By Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe)
Close to 40 teams slated for Central Ohio meet, Brecksville & St. Edward face formidable tests
This past weekend was a dual meet heavy weekend, the peak of which came in a quadrangular at St. Edward this past Saturday. Discussion of the happenings in dual meets involving St. Edward, Wadsworth, Claymont, and Westerville North can be found in a special edition of the Ohio Lowedown that was posted on Sunday, http://www.jjhuddle.com/2014/01/05/ohio-lowedown-special-coverage-claymont-upends-st-edward-strange-wrestling-season-continues/
A similar pattern of events is the case for this coming weekend, a mixture of dual meets with some tournaments.
Brecksville travels to Detroit Catholic Central for four stern matchups
Ranked No. 24 nationally this past week, the Bees will travel to Novi, Michigan to wrestle four formidable foes on Saturday. Three of those matchups will come against fellow members of the InterMat Fab50 in Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), St. Johns (Mich.), and Montini Catholic (Ill.); while the fourth match will come against Dundee, which is ranked No. 2 in Michigan’s Division 3. Brecksville will be underdogs against Montini Catholic, in tossup matches against DCC and St. Johns, and slight favorites against Dundee.
Blair Academy, N.J. humbles Ohio’s best
This past weekend, No. 1 in the nation Blair Academy traveled to Ohio for dual meets against Massillon Jackson and Massillon Perry on Friday night, and then against St. Paris Graham on Saturday night. While Massillon Perry and St. Paris Graham are favored to win state titles in Ohio’s Division I and Division II, they provided limited challenge for the nation’s best squad.
A recap of Blair Academy’s 37-15 victory over Massillon Perry was posted here, http://intermatwrestle.com/articles/12499
Saturday night’s dual meet opened up well for the host Falcons, as Justin Stickley earned a 2-1 victory over Zach Sherman at 106 pounds. However, hopes of a potential upset were shot in the night’s second match when Blair Academy’s Requin van der Merwe upset No. 7 in the nation Eli Stickley by a 3-0 score at 113 pounds. No. 17 Charles Tucker of Blair further exacerbated things with a fall in 2:58 against Mario Kastl at 120 pounds. The dual meet lead was extended to 12-3 after Matthew Kolodzik defeated Eli Seipel 5-4 in a Walsh Ironman finals rematch at 126 pounds.
Brent Moore provided temporary relief for the Falcons with an 8-3 decision victory over returning National Prep placer Alex Rinaldi at 132. However, No. 1 in the nation Joey McKenna was quick to stretch the Blair lead to 16-6 with a 10-2 major decision victory over freshman sensation Kyle Lawson. St. Paris Graham cut that deficit to 16-11 at the intermission with a 23-8 technical fall for No. 1 in the nation Micah Jordan against returning National Prep runner-up Walker Dempsey.
Mason Manville, ranked No. 8 nationally at 152 pounds, countered with a 10-2 major decision over Garrett Jordan. With No. 2 Dylan Milonas absent from Blair Academy’s lineup, No. 6 Alex Marinelli was able to cut into the visiting Buccaneers’ lead with a pin at the 5:02 mark over Michael Monica. At that point, the dual meet score was 20-17 Blair Academy.
No. 18 in the nation Brandon Dallavia would respond with an 18-3 technical fall at 170 pounds to stretch the Blair lead out to 25-17. St. Paris Graham countered with a 13-9 decision victory at 182 pounds from returning state placer Lane Thomas, the team’s normal 170 pound wrestler. However, the nation’s best team would close out the dual meet with three consecutive wins: National Prep placer David Shownmi majored Graham reserve Kavan Sarver 12-3; Neil Putnam won a 5-4 ultimate tiebreaker decision over state alternate Josh Couchman, who was strategically moved up one weight class from normal; and Will Cooley earned a fall in 1:30 over Brandon Hays.
St. Edward hosts another Fab50 team on Saturday afternoon
Starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, there will be another quadrangular meet in Lakewood, as St. Edward will take on Toledo Central Catholic, Marysville, and nationally ranked Marmion Academy (Ill.) in dual meet competition. Key individual wrestlers for each squad are as follows:
106: Josh Venia (TCC), Allan Hart (SE)
113: L.J. Bentley (SE), Anthony Bosco (Marm), Hayden Lee (Mar), Josh Portillo (TCC)
120: A.J. Jaffe (Marm), Mason Daugherty (SE)
126: Johnny Jimenez (Marm)
132: Nate Hagan (TCC), Hunter Ladnier (SE), Michael Callahan (Marm)
138: David Sparks (Mar), Josh Mossing (TCC)
145: Taleb Rahmani (Mar), Ray Barr (SE), Matt Ferraro (Marm), Richard Jackson (TCC)
152: Alex Mossing (TCC), Trace Carello (Marm)
160: Sammy Breen (Marm)
170: Nick Ferraro (Marm), Kevin Khoma (SE)
182: Gabe Dzuro (SE), Nathan Traxler (Marm)
195: Mike O’Malley (SE), Josh Meyers (Marm)
220: Austin Pfarr (Mar), Parker Knapp (SE)
285: Ralph Nichols (SE), Darius Walker (Mar), J’Quan Fisher (TCC)
Lexington emerges with yet another J.C. Gorman title
Despite trailing after day one by 16 points, and having two less semifinalists then the day one leader Sandusky Perkins, Lexington emerged with a third consecutive title at the J.C. Gorman and a seventh in eight seasons. The Minutemen rode a 4-3 semifinal record, three champions, and ten total top six placers to 227-1/2 points and an almost 30 point victory over the Pirates. While the runner-up team did place in 12 weight classes, they only went 3-6 in semifinals, had no champions, and had six of those placers finish either fifth or sixth.
