state alternate Noah Messerall (Thomas Worthington) 14-8 at 138; Ross Lonsway (Holland Springfield), who beat state qualifier Adam Kuchta (Lorain) 7-4 at 195; and Tristan Roberts (Glen Oak), who beat state qualifier John-Morgan Cunningham (Bedford), with a pin in 4:54 at 285.

Two top Ohio teams travel to Beast of the East

Two of Ohio’s best programs will travel to one of the nation’s best tournaments this weekend. No. 8 Massillon Perry and No. 12 Brecksville make the trip to Newark, Del. for the Beast of the East. The over 100 squad field features seven other nationally ranked teams and nine in all (rankings as of 12/11/13): No. 1 Blair Academy (N.J.), No. 3 Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), No. 9 Bergen Catholic (N.J.), No. 18 St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.), No. 24 Don Bosco Prep (N.J.0, No. 30 Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) and No. 37 Robinson (Va.)

SWOWCA Glenn Sample Tournament

Most of the top teams in the Cincinnati area, along with a few others from outside, will be featured in the Southwestern Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association tournament at Harrison High School. Wrestling will start at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. The field is anchored by nationally ranked (No. 13) Cincinnati Moeller, which seeks a fourth consecutive tournament title. It would also be the Crusaders ninth in 10 years.

Wrestlers after repeat titles include Mason’s Patrick Kearney (113), Elder’s Evan Morgan (145), Colerain’s Tegray Scales (195) and Moeller’s Chalmer Frueauf (220/285). Loveland’s Gunner Gambill (195) is after a third consecutive title. Four additional wrestlers won this tournament in either 2010 or 2011 and seek to add another SWOWCA title to their resumes. That group incudes Moeller’s Conner Ziegler (120), Fairmont’s Josh Parrett (126/132), Princeton’s A.J. Kowal (160) and Moeller’s Dakota Sizemore (170/182). Due to their state title participation in football, it is still uncertain if Sizemore and/or Frueauf will compete this weekend.

Even with the possibility of not having a full team, the fact that Moeller still finished top 20 at the Ironman shows they’re a legitimate title contender in this event. Other teams to watch include Marysville (with four returning state placers), Loveland (with five returning/previous state qualifiers), Mason (with their profound lineup balance), and returning state dual meet tournament qualifiers Centerville and Hamilton Ross.

Grove City wins Hamilton Township Invite

The fact that Grove City was able to put a full lineup on the mat this past Saturday was the key to its victory in the Hamilton Township Invitational. The Greyhounds had only one champion in state alternate Chandler Evanichko, who pinned returning state qualifier Alonzo Jewell of Hamilton Township in the 285 final. Five additional wrestlers placed second – Marcus Nasdusak (106), Will Marshall (113), Jake Crosby (182), Justin Belmonte (195), and Tristan Dingess (220). Cortez Marshall (120) finished third.

With half the Grove City lineup finishing in the top three, it amassed 214 points – enough to outlast the 197 put up by Hilliard Darby and the 177 put up by Clyde. In fact, the tournament’s balance was impressive as five schools had multiple champions: Groveport Madison, Hilliard Davidson, Clyde, Dublin Scioto and Hilliard Darby. Clyde and Dublin Scioto had three weight class winners.

Champions for the Fliers were Conner Avalon (126), Austin Baker (138) and returning state placer Beau Minnick (145). Scioto’s titles came from Dereal Vasser (152), Jeffrey Jarry (182) and Ras Lumpkins (220). Groveport’s titles came from Matt Miller (106) and state placer Shakur Laney (120), while state alternate Trent Gill (113) and state runner-up Bobby Smith (132) supplied Davidson’s championships. State qualifier Sean Black (160) and Zack Donatelli (170) won titles for Darby

The tournament’s other weight class champion was McClain’s Gable Smith (195).

Around the state this weekend

A few notable tournaments around the state this weekend are the Pickerington North Invitational on Saturday, the Hudson Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday and the Bowling Green Duals to be held Saturday and Sunday.


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