GARFIELD HEIGHTS — Two pins, one technical fall and a major decision added up to Steve Mitcheff’s fourth conference championship Saturday night.
The Elyria senior — who captured three Pioneer Conference titles — downed Strongsville’s David Bolger in the 112-pound final during the inaugural Northeast Ohio Conference tournament, and Zack Goins earned the
152-pound championship for the Pioneers. Joining the two champions were six other Elyria placers in the 18-team tournament.
Elyria finished second to Mayfield in the event and the overall conference race, as the Pioneers and Wildcats were tied with Strongsville — all had 4-1 dual meet records — heading into the tournament.
“I thought we would need about 10 placers to win it,” Pioneers coach Erik Burnett said. “We finished with eight placers and that obviously isn’t going to do it. It’s hard to be too disappointed, though. We had a nice round today. Mayfield wrestled really well.”
Mitcheff, who won the Division I 103-pound state title as a sophomore, cruised through his bracket and made short work of Bolger — who is ranked No. 7 in the state — for the second time this season. He handed Bolger a 16-5 loss Saturday night, and beat the Mustang 12-0 during the pair’s dual meet meeting at Elyria High.
“I feel that I’m focused, but I’m still not right where I want to be yet,” Mitcheff said.
Goins, who placed fifth at state last season, couldn’t agree more.
“I feel I’m starting to click right now but if the best I can do during the season is win the conference, then I’m struggling,” the junior said. “I’ve got to focus on taking everything week by week. I just want to peak at state.”
If Goins gets much better, rivals in his weight class are going to need ice baths and physical therapy. Goins is a powerful wrestler who smashes opponents into the mat like they’re a piggy bank and he needs some quick change.
“You have to be brutal,” Goins said. “You have to push them until they break. I go as fast as I can until the kid breaks.
“For the first 30 seconds, all I’m trying to do is get in my opponent’s head a little bit — bang him around. As soon as I take that first shot and take him down, it gets easier. Shot after shot, he’s breaking a little more and a little more until finally he’s broken completely.”
The conference title was Goins’ second. He won the Pioneer Conference as a freshman, then skipped the tournament last season due to a shoulder injury.
The only other Elyria wrestler to make it to the championship match was
140-pound sophomore Chase Churchill, who was handed an 11-2 major decision by top-ranked Richie Spicel from Brunswick. But Churchill dominated his matches to get to the final, and was only down five points late in the match against Spicel before a late takedown and two-second near-fall widened the lead.
“My confidence is way up,” Churchill said. “I’ve closed the gaps on the better guys from last year to this year. (My goals are) going to state, placing near the top, maybe even winning it all. … I’m going to go for it.”
Also placing for the Pioneers were Dalton McHenry (third at 130 pounds), Brandon Perrott (third at 135), Ryan Nelisse (third at 189), Kodie Egnor (fourth at 119) and Mitchell Fadenholz (fourth at 171).
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137
TEAM STANDINGS: Mayfield 202, Elyria 175.5, Strongsville 154.5, Twinsburg 143, Solon 135.5, Brunswick 112.5, Stow 111, Nordonia 108.5, North Royalton 85.5, Parma 80, Lakewood 77.5, Normandy 56.6, Medina 53, Garfield Heights 52.5, Brush 51.5, Valley Forge 50, Cuyahoga Falls 49, Hudson 36.
103 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Chorney (Sol) pinned Zingale (May), 5:18. THIRD-PLACE: Hauser (Brsh) dec. Yurkovich (NR), 1-0.
112 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Mitcheff (E) maj. dec. Bolger (Str), 16-5. THIRD-PLACE: McNulty (May) dec. Frehmeyer (P), 4-3.
119 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Henry (Sol) dec. Ciccarello (Brsh), 9-6. THIRD-PLACE: Comar (T) maj. dec. Egnor (E), 14-1.
125 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kretz (T) dec. Dinda (GH), 1-0. THIRD-PLACE: Gupko (Nord) dec. Gibbons (Sol), 3-1 (OT).
130 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Calarco (NR) dec. D’Alessandro (May), 4-3. THIRD-PLACE: McHenry (E) dec. Marrone (P), 9-7 (OT).
135 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Mencini (T) dec. Duffy (L), 7-4. THIRD-PLACE: Perrott (E) dec. Puskas (May), 2-1.
