Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe) 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. The topic? High school wrestling. The writer? One of the sports best.
What wrestlers, teams to watch and where…
After what was a very busy weekend right before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, this coming weekend is a relatively light one. The end of the season “push” looms, there’s the state dual tournament opening rounds in the middle of next week, and a decent number of schools are ending their first semester this week.
A couple of significant one day pool-to-bracket events are on the docket for Saturday, one in Northeast Ohio and another in Central Ohio.
Grizzly Invitational Tournament at Wadsworth
Even with St. Paris Graham, which won last year’s tournament, choosing not to come this year – it’s still a very good field of teams coming together for Saturday’s event at Wadsworth. The field is anchored by the hosts, nationally ranked Olentangy Liberty, and Canon-McMillan (who is in contention for the third qualifying spot for the Pennsylvania Class 3A state duals out of the WPIAL). Also in the field are Top Gun runners-up LaSalle as well an Aurora team that is favored to be in a state duals regional final.
Below is a list of individual contenders in this tournament.
106: Brakan Mead (Olentangy Liberty), Jacob Decatur (CVCA), Lucas Byrd (LaSalle), Jack Gorman (Aurora), Johnny Craker (Mayfield), Aaron Brossart (Ryle, Ky.)
113: Jordan Decatur/Matthew Cardello (CVCA), Logan Macri (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), Noah Georgian (Kenston)
120: Noah Baughman (Wadsworth), Decatur/Cardello (CVCA), Nick Henneman (Oregon Clay), Andy Garr (Aurora), Jordan Rosselli (Olentangy Liberty), Jared Thiemann (LaSalle)
126: Matt Oblock (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), Kris Volpe/Zach Furnas (Olentangy Liberty), Michael North (Wadsworth), Joey Herbuck (Kenston)
132: Connor Brady (Olentangy Liberty), Corey Shie (LaSalle), Dylan Buis (Oak Hills), Luke Baughman (Wadsworth), Conner Burns (North Canton Hoover), Garrett Anderson (Oregon Clay)
138: Carson Kharchlava (Olentangy Liberty), Jarrod Brezovec (Aurora), Eric Beck (LaSalle), Logan Erdman (Ryle, Ky.)
145: Trey Grenier (Olentangy Liberty), Danny Novak (Aurora), Hunter Perdue (LaSalle)
152: Cody Surratt (Wadsworth), Micah Kusturiss (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), Quentin Thatcher (Hilliard Darby), Connor Thomas (Olentangy Liberty), Cole Gavin (Aurora)
160: Kyle Lawson (Wadsworth), Joey Baughman (Wadsworth), Jared Ball (Hilliard Darby), Dylan Roth (Oak Hills), Blake Wilson (LaSalle)
170: Johnny Meiman (Ryle, Ky.), Blaze Kansco (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), Trevor Lawson (Olentangy Liberty), Micahel Baker (LaSalle), Alex Jones (Wadsworth), John Miller (Perry)
182: Evan Schenk (Perry), Cole Fitzpatrick (Olentangy Liberty), Bubba Arslanian (Aurora), Hunter Shepherd (Oak Hills), Garrett Bledsoe (LaSalle)
195: Jake Kendzierski (Olentangy Liberty), Nick Konyk (Canon-McMillan, Pa.)
220: Matt Stencel (Oregon Clay), Brendan Marchetti (Oak Hills), Andrew Stacey (Mayfield)
285: Josh Burger (Aurora), Brendan Furman (Canon-McMillan, Pa.), Kyle Green (Wadsworth)
Comet Classic at Central Crossing
The host school Central Crossing, which is located in Grove City just outside of Columbus, have an legitimate chance at winning their tournament. However, Brunswick, Dayton Christian, and Olmsted Falls will each pose formidable challenge; Brunswick and Dayton Christian are similar to Central Crossing in that each is carried by the top half of their roster, while Olmsted Falls is a stronger team top-to-bottom but with less star power at the upper tier. Another solid team in the tournament is Versailles, which is the top seed within a loaded state duals sub-region.
Below is a list of individual contenders in the tournament.
