MENTOR — Elyria junior Mick Burnett keeps setting up career achievements and his freshman brother Nate Burnett keeps answering the call.
Nate’s season is nearly a mirror representation of what Mick was able to complete two years ago, including winning a Division I district championship, which both wrestlers accomplished Saturday night.
“It’s awesome, but he’s building his own legacy,” Mick said. “Obviously I don’t want him to finish sixth in the state like I did (in 2017), I want him to finish higher. But for both of us to come out here and win sectional and district titles, it’s pretty amazing to be doing it with him.”
The Burnett brothers were just part of a Pioneers contingent that will be sending nine wrestlers to next weekend’s Division I state tournament in Columbus. Elyria finished with a program-record eight finalists and tied a program record with four district champions — accomplished three times from 2015-17.
Joining the Burnetts on top of the podium were Dylan Shawver at 126 pounds and Jake Evans at 170. Nate won the 120 title and Mick won at 132, while Peyton Fenton (106), Bryce Allison (113), Enrique Munguia (152) and Drew Levis (220) finished as runners-up.
Matt Zuckerman took third at 138, becoming the fifth Elyria wrestler to become a four-time state qualifier.
“I just came in here expecting to have some good matches. I just did what I do, and that’s how I wrestle,” said Evans, who went 4-0 with four pins.
“Last year I was a freshman (state qualifier) and I was a little nervous, but I think I’ve got a hold on it and I’m going to get the job done now. I’ve been doing sprints after practice, just getting ready for (the postseason). For state, you’ve got to have a big gas tank.”
For the second week in a row the crowd was thrilled with a potential state championship preview, as Shawver, ranked No. 1 in the state, battled St. Edward’s Angelo Rini, ranked No. 2.
For the second straight week, Shawver came out on top.
“I think I’m in his head,” Shawer said. “I like (the multiple matches against Rini). I get to wrestle him over and over and know him more, just go out there and just dominate.”
Another dominating performance came at 195, where Avon’s Jordan Greer earned bonus points all the way through the bracket, helping erase the memory of being upset in the sectional final last weekend.
“I’m going to keep going forward,” he said. “Looking back at sectionals, that was probably the worst week of wrestling I’ve had in a while. Coming back and doing this, I think it’s just a testament to how hard I work at practice. I bounce back.”
Greer became Avon’s first district champion since Tommy LaRosa in 2005, and picked up his 100th career victory with an 8-0 major decision over Olmsted Falls’ Justin Jaeckin in the final.
“I majored almost everybody, and in this district, which in my opinion is the toughest district in the state, so going to state my confidence is at an all-time high,” Greer said.
Avon is sending a program-record four wrestlers to state. Besides Greer, Tommy Sear (145) and Jack Roesch (285) took seconds and Cael Saxton (106) finished third.
Midview’s Daniel Bucknavich also bounced back from an upset defeat in last week’s sectional, but winning the 285-pound district title — with a first-period pin over Roesch — wasn’t an attempt to erase the bad memory.
“If I’m being honest, I kind of liked the loss,” he said. “It gave me motivation to keep pushing and it took all stress off of keeping the undefeated record and I could just think about wrestling.”
It was a bittersweet finish to the district tournament for the Middies, who saw semifinalists Zak Anderson (126) and Andrew Philion (145) lose two straight Saturday morning to come up short in their attempts at state berths.
“Not really happy about that because it’s going to be a little lonely down there,” Bucknavich said. “I wish some of my guys could have made it. It’s pretty sad to see, especially Anderson losing his senior year. He works harder than everyone in that room. I really thought he was going to make it to state this year. I feel his pain.”
North Ridgeville senior Jacob Dunstan earned a state tournament berth at 126 — beating Anderson in the consolation semifinals — after making a high-risk choice to forfeit his quarterfinal match Friday night.
Dunstan won three straight matches Saturday to make the move pay off, becoming the Rangers’ first state qualifier since Drew Dickson in 2013.
“It’s awesome, it feels great. I went up to Drew and talked to him about it,” Dunstan said. “(Anderson’s) a great kid. He’s a tough wrestler. We had really close matches every time.”
The area finished with 17 state qualifiers from the Mentor district.
Elyria’s nine all have aspirations of ending on the podium — the Pioneers will be aided by the Nos. 1 or 2 seeds they receive from finishing in the district finals — and could put together the program’s highest point total in Columbus.
“It’s so fun because everyone is wrestling well,” Nate Burnett said. “It’s all about the preparation. It’s pretty cool to see one after another of your teammates just going out there and doing well. It shows you how hard we’ve been working in the room.”