Anchoring the championship effort for the Minutemen were weight class champions Brandon Leynaud, who pinned a pair of returning D3 state placers on the way to his title at 126 pounds; Drew Kasper, who earned a 7-4 overtime decision victory over returning D1 state qualifier Traevon Dickerson from Mansfield in the final; and Bailey Faust, who extended his season record to 30-0 with an 8-0 major decision victory over returning D3 state placer Ryan Weber of Loudonville in the 195 pound final. Chuck Mikelait was 2nd at 145 pounds, while Jon Watkins and A.J. Parr bounced back from early round losses to finish 3rd at 138 and 152 respectively.
Among the other highlights of the championship finals were returning D3 state placer Alex Smith (Sandusky SMCC) defeating D1 state qualifier Jake Donahue (Massillon) 7-5 at 113 pounds, returning D2 state qualifier – now competing in D3 – Major Moore (Willard) pinning returning D3 third in the state Wes Fritz (Norwalk St. Paul) in 3:27 at 132 pounds, and Jesse Palser (Mansfield) defeating returning D2 state qualifier Brock Nagel (Bryan) 7-4 at 170 pounds.
Complete results and brackets – http://www.hswrestling.com/results/jcg/index
Quad meet at Oregon Clay features Division I board contenders
Oregon Clay, which is located just outside of Toledo, will host Elyria, Lorain, and Loveland for a quad matchup of Division I squads. The host Eagles view themselves as a legitimate top ten in the state tournament contenders, so do the squads from Elyria and Loveland; while Lorain is looking to grow as a program in the initial season under head coach Mark Moos.
The following wrestlers for each squad appeared in the mid-season top 16, and/or are otherwise notable.
106: Devione Edwards (Lorain), Nick Henneman (OC)
120: Armando Torres (Elyria), Brandon Tucker (Loveland)
126: Jared Davis (OC), Nico O’Dor (Elyria)
132: Richie Screptock (OC)
138: Gavin Nelson (OC), Darrion Overall (Elyria)
152: Ben Darmstadt (Elyria), Jordan Paul (Loveland)
160: Nick Stencel (OC), Taylor Workman (Elyria)
170: James Caniglia (Loveland), Luther Washington (Lorain)
182: Matt Stencel (OC), Michael Weber (Loveland), Austin Kuchta (Lorain)
195: Gunner Gambill (Loveland), Adam Kuchta (Lorain)
220: Seth Brennock (Loveland), Connor Kamczyc (Elyria)
285: Andrew Alten (Loveland), Antonio Zapata (OC), Kevin Vough (Elyria)
Couple of state champion nuggets
Two-time state finalist, and 2012 state champion, Cameron Kelly of Bellbrook made his season debut this past weekend in the Bellbrook Invitational at 126 pounds. Kelly had suffered a major injury in the Super 32 Challenge just over two months earlier. He was dominant with a pin and two technical falls in the event. It will be interesting to see if he drops to 120 pounds or stays at 126, where defending state champions Eli Seipel (St. Paris Graham) and Anthony Tutolo (Lake Catholic) loom present.
In the Saturday afternoon championship bout of the Perry Pin City Invitational at 182 pounds, Alec Schenk of Perry – third at 160 pounds in Division II last year – upset defending Division II state champion Aaron Adkins of Akron SVSM by 3-2 decision. Schenk was one of five Perry wrestlers to win weight class titles on the way to a tournament title for the Pirates, who scored 404.5 points to outlast Canfield (336.5) and Akron SVSM (306.5).
Multitude of talent to be at Marion County Fairgrounds Coliseum this weekend
Close to 40 teams will be present for the Marion County Invitational to be held at the Fairgrounds Coliseum this coming Friday and Saturday. The tournament will start with preliminary pools and narrow down to tiers of brackets. Notable teams in the field include Waynedale, Archbold, Dayton Christian, and Sandusky Perkins.
The field includes just over 40 wrestlers with state tournament experience, most notably five wrestlers each with state tournament credentials in the 120, 152, and 220 pounds. In fact, the 120 and 152 pound weight classes feature the lone state champions in the field – Garrett Hancock (Troy Christian) and Jake Danishek (Dayton Christian).
Hancock will be sternly tested by returning state placer Evan Cheek (Milan Edison), whom he could see in the Division III state final come March; along with returning state qualifiers in Damion Short (Archbold), Michael May (Dayton Christian), and Raymond Raimo (River Valley).
Among those seeking to take down Danishek will be returning state placers Jamie Baldridge (Galion Northmor) and Dakota Mays (Nelsonville York), along with returning state qualifiers Dakota Stanley (Waynedale) and Kenny Price (Archbold).
In addition, the 113 and 145 pound weight classes feature three returning state place-winners respectively. State runner-up Christian Clary (Dayton Christian) anchors the 113 pound weight class with Alex Smith (Sandusky SMCC) and Khristopher Hill (Bishop Hartley) also present, along with returning state qualifier Thurston Dyer (Upper Sandusky); while returning state runners-up Logan Day (Archbold) and Nick Vestal (Dayton Christian) lead the way at 145 along with Reid Stanley (Waynedale).