106: Ronnie Pietro (Dayton Christian), Michael Shaw (Olmsted Falls), Justin Rodriguez (Whetstone), Anthony Haist (Mt. Vernon), David Jobe (Vandalia Butler)
113: Tommy Hoskins (Dayton Christian), Jackson Lakso (Central Crossing), Logan Heil (Brunswick), Alex Hoffman (Amanda-Clearcreek)
120: D.J. Skiba (Brunswick), Zach Collins (Central Crossing), Vu Nguyen (Pickerington Central)
126: Garrett Lambert (Brunswick), Josh Clary (Dayton Christian), J.D. Woods (Central Crossing), Charlie Osborn (Worthington Kilbourne)
132: Jaden Mattox (Central Crossing), Wyatt Garren (Logan)
138: James Wimer (Central Crossing), Tanner Bey (Versailles), Josh Jaeckin (Olmsted Falls), Henry Danishek (Dayton Christian), Ben Tate (Mt. Vernon)
145: Logan Lacure (Dayton Christian), Josh Heil (Brunswick), Derek Wurzauf (Central Crossing)
152: Nick Vestal (Dayton Christian), Lane Hinkle (Mt. Vernon), Ethan Leapley (Central Crossing)
160: Nick Kiussis (Brunswick), Brice Locklear (Olmsted Falls), Corey Dieringer (Versailles), Shota Sisco (Pickerington Central)
170: Josiah Harrell (Licking Heights), Tony Caraffi (Olmsted Falls), Jansen Love (Dayton Christian), Joseph Terry (Pickerington Cnetral), Frank Tusick (Brunswick), Micah Linton (Logan Elm)
182: Brady Garren (Logan)
195: Aaron Naples (Brunswick), Jordan Leasure (Amanda-Clearcreek), Kyle Gigandet (Versailles), Michael Iler (Olmsted Falls)
220: Noel Caraballo (Olmsted Falls)
285: Kameron Teacher (Central Crossing), Patrick Simon (Olmsted Falls), Jeffrey Ware (Versailles)
St. Edward hosts two more nationally ranked teams as part of Saturday quad meet
As a power program in the state of Ohio, St. Edward (ranked No. 7 nationally) takes the “iron sharpens iron” philosophy seriously in its scheduling model. With the dual meets against No. 24 Delta and No. 48 Lowell (Mich.), the Eagles will have taken on eight different Fab50 teams in dual meets this season; the other team in this quad is Richmond (Mich.), upset winners of Michigan D3 last year and ranked third in that division this year.
Below are projected lineups for the three nationally ranked teams in this quad meet.
106: Bryce Andonian (St. Edward), Cole Mattin (Delta), Jeff Leach (Lowell, Mich.)
113: Angelo Rini/Matt Kazimir, Ross Rayfield, Tyler Lynch
120: Cade Hepner/Josh Leidich, Drew Mattin, Sam Russell
126: Allan Hart, C.J. Leffler, Lucas Hall
132: Sam Dover, Jake Spiess, Avery Mutschler
138: Hunter Ladnier, Dustin Marteney, Zeth Dean
145: Isaac Collier, John Mlynarek, Bryce Dempsey
152: Jack Conway, Jesse Beverly, Garrett Pratt
160: Mike Carpenter, JD Osborn/Travis Barnes, Austin Engle
170: Jared Leidich, Trent Hyott, Keigan Yuhas
182: Tyler Stepic, Dylan Rogers, Dan Kruse/Max Dean
195: Cody Howard, Jacob Wolford, Dan Kruse/Max Dean
220: Jared Campbell, Devin Richard, Eli Boulton
285: Mike O’Malley/Kevin Ward, Chance Veller, Max Bishop
Highlights from last week
Elyria won the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament on the strength of its three champions, J.T. Brown (182), Ben Darmstadt (195), and Kevin Vough (285). The Pioneers finished with 258.5 points as six other wrestlers placed within the top six, including the runner-up finishes from Brandon Fenton (120) and Nico O’Dor 152). Finishing as tournament runners-up were Brecksville with 221.5 points, anchored by two freshman winning titles in Gabe Tagg (106) and Marco Regalbuto (126); six other Bees wrestlers finished in the top six, including runner-up Justin Demicco (145), while the Bees were absent state placer Austin Hiles (152/160) and await the season debut of state qualifier Luke Strnad (182/195).