TEAM STANDINGS: St. Edward 303.5, Elyria 237, Oregon Clay 159.5, Perrysburg 140, Ashland 128.5, Avon 110, Findlay 62.5, Midview 51, Mentor 48.5, North Olmsted 39.5, Fremont Ross 39, Painesville Riverside 39, Olmsted Falls 36, Toledo Whitmer 35, Madison 33, Westlake 29, Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 25, Euclid 24, John Adams 23, Anthony Wayne 22, Sylvania Northview 19, Lorain 17, Avon Lake 16.5, Mayfield 16, Madison Comprehensive 15, North Ridgeville 15, Lakeside 14.5, Toledo Waite 13, Lima Senior 12, Eastlake North 10, Willoughby South 10, Toledo St. Francis 9, Brush 7, Amherst 5.5, Toledo St. Charles 4, Cleveland Heights 3, Holland Springfield 3, Pickerington North 2, Reynoldsburg 1, Sylvania Southview 1.
106 — FIRST: Sean Seefeldt dec. (SE) Peyton Fenton (Elyria), 3-2. THIRD: Cael Saxton (Avon) dec. Tony Pendergraff (OC), 2-1. FIFTH: Jeffrey Kennedy (NO) dec. J.T. Furko IV (TSJJ), 7-4.
113 — FIRST: Jacob Moon (OC) dec. Bryce Allison (Elyria), 4-1. THIRD: Richard Delsanter (SE) dec. Jerome Scott (JA), 7-4. FIFTH: Chris Rocha (PR) pinned Ethan Sear (Avon), 2:52.
120 — FIRST: Nate Burnett (Elyria) dec. Hudson Poole (SE), 5-2. THIRD: Jason Cascadden (TWhit) dec. Case George (Ash), 7-5. FIFTH: Ricardo Oviedo (TWaite) maj. dec. Ethan Wannett (Lake), 12-1.
126 — FIRST: Dylan Shawver (Elyria) dec. Angelo Rini (SE), 8-5. THIRD: Jack Haskin (TWhit) dec. Jacob Dunstan (NR), 3-1. FIFTH: Max Turner (TSJJ) dec. Zak Anderson (Midview), 4-3.
132 — FIRST: Mick Burnett (Elyria) maj. dec. Scott Richter (SE), 18-4. THIRD: Blake Saito (Perry) maj. dec. Nate DeBoe (Mentor), 13-3. FIFTH: Jake Visintine (Ash) dec. Jaden Johnson (Find), 4-2.
138 — FIRST: Bryce Hepner (SE) maj. dec. Jonah Smith (Find), 10-2. THIRD: Matt Zuckerman (Elyria) dec. Connor DeBoe (Mentor), 9-5. FIFTH: Jayden Jones (Ash) dec. Nate Barrett (MadComp), 4-2 (SV).
145 — FIRST: Bryce Andonian (SE) pinned Tommy Sear (Avon), 1:23. THIRD: Alex Garee (Perry) maj. dec. Alex Szigeti (OC), 15-6. FIFTH: Daniel Findley (Lorain) def. Andrew Philion (Midview) by forfeit.
152 — FIRST: Sam Dover (SE) maj. dec. Enrique Munguia (SE), 16-6. THIRD: Noah Ewen (Perry) dec. Conner Liber (SylNo), 8-3. FIFTH: Austin McNamara (Ash) pinned Markie McElroy (PR), 4:17.
160 — FIRST: Padraic Gallagher (SE) tech. fall Liam Kruger (West), 17-2. THIRD: Drew Newton (Perry) dec. Troy Murphy (OC), 7-0. FIFTH: Abud Salem (AL) def. Naeem Russell (LimaSr) by forfeit.
170 — FIRST: Jake Evans (Elyria) pinned Jacob Meek (OC), 4:22. THIRD: Michael Garcar (SE) dec. Dalton Diaz (NO), 2-1. FIFTH: Brody Arrundale (Madison) maj. dec. Johnny Black (JA), 17-3.
182 — FIRST: Hudson Hightower (SE) dec. Josh Nagy (OC), 9-2. THIRD: Ethan Garee (Perry) pinned Caiden Fetterman (OF), 2:47. FIFTH: Freddy Lisy (Euclid) def. Ben Doehr (Elyria) by forfeit.
195 — FIRST: Jordan Greer (Avon) maj. dec. Justin Jaeckin (OF), 8-0. THIRD: Caleb Wood (FR) dec. Ty Cobb (OC), 7-5. FIFTH: Tristian Pitz (Ash) dec. Lewis Aguilar (Elyria), 4-3.
220 — FIRST: Josh Bever (Ash) pinned Drew Levis (Elyria), 1:50. THIRD: Seamus O’Malley (SE) maj. dec. Sam Sawaya (Perry), 15-1. FIFTH: Jake Noon (Find) pinned Mason Bingham (Avon), 1:13.
285 — FIRST: Daniel Bucknavich (Midview) pinned Jack Roesch (Avon), 1:53. THIRD: Jake Bever (Ashland) pinned Tyler Jones (NO), 2:31. FIFTH: Brian Kilbane (SE) dec. Devan Welch (Mentor), 1-0.
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