PERRYSBURG — Apparently, two Division I state championships aren’t enough to impress everyone.
Elyria senior Brendon Fenton, who will be attempting to win No. 3 next weekend in Columbus, came into the district tournament ranked No. 2 in the state behind Brecksville sophomore Julian Tagg.
“I did bad at (Walsh) Ironman and Beast (of the East), stuff where he placed high at, and I think people were just doubting me like they always have,” Fenton said.
“I just wanted to go out there and show everyone what I can do. I feel like no one thought I was going to beat Tagg.”
Fenton escaped in the second period for a 1-0 lead, scored a two-second nearfall early in the third and rode out the 2017 106-pound state champion for a 3-0 victory in the 120-pound final.
“He’s coming up to my weight class and I’m the defending champ so I’m just going to show why this is my weight class this year and I’m going to go and get my three,” Fenton said.
Fenton was one of seven Pioneers who earned state tournament berths Saturday. Joining him in Columbus will be Dylan Shawver at 113 pounds, Mick Burnett at 126, Josh Breeding at 132, Matt Zuckerman at 138, Farouq Muhammed at 152 and Jake Evans at 160.
Zuckerman and Breeding will be making their third trips to state, Shawver, Burnett and Muhammed will be going down for the second time and Evans, a freshman, will be making his debut.
“It’s a tough district,” Elyria coach Erik Burnett said. “A lot of pitfall opportunities as far as the weight classes — most of them are pretty loaded up. There’s kids sitting at home from this district that are state-caliber wrestlers.
“For our kids that are going, I feel very fortunate for them.”
Shawver joined Fenton as a district champion, while Burnett, Zuckerman and Muhammed finished as runners-up. Breeding and Evans took third.
“Getting seven out of this district when we came in with 10, I think the kids did a fantastic job this weekend,” Burnett said. “I think they represented our program well.”
Six other area wrestlers will be joining the Pioneers at state.
Winning his first district championship and making his third trip to Columbus is Amherst senior Matt Lee. Making their second trips are St. Edward’s Bryce Hepner, an Avon resident, and Midview’s Seth Frambach, while Midview’s Trever Begin, Avon’s Jake Roesch and Avon Lake’s Max Wittman will head down for the first time.
“It’s going to be awesome having Seth. It’s tough not having Jake (Snider) make it with us, he’s been with us since middle school,” Begin said. “It’s what I’ve been working for ever since I got into high school. I’ve been wanting to make it to that tournament. Our coaches have always emphasized that state tournament at the end of the year … so it feels good to finally make it there. I want to make a statement down there my first year.”
Snider didn’t wrestle in the district tournament after failing a skin check Friday. Frambach took fourth at 195 pounds.
Roesch beat North Royalton’s Lazar Gasic in his consolation semifinal to secure a state spot, but a loss in his placement match to St. Edward’s Seamus O’Malley left a sour taste in his mouth.
“It was nice getting there … but I didn’t finish,” Roesch said. “I got there, which was our goal, but that’s nothing to be satisfied with yet.”
The 285-pound weight class had a local flavor as Lorain County wrestlers were on all three mats during the championship session. Lee took first, Wittman grabbed fourth and Midview’s Daniel Bucknavich dominated for fifth.
“We had to scuffle and fight to make it through, but this is the golden age of heavyweight wrestling right here,” Wittman said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a little undersized but I’ve always been a little undersized, I’ve just had to power through it.”
Lee has enjoyed being top dog during the first two postseason stops after playing the underdog role to Elyria’s Kevin Vough in every other high school tournament.
“I know what position Vough was in when he was that good, so I kind of feel the same thing now,” Lee said. “I like that and it puts you under pressure, too. You can never slack off. You always have to go the hardest you can.”
1. St. Edward 284.5, 2. Brecksville 234.5, 3. Elyria 161.5, 4. Oregon Clay 111, 5. St. Ignatius 108, 6. Ashland 88, 7. Olmsted Falls 80.5, 8. Fremont Ross 73.5, 9. Midview 71.5,10. Berea-Midpark 56.5, 11. Findlay 52, 12. Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 35.5, 13. Avon 34.5, 14. Perrysburg 33.5, 15. Amherst 33, 16. Toledo Whitmer 26, 17. Holland Springfield 22, 18. Parma 21, 19. Anthony Wayne 20.5, 20. North Royalton 18.5, 21. Avon Lake 17, 22t. Lorain 16, Madison 16, 24. Lakewood 12, 25t.Canal Winchester 9, Thomas Worthington 9, 27t. Toledo Bowsher 7, Franklin Heights 7, Sylvania Northview 7, 30. North Olmsted 5, 31t. Valley Forge 4, Whitehall-Yearling 4, 33t. Normandy 3, Strongsville 3, 35. Garfield Heights 2, 36. North Ridgeville 1.