Rounding out the top five at the tournament were more than formidable squads from Brunswick, Olmsted Falls, and Canfield; the third placed Blue Devils were anchored by weight class champion Josh Heil (145), while Noel Caraballo (220) was the lone champion for Olmsted Falls, and Georgio Poullas (152) was the lone champion for Canfield. The lone team with multiple champions was nationally ranked Olentangy Liberty, which finished sixth despite missing five starters; Connor Brady (132) and Kyle Lawson (160) earned titles for the Patriots.
Making a significant statement on the national landscape this past weekend was St. Paris Graham, which traveled to Lakewood to take on St. Edward, who is also ranked in the top ten nationally. The Falcons took home victories in nine weight classes on the way to a 37-17 dual meet victory; most notable victories for the Falcons came from Mitch (126) and Brent (138) Moore, Mitch beat state champion Allan Hart 5-3, while Brent earned an 11-3 major decision over Ironman champion Hunter Ladnier. The Falcons moved up two spots in the Fab50 this week to No. 3 nationally.
Delta won its second tournament in as many weekends with its title at the Maumee Bay Classic this weekend at Oregon Clay. Despite only getting a weight class championship from Jesse Beverly (152), the Panthers (228.5 points) won the tournament by over 40 points against a solid field. Eight other wrestlers earned placement finishes, including a trio of runner-up finishes and a pair taking third. Tournament runners-up were Wauseon with 185.5 points with a pair of tournament champions – Tre Campbell (182) and Tony Bannister (195) among its eight placers. Outstanding wrestler honors went to Oregon Clay’s Matt Stencel, who won the 220 pound weight class earning five pins from five matches in 5:03.
Cincinnati Moeller outlasted hosts Cincinnati Elder to win the 55th annual Catholic Invitational Tournament. The Crusaders were anchored by four weight class champions – Jake Thompson (138), Jacoby Ward (152), Jack Meyer (220), and Joe Hensley (285) – on the way to 249 points. The runner-up Panthers amassed 232 points led by the pair of titles earned by Robby Oswald (160) and Ti’Ric Evans (170). Outstanding Wrestler honors went to Tony Decesare of Padua, who beat two-time state placer Hunter Lucas (Lima Central Catholic) in the 120 pound final by a 3-2 overtime decision.
Massillon Perry won the title at the Top Gun with 168.5 points on the strength of its seven placers led by runners-up David Carr (145) and Zach Blackiston (182). The biggest story of the event was the upset loss in the 145 pound featured final by David Carr, as two-time state champion Logan Lacure (Dayton Christian) beat the nation’s top-ranked wrestler by riding Carr out in the ultimate tiebreaker of a 4-4 bout; it was a tightly contested and highly controversial bout. Runners-up in the tournament were LaSalle with 161.5 points led by seven placers and a pair of champions – Lucas Byrd (106) and Corey Shie (132) – among their nine entrants. Third place went to Dayton Christian with 152 points, which placed six of its seven entrants, including weight class champions in Tommy Hoskins (113) and Lacure.
Led by twelve top eight finishers and a pair of weight class champions in Sid Ohl (152) and Tristen Weirich (220), Ashland took home the title at the Marion County Invitational with 397 points. The Arrows also had a pair of runners-up, single wrestlers place third and fourth, as well as five wrestlers take fifth. Finishing as runners-up were Waynedale with 360.5 points and ten top eight placers, anchored by the weight class titles that Christian Wellman (113) and Reid Stanley (160) won. Third place in the standings went to Milan Edison with 351.5 points and ten top eight placers, including the pair of weight class titles won by Brady Barnett (132) and Sam Stoll (170).
Quick Hit for this coming week
Got a pair of big dual meets in Southwest Ohio on Saturday, Elder hosts Fairfield in a battle of Division I notables, while Cincinnati Moeller travels to St. Paris Graham.