WESTLAKE — Avon senior Jack Roesch won a Division I sectional title last season at 220 pounds, so it wasn’t surprising that he duplicated the feat Saturday night at 285.
What was surprising about his championship performance is that it didn’t come against nemesis Daniel Bucknavich of Midview — the junior heavyweight was handed his first loss of the season in the semifinals — and that he was the only champion who didn’t hail from St. Edward or Elyria.
“(North Olmsted’s) Tyler Jones shouldn’t be overlooked and he proved it today,” said Roesch, who beat Jones 3-0 in the final. “He wrestled Buck well and got him on that turn. I prepped all week to wrestle Buck, and I really wanted that vengeance, but at the end of the day I’m just glad that I found a way to get a win and move on to the next week.”
Bucknavich has won both meetings against Roesch this season, pinning the Eagles heavyweight at the Bill Dies Memorial and winning with a last-second takedown in the Southwestern Conference tournament final last week.
“I know Buck’s going to be in the (district) finals and that’s where I want to work to be,” Roesch said. “He’s not just the main focus. There’s a lot of kids that you can’t overlook in this (district). But I prep every week like I want to wrestle Buck again.”
The annual battle between St. Edward and Elyria was in full swing from the opening whistle. The Eagles won the sectional title by 40 points, sending all 14 wrestlers to the Mentor district and finishing with seven sectional champions. The Pioneers advanced 11 wrestlers and finished with six champs.
Eagles sophomore Sean Seefeldt edged Elyria freshman Peyton Fenton in overtime for the 106 title before the Pioneers rolled off four straight championship victories — all against St. Edward.
Starting the streak was Bryce Allison, who scored a 4-3 win over Richard Delsanter in the 113 final.
“I’ve just been trying to focus on one match at a time and not worry about who I have,” said Allison, who trains during the summer with Delsanter. “I lost to him last year in the final, so I wanted to get redemption against him this year. It feels great beating a St. Ed’s kid, knowing they’re one of our biggest rivals out there.”
Next up was freshman Nate Burnett, who won 3-1 over Hudson Poole, an Avon Lake resident. Burnett was able to keep pace with his brother Mick, who won a sectional title as a freshman at Toledo Waite two years ago.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Nate said. “It’s my first time and I hope to feel it many more times, but to come in here and win it as a freshman while beating a couple upperclassmen … it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Burnett’s close match to Poole wasn’t even his toughest battle of the day. He had to gut out a 5-2 double-overtime win over Avon’s Cade Robertson in the semifinals.
“I’ve wrestled Cade before and we’ve always been really close,” Burnett said. “We drill together all spring and summer. He’s a great drill partner, a great wrestler and I have nothing but respect for him.”
Dylan Shawver kept things rolling with an 11-8 win over Angelo Rini — Shawver is ranked No. 1 in the state, Rini No. 2 — and Mick Burnett won a 13-1 major decision over Scott Richter.
St. Edward’s Bryce Hepner, an Avon resident, finally ended the Pioneers’ parade of champions with a 7-2 victory over Elyria’s Matt Zuckerman in the 138 final.
“I was a little too relaxed and I wasn’t getting into my offense like I should’ve been,” Hepner said. “Zuckerman is a good friend of mine. (He’s a) great wrestler, scraps hard and I can’t wait to do it again next week.”
Hepner finished as the state runner-up as a freshman and won the state championship last season. He’s ready to add another medal to his trophy case.
“Winning state is something I’m always looking for. That’s what I have my sights set on and it helps me get though practice, the weight cut … all the hard stuff basically,” he said. “I have all the faith in my coaches, especially Danny Gonsor … that man does everything for me and sets me up perfectly. I just have to put in the work, listen to him and be as disciplined as can be and I know the state title is going to come.”
Hepner’s win sparked four straight titles for St. Edward before Elyria sophomore Jake Evans ended the run with a first-period pin of North Olmsted’s Dalton Diaz at 170. Two weights later, Elyria’s Lewis Aguilar brought the crowd to its feet with a 7-6 victory over Avon’s Jordan Greer, who is ranked No. 5 in the state.
“Today I felt like I had something to prove,” Aguilar said. “I saw the rankings. They dropped me all the way down to 21, then 24. I felt like I needed to show something.”
Aguilar called it his biggest win of the season and it was his first sectional championship. It sets him up with a No. 1 seed at next weekend’s district tournament at Mentor.
“Very, very humbling,” Aguilar said. “I just have to go back into the wrestling room on Monday and improve on my craft.”