140 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Spicel (Brns) maj. dec. Churchill (E), 11-2. THIRD-PLACE: Kaminski (Str) pinned Loeb (Sol), :58.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Haxton (Str) dec. D’Alessandro (May), 7-2 (OT). THIRD-PLACE: Williams (Nord) pinned Cook (Brush), 1:45.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Goins (E) maj. dec. Doyle (Brns), 20-7. THIRD-PLACE: Russ (Nord) dec. Hayes (May), 3-2.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Rhodes (Nord) dec. Coleman (May), 6-3. THIRD-PLACE: Fox (L) pinned Korecky (Sol), 2:57.
171 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Darlinton (Stow) dec. Stewart (Str), 2-1. THIRD-PLACE: Kerrigan (Med) dec. Fadenholz (E), 6-0.
189 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Saraniti (Stow) dec. Jontony (Str), 6-0. THIRD-PLACE: Nelisse (E) dec. Robertson (Nrmd), 7-5 (OT).
215 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Hayes (May) dec. Zifzal (NR), 6-4. THIRD-PLACE: Lemmon (CF) pinned Suleiman (L), 2:05.
HVY — CHAMPIONSHIP: Meder (VF) dec. Rajcsak (Stow), 10-5. THIRD-PLACE: Bucknell (T) pinned Ballow (Brns), 3:33.
112 — Steve Mitcheff (4-0): pinned Pantelis Agalianos (VF), 1:37; pinned Kyle Grabowski (T), :50; tech. fall Brian Frehmeyer (P), 4:33; maj. dec. David Bolger (Str), 16-5.
119 — Kodie Egnor (4-2): pinned Nate Petek (Nrmd), 1:27; dec. by Waquiem Comar (T), 8-4; tech. fall Eddie Stewart (Stow), 17-0; dec. Dan Yurkovich (NR), 5-4; dec. Mark Gates (Str), 5-1; maj. dec. by Comar, 14-1.
125 — Austin DeChant (0-2): pinned by Andrew Dinda (GH), 5:32; pinned by Michael Carlone (May), 4:11.
130 — Dalton McHenry (4-1): pinned Mike Haumesser (Nrmd), 1:48; tech. fall Dion Johnson (T), 5:33; dec. by Tom D’Alessandro, 6-4; pinned Eric White (Str), 4:04; dec. Kyle Marrone (P), 9-7 (OT).
135 — Brandon Perrott (4-1): pinned Brian Storch (Med), 1:35; tech. fall Paul Funk (Nord), 5:06; dec. by Pat Duffy (L), 6-0; maj. dec. Mark Tolar (P), 10-0; dec. Victor Puskas (May), 2-1.
140 — Chase Churchill (3-1): pinned Zach Keller (T), 1:54; pinned Mike Kaminski (Str), 3:01; maj. dec. Dan Loeb (Sol), 15-4; maj. dec. by Richie Spicel (Brns), 11-2.
145 — Phillip Egnor (2-2): pinned Andrei Grigoryev (Sol), 3:30; dec. by Matt Haxton (Str), 5-4; maj. dec. Tim Bohanan (Stow), 15-4; dec. by Jevon Cook (Brsh), 7-5.
152 — Zack Goins (4-0): pinned Luke Humphreys (Med), 3:20; tech. fall Chet Bissell (T), 4:00; pinned Dan Jacobs (Stow), 1:43; maj. dec. David Doyle (Brns), 20-7.
160 — Jason Gott (2-2): dec. by Tyler Eastman (CF), 18-17; dec. Dominic McGunia (T), 1-0; dec. Shawn Koch (Brns), 5-2; dec. by Kyle Swan (Str), 11-5.
171 — Mitchell Fadenholz (4-2): maj. dec. Brian Yurko (Nord), 14-5; pinned by Tom Kerrigan (Med), 5:01; dec. Bryce Haneline (H), 8-3; dec. Will Hartmann (Brns), 6-5; dec. Travis Stanback (Sol), 8-2; dec. by Kerrigan, 6-0.
189 — Ryan Nelisse (4-1): pinned Jeff Kovach (NR), :16; pinned Andy McGill (Sol), :45; dec. by Dominic Jontony (Str), 9-6; pinned Adam Stroud (H), 1:24; dec. Josh Robertson (Nrmd), 7-5 (OT).
215 — Tom Merrell (1-2): pinned by Greg Barlett (Brns), 3:01; dec. Jimmy Goodrich (Nrmd), 2-1; pinned by Dillon Voss (GH), 2:04.