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Wrestling: Elyria's Shawver shines at Brecksville Holiday tournament

BRECKSVILLE — Those inside wrestling circles already knew all about Elyria impact freshman Dylan Shawver (113 pounds).

Those who didn’t got a big, “How do you do?” Thursday at the 56th annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament.

Already a Fargo freestyle All-American at the Cadet level, Shawver introduced himself in the biggest way at the high school folkstyle level in the quarterfinals.

All that stood in his way from a semifinal match in the toughest post-Christmas tournament in the state was a match with Brecksville’s Gabe Tagg.

That would be Tagg, who was fresh off a state runner-up finish in Division I last season and an Ironman championship at the beginning of the month.

Shawver won a one-sided 9-7 quarter he never trailed to join teammates J.T. Brown (182) and Kevin Vough (285) as semifinalists for the first-place Pioneers after Day 1.

“That was real big,” Shawver said. “He’s accomplished a lot of things. Now, I need to stay focused.”

While Shawver stayed humble, Pioneers coach Erik Burnett put the win over the seventh-ranked wrestler in the nation in perspective.

Shawver never trailed, scoring the first two points and then the next four after Tagg tied it up at two.

“That was big for Dylan,” Burnett said. “He’s a heck of a wrestling athlete. He needs to use his assets to put himself in position to score and he did, especially against a guy like Gabe Tagg.

“He’s got to be feeling really confident right now. I liked his technique, but mentally it helps. It’s weird how it works that way. If you’re not confident, you get in on something and you might not finish it because you don’t think you should. He’s confident right now. Hopefully, he can keep it going.”

Spencer Berthold (220) is looking to do the same thing as the only semifinalist for Midview. A district qualifier last season, the senior made it to the second day at Perrysburg before falling to Amherst’s Todd Hastings two matches before state.

Hastings went on to finish sixth in Columbus, Berthold went back to the proverbial drawing board.

“That drives me a lot,” Berthold said. “I’m working hard. My team is working hard. Mentally, I’m pushing it hard, too, so is my team. We’re doing it on the mat as well.

“My goal has always been to be a state champion. I don’t want to let myself down. I don’t want to look back and be like, ‘What could I have done better? What could have happened different?’ I always want to work hard.”

Vough’s drive is a little different.

A two-time state finalist and 2015 state champion, the Boise State commit has won pretty much every tournament he’s ever entered in Ohio.

The one that has gotten away has been Brecksville.

As a freshman, Vough reached the semifinals and finished fifth.

As a sophomore, he was sick and missed the tournament, while last year a knee injury kept him from the oldest holiday tournament in the nation.

Thursday, Vough’s three opponents lasted a combined 5:30 en route to his romp to the semis.

“This one means a lot,” Vough said. “It’s the empty spot on the wall that I have yet to fill. Plus, the last two weeks have made me gun for it in practice to make sure I’m doing everything right (Vough finished third at the Walsh Ironman and second at the Beast of the East).

“I know I can do better. It’s wiping off the dust from last year and making everything nice. It’s taken a little bit of time, but I’m working on it.”

BRECKSVILLE — Results Thursday from the 56th annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament at Brecksville High School.

Team standings: 1. Elyria 113; 2. Mechanicsburg 108; 3. Olentangy Liberty 104.5; 4. Elder 103; 5. Lowell, Mich. 100.5; 6. Brecksville 99.5; 7. Aurora 89.5; 8. Canfield, Lake Catholic, Cincinnati La Salle 85; 11. Ashland 83; 12. Wauseon 80.5; 13. Fairfield 80; 14. St. Ignatius 71; 15. Edison, Marysville 69; 17. Oregon Clay, Midview 63.5; 19. Mentor 58.5; 20. Delta 57; 21. Western Brown 56; 22. Dundee, Mich. 54.5; 23. Kettering Fairmont 52; 24. Lakota East 48.5; 25. Alliance 46; 26. Hilliard Davidson 45; 27. Fremont Ross 44.5; 28. CVCA 43.5; 29. Woodridge 42; 30. Walsh Jesuit 41; 31. Ashtabula St. John 38; 32. Shadyside 37.5; 33. Brecksville “B” 36; 34. Nelson Ville-York, Solon 34; 36. Lake 32; 37. Hickory, Pa. 31.5; 38. Padua, Perrysburg 30; 40. Anthony Wayne 25; 41. Sycamore 24; 42. Columbus DeSales 20.5; 43. Martins Ferry, Willoughby South 20; 45. Cuyahoga Heights 19; 46. Nordonia 18.5; 47. Licking Valley 14.5; 48. Manchester 9.

Semifinal pairings

106: Jake Canitano (Sol) vs. Lucas Byrd (LaS); Julian Tagg (Bre) vs. Jacob Decatur (CVCA).

113: Dylan Shawver (Ely) vs. Zach Shupp (Fai); Braken Mead (Lib) vs. Connor McCrone (LC).

120: Greg Quinn (Sha) vs. Kyle Ryan (Per); Gio DiSabato (HD) vs. Jordan Rosselli (Lib).

126: Drew Mattin (Del) vs. Jordan Decatur (CVCA); Tyler Wetzel (Mec) vs. Matt Fields (Wal).

132: Lamonte Chapman (FR) vs. Alex Rhine (Mech); Marco Regalbuto (Bre) vs. Jarrod Brezovec (Aur).

138: Jake Martinez (LV) vs. Nick Henneman (Cla); Corey Shie (LaS) vs. Brady Barnett.

145: Kevon Freeman (LC) vs. Tyler Orrison (Dun); Carson Kharchialva (Lib) vs. Sandro Ramirez (Wau).

152: Colt Yinger (Mec) vs. Anthony D’Alesio (Can); Jake Marsh (Mar) vs. Conor Brady (Lib).

160: Georgio Poullas (Can) vs. Tiric Evans (Eld); Kyle Lawson (Lib) vs. Jake Henderson (WB).

170: Kaleb Romero (Mec) vs. Michael Baker (LaS); David Crawford (Can) vs. Andrew Sams (Fai)

182: Kaden Russell (SI) vs. Dominic Cooper (Can); Dave Kruse (Low) vs. J.T. Brown (Ely).

195: Brandon Whitman (Dun) vs. Anthony Perrine (Nor); Pete Abraham (Pad) vs. Tony Banister (Wau).

220: Elijah Boulton (Low) vs. Antonio McCloud (Eld); Spencer Berthold (Mid) vs. Bubba Arslanian (Aur).

285: Kevin Vough (Ely) vs. Mason Giordano (Can); Tyler Newlan (Ash) vs. Jon Spalding (LE).

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