GARFIELD HEIGHTS — Perfect. What else can you say?
Keystone senior William Spangler went 4-0 at 126 pounds at the Division III district wrestling tournament, capped by a 14-2 major decision Saturday over Waterloo’s Nick Hermann in the championship match.
He and his twin, Brian, who took second at 132, head the list of five
Division III state qualifiers for the area and are the lone Wildcats heading to state.
William was joined by Black River sophomore Sebastian Vidika (106) as the lone area district champions. Columbia senior Brandon Heidinger (182), who punched his first ticket to Columbus after running into district road blocks in each of his previous three seasons, and Black River junior Mike Hozan (113) are also headed to Columbus.
“Starting with sectionals, I really thought about the potential of having just 12 matches left,” said William (41-5), a projected state runner-up by Brian Brakeman and wrestling in his third state tournament. “It really hit me hard before districts knowing that I had a potential eight matches left, so I wanted to do something special in every single one of those matches and wrestle as hard as I can.
“That’s just my mind-set right now. I think it’s good to go in (as a district champ). I’m not saying that the four seed won’t be good, you’re still competing against the top 16 in the state. But going in as a No. 1 makes you feel better.”
Brian Spangler went 3-1, capped by a 9-5 to Norwayne’s Dustin Grier in the finals. It was only Spangler’s second loss of the season.
“I was frustrated out there,” said Brian (39-2), headed to his fourth state tournament. “That was one of my toughest matches of the year. I haven’t had something like to work off of yet. I’ve mostly been working on my problems on the mat, but that gives me even more stuff to work on.”
The Spanglers’ performance helped Keystone take fifth place in the team standings with 74.5 points.
“I think it’s really meaningful for us to be representing Keystone down at state together,” William said. “Hopefully, the both of us will be at the very top of the podium. Especially when you have someone going with you who also happens to be your brother and drilling partner, it’s a really, really great benefit.”
Heidinger, who began Saturday in the semifinals, lost 3-2 to Kirtland’s Evan Brettrager to fall into the consolation semifinals. But he rebounded to pin Pymatuning Valley’s Cody Ellis in 2:45 to earn his long-awaited state berth.
Heidinger finished the job with an 8-3 win over Smithville’s Mark Hilty in the third-place match.
“I’m pretty excited, but I’m not happy with how I wrestled my first match of the day,” said Heidinger, who is 42-3 on the season. “I felt pretty under the weather this week, but I’m not using that as an excuse. I’ve just got to focus on getting healthy and get ready for state.
“You’ve just got to forget about (the loss) and realize that all the work you’ve ever done boils down to this one match. That helped me put it behind me and do what I needed to do.”
Black River matched Keystone for most state qualifiers from area schools with two and gave the area a total of three finalists when Vidika qualified for the 106-pound final with a 16-1 technical fall over Cardinal’s Ian Mast.
Vidika (34-6), who didn’t even compete in the postseason last year due to losing a wrestle-off to Hozan, finished the job by beating Akron Manchester’s Bobby Bowen, 8-6.
“I was just wrestling hard the entire tournament,” said Vidika, a first-time state qualifier who was ranked 15th in his weight class by Brakeman. “Anything can happen when you work hard and wrestle hard. This feels awesome.”
Hozan became a two-time state qualifier when he edged Hawken’s Sean McKinley 2-1 in the consolation semifinals. Hozan shook off a 9-3 loss to Beachwood’s Sammy Gross, the eventual district champ, in the semifinals to punch his ticket to Columbus.
Hozan (34-4) finished the job when he pinned Berkshire’s T.J. Malkus in 1:56 in the third-place match.
Four other area wrestlers had their Columbus dreams dashed one match short of state. The most heartbreaking may have been Keystone freshman Jacob Worthington at 170.
Worthington (31-16), who lost 11-6 to Orrville’s Trevor White in the semifinals, tied up Garrettsville Garfield’s Tanner Bontrager at 3 on a stalling call with three seconds left in regulation, capping a rally from a 3-1 deficit with 16 seconds remaining.
However, Bontrager landed a takedown 20 seconds into the overtime period for a 5-3 win.
Elyria Catholic had two wrestlers come up just shy in sophomores Lucas Ball (170) and Adam Kuchta (220). Both were in the semifinals, but went 0-2 in the early portion to drop them to fifth-place matches.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
TEAM STANDINGS (TOP 10): 1. Waynedale 161, 2. Beachwood 91, 3. Garrettsville Garfield 88.5, 4. Rootstown 77.5, 5. Keystone 74.5, 6. Smithville 73, 7. Norwayne 71.5, 8. Manchester 70, 9. Waterloo 67, 10. St. Peter Chanel 66. AREA: 17. Black River 48.5, T25. Columbia, Brooklyn, Elyria Catholic 26, 28. Wellington 22.5, T32. Hawken, Clearview 18, 34.