TEAM STANDINGS: St. Edward 298, Elyria 258, Avon 158, Olmsted Falls 122, Westlake 109.5, North Olmsted 87.5, Midview 79.5, Amherst 68, Lorain 50, Avon Lake 46, North Ridgeville 46.
106 — FIRST: Sean Seefeldt (SE) dec. Peyton Fenton (Elyria), 5-3 (SV). THIRD: Cael Saxton (Avon) tech. fall Jeffrey Kennedy (NO), 22-7. FIFTH: Xavier Santiago (Lorain) pinned Cole Yuhas (Westlake), :25.
113 — FIRST: Bryce Allison (Elyria) dec. Richard Delsanter (SE), 4-3. THIRD: Ethan Sear (Avon) pinned Cainan Comerford (OF), 4:46. FIFTH: Mahdi Shoman (NO) def. Colton Bell (Midview) by forfeit.
120 — FIRST: Nate Burnett (Elyria) dec. Hudson Poole (SE), 3-1. THIRD: Cade Robertson (Avon) dec. Adam Lough (Amherst), 3-0. FIFTH: Brennan Stang (OF) dec. Patrick Hartup (Westlake), 6-3.
126 — FIRST: Dylan Shawver (Elyria) dec. Angelo Rini (SE), 11-8. THIRD: Zak Anderson (Midview) dec. Jacob Dunstan (NR), 2-1. FIFTH: Carson Atkins (OF) pinned Brandon Bratovich (Amherst), 4:35.
132 — FIRST: Mick Burnett (Elyria) maj. dec. Scott Richter (SE), 13-1. THIRD: Thaer Zayed (Westlake) defeated James Hutchinson (Midview) by forfeit. FIFTH: Ethan Shepard (AL) dec. Deonte Dean (Lorain), 3-1.
138 — FIRST: Bryce Hepner (SE) dec. Matt Zuckerman (Elyria), 7-2. THIRD: John Perry (AL) dec. Tim Carrion (Amherst), 10-7. FIFTH: Nate Urry (OF) maj. dec. Aiden Ashburn (Westlake), 9-1.
145 — FIRST: Bryce Andonian (SE) pinned Tommy Sear (Avon), 2:15. THIRD: Andrew Philion (Midview) dec. Daniel Findley (Lorain), 3-1. FIFTH: Brandon Burkhart (OF) def. Jared Viancourt (NR) by forfeit.
152 — FIRST: Sam Dover (SE) defeated Enrique Munguia (Elyria) by default. THIRD: Luke Masisak (Avon) pinned Hunter Ashburn (Westlake), 2:37. FIFTH: Connor Atkins (OF) def. Xavier Rivers (Amherst) by forfeit.
160 — FIRST: Padraic Gallagher (SE) tech. fall Liam Kruger (Westlake), 20-5. THIRD: Brandy Crawford (Lorain) dec. Abud Salem (AL), 10-5. FIFTH: Avery Jones (NO) maj. dec. R.J. Simon (OF), 13-1.
170 — FIRST: Jake Evans (Elyria) pinned Dalton Diaz (NO), 1:17. THIRD: Michael Garcar (SE) dec. Aaron Endrizal (Avon), 9-3. FIFTH: Fares Zayed (Westlake) def. Adham Abushukur (AL) by forfeit.
182 — FIRST: Hudson Hightower (SE) pinned Caiden Fetterman (OF), 1:36. THIRD: Ben Doehr (Elyria) pinned Moe Zayed (Westlake), 1:44. FIFTH: Clay Carpenter (Amherst) pinned Karim Silmi (NO), 2:30.
195 — FIRST: Lewis Aguilar (Elyria) dec. Jordan Greer (Avon), 7-6. THIRD: Nicholas Lisco (SE) dec. Justin Jaeckin (OF), 8-3. FIFTH: Mo Zayed (Westlake) pinned Jacob Yaeger (NO), 1:11.
220 — FIRST: Seamus O’Malley (SE) dec. Andrew Levis (Elyria), 8-3. THIRD: Mason Bingham (Avon) maj. dec. Russell Hellinger (Amherst), 11-1. FIFTH: Patrick MacGregor (NR) pinned Brenden Corrigan (OF), 1:12.
285 — FIRST: Jack Roesch (Avon) dec. Tyler Jones (NO), 3-0. THIRD: Daniel Bucknavich (Midview) dec. Brian Kilbane (SE), 3-1. FIFTH: Jerry White (OF) def. Dustin McElhaney (NR) by forfeit.