106 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Michael Shaw (OF) dec. Jack Stanley (Brecksville), 3-1. THIRD: Richard Delsanter (SE) tech. fall Shane Heil (BM), 22-7. FIFTH: Johnny Novak (SI) maj. dec. Case George (Ashland), 10-2.
113 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Dylan Shawver (Elyria) dec. Jack Haskin (T. Worthington), 9-3. THIRD: Andrew Perelka (Brecksville) pinned Pino Dipierro (BM), 2:01. FIFTH: Scott Richter (SE) maj. dec. Mason Hakeos (HS), 12-3.
120 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Brendon Fenton (Elyria) dec. Julian Tagg (Brecksville), 3-0. THIRD: Angelo Rini (SE) dec. Kyle Maville (OC), 10-5. FIFTH: Ricardo Oviedo (Perrysburg) maj. dec. Caden Wendling (BM), 8-0.
126 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Bryce Hepner (SE) dec. Mick Burnett (Elyria), 1-0. THIRD: Jimmy Carmany (Brecksville) tech. fall Mike Daly (OC), 17-2. FIFTH: Liam Morrison (Findlay) pinned D.J. Huff (SI), 1:30.
132 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Gabriel Tagg (Brecksville) pinned Matt Kazimir (SE), 1:14. THIRD: Joshua Breeding (Elyria) pinned Jake Visintine (Ashland), 1:56. FIFTH: Andrew Philion (Midview) dec. Khalil Brown (Lorain), 5-0.
138 — CHAMPIONSHIP Bryce Andonian (SE) pinned Matt Zuckerman (Elyria), :40. THIRD: Marco Regalbuto (Brecksville) dec. Lamonte Chapman (FR), 9-7 (SV). FIFTH: Jihad Salti (OF) dec. Alex Garee (Perrysburg), 8-6.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Sam Dover (SE) dec. Josh Jaeckin (OF), 7-3. THIRD: Victor Voinovich (Brecksville) maj. dec. Garret Anderson (OC), 12-4. FIFTH: Benjamin Douglas (Findlay) dec. Chase Haimerl (TW), 4-1.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP Padraic Gallagher (SE) dec. Farouq Muhammed (Elyria), 7-4. THIRD: Ben Vanadia (Brecksville) def. Boston Dubucq (Findlay) by inj. FIFTH: Landon Plank (Ashland) dec. Paul Twarog (N. Royalton), 3-2.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP Najee Lockett (SI) dec. Hudson Hightower (SE), 8-3. THIRD: Jake Evans (Elyria) pinned Troy Murhpy (OC), 1:36. FIFTH: Jackson Weissinger (FR) dec. Dru Hernandez (Findlay), 9-4.
170 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Garrett Barth (FR) dec. Ethan Hatcher (Brecksville), 7-2. THIRD: Michael Garcar (SE) dec. A.J. Savona (TSJJ), 4-3. FIFTH: Logan Toth (SI) pinned Shawn Petty (Lorain), 2:19.
182— CHAMPIONSHIP: Trever Begin (Midview) dec. Jaden Mendeluk (OF), 6-0. THIRD: Timothy Marshall (TSJJ) pinned Jacob Meek (OC), 4:02. FIFTH: Nick Franks (Brecksville) pinned Jiryes Zakaib (SE), :47.
195 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Dakota Howard (SE) dec. Michael Drobnick (SI), 13-11. THIRD: Caleb Wood (FR) dec. Seth Frambach (Midview), 4-3. FIFTH: Jordan Greer (Avon) dec. Andrew Bachie (BM), 7-2.
220 — CHAMPIONSHIP Josh Bever (Ashland) def. Zach D’Anna (Brecksville) by inj. def. THIRD: Seamus O’Malley (SE) dec. Jack Roesch (Avon), 5-1. FIFTH: Aiden Gill (SI) pinned Lazar Gasic (N. Royalton), 3:29.
285 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Matt Lee (Amherst) dec. Nick Daly (OC), 9-4. THIRD: Luca Santillo (SE) dec. Max Wittman (AL), 5-2. FIFTH: Daniel Bucknavich (Midview) maj. dec. Cade Chapetta (HS), 13-0.
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