(top 4 advance to state, 5th is alternate)
106 — FIRST: Sebastian Vidika (Black River) dec. Bobby Bowen (Manchester), 8-6; THIRD: Colton Ullman (Loudonville) dec. Tim Mecklenburg (Lutheran West), 6-4 OT; FIFTH: Ian Mast (Cardinal) def. Alex Tschiegg (Orrville) by inj. default.
113 — FIRST: Sammy Gross (Beachwood) dec. Zack Durbin (Mapleton), 7-5; THIRD: Mike Hozan (Black River) pinned T.J. Malkus (Berkshire), 1:56; FIFTH: Nate Frye (Cuyahoga Heights) dec. Sean McKinley (Hawken), 2-0.
120 — FIRST: Zack Nelson (Waynedale) pinned Casey Johns (Cardinal), 5:20; THIRD: Kyle Ferguson (Manchester) dec. Derek Gregan (Northwestern), 6-0; FIFTH: Dylan Stiner (Keystone) dec. Lewis Roginsky (Brooklyn), 7-2.
126 — FIRST: William Spangler (Keystone) maj. dec. Nick Hermann (Waterloo), 14-2; THIRD: Dion Perez (Tuslaw) dec. Josh Weber (Loudonville), 7-3; FIFTH: Jake Staggs (Waynedale) dec. Tyler Knepper (Garfield), 5-2.
132 — FIRST: Dustin Grier (Norwayne) dec. Brian Spangler (Keystone), 9-5; THIRD: Zach Campbell (Pymatuning Valley) dec. Bradley Wardell (Waynedale), 9-5; FIFTH: Nick Chuha (Cuyahoga Heights) Daniel Johntony (Girard), 18-2.
138 — FIRST: Zane Nelson (Waynedale) dec. Ryan Harris (Beachwood), 3-1; THIRD: J.J. Diven (Waterloo) dec. Dylan Marthey (Tuslaw), 6-2; FIFTH: Kollin Moore (Norwayne) maj. dec, Alex Angersola (Chanel), 11-2.
145 — FIRST: Kurt Moore (Norwayne) pinned Brett Fortune (Northwestern), 3:36; THIRD: Dakota Stanley (Waynedale) pinned Casey Bishop (Brooklyn), 3:39; FIFTH: Zach Benedict (Pymatuning Valley) pinned Graham Coghlan (Chanel), 1:44.
152 — FIRST: Brandon Stanley (Waynedale) pinned Grant Blumenthal (Beachwood), 5:28; THIRD: D.J. Blair (Tuslaw) dec. Sean Szitas (Grand Valley), 6-4; FIFTH: Seth Heldenbrand (Hillsdale) pinned Ryan Gallagher (VASJ), :52.
160 — FIRST: Zebulun Beam (Waynedale) def. Aaron Yonker (Garfield) by default; THIRD: David Shapiro (Beachwood) maj. dec. Max Brooke (South Range), 13-5; FIFTH: Steven Elliott (Tuslaw) dec. Jake Finley (Hillsdale), 7-5.
170 — FIRST: Travis Linton (Rootstown) dec. Trevor White (Orrville), 4-0; THIRD: Glenn Zaller (Grand Valley) pinned Tanner Bontrager (Garfield), 1:34; FIFTH: Jacob Worthington (Keystone) def. Lucas Ball (Elyria Catholic) by inj. default.
182 — FIRST: Kevin Stock (Garfield) dec. Evan Brettrager (Kirtland), 9-2; THIRD: Brandon Heidinger (Columbia) dec. Mark Hilty (Smithville), 8-3; FIFTH: Cody Ellis (Pymatuning Valley) dec. Kile Schaefer (Northwestern), 5-3.
195 — FIRST: Garrett Linton (Rootstown) pinned Lucas Dies (Manchester), 1:52; THIRD: Dan Barrett (Chanel) dec. Matt Zaller (Grand Valley), 7-2; FIFTH: Diante Jackson (VASJ) pinned Tom Hilty (Smithville), :42.
220 — FIRST: Kennedy Smith (Chanel) maj. dec. Brandon Brenes (Waterloo), 15-7; THIRD: Jake Moore (Rootstown) pinned Alex Wiley (Smithville), 4:47; FIFTH: Caleb Fry (Cardinal) dec. Adam Kuchta (Elyria Catholic), 9-8.
285 — FIRST: Zack Srock (Chippewa) dec. Paul Kelbly (Smithville), 3-1; THIRD: Ronnie Lehtomaki (Orrville) def. Devin Dressler (Garfield) by inj. default; FIFTH: Erick Kuberer (Kirtland) dec. Fred Clark (Liberty), 3-2.