BROADVIEW HTS. — Elyria’s wrestling program sent a message to the rest of the state Friday at the 56th annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament.
Placing a record eight individuals and crowning champions in J.T. Brown (182 pounds) and Kevin Vough (285), the Pioneers won the toughest post-Christmas tournament in the state, besting Mechanicsburg by four in the 47-team field.
“I think we’re saying we’re coming for the state title,” Brown said. “We’re not playing around. We’re missing a couple guys at this tournament and we’re not holding back.
“We never have tapped our potential, but we’re going to see it soon. It’s exciting. We’re going to be a problem.”
Winning wasn’t much of a problem for the Pioneers, who also had Dylan Shawver (runner-up at 113), Mick Burnett (fifth at 106), Josh Breeding (fitth at 126), Cam King (seventh at 195), Matt Zuckerman (eighth at 120) and Drew Butera (eighth at 152) also reach the podiums.
The fact Elyria did it without state champion Brendon Fenton, state qualifier Brendan Price and state alternate Tristan Brady in the lineup should be a bit of a wakeup call for the anyone in the state who was thinking Elyria’s run near the top ended when two-time state champ Ben Darmstadt graduated and headed to Cornell.
Vough pinned his way to the final and then beat Lakota East’s Jon Spalding 2-1 in overtime.
Brown knocked off returning state champion Kaden Russell of St. Ignatius in a 10-4 championship match that wasn’t even that close.
“We definitely have the capability,” Vough said. “We have guys that are showing up and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We just have to transfer that out here to the mat.
“Momentum plays a great role. Guys want to see their buddies — their teammates — out there winning. That in itself gives them that fuel to keep going and not be in the shadows.”
With three of their biggest guns still out, what the Pioneers are learning is that the early grind of the season will pay gigantic dividends down the road.
Elyria coach Erik Burnett has fine-tuned things since the opening weekend at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman and has the Pioneers rolling now.
“I think the biggest thing showing is that the hard work is paying off,” Burnett said. “Nobody liked how we wrestled at the Ironman. We changed some things around and now they’re seeing it.
“To come in here and win it with guys out of the lineup is good. When kids can see progress right in front of them, that’s what’s big.”
While the road for Midview’s Spencer Berthold (220) didn’t end with a title, his runner-up finish to Cincinnati Elder’s Antonio McCloud was a gigantic step in the right direction.
He beat Aurora’s Bubba Arslanian, who finished third at state last season, in the semis and had McCloud on his back in the finals before falling 12-7.
Add an eighth-place finish by Seth Frambach (182) and the Middies are looking solid.
“We’re going really good,” Berthold said. “We’re going in the right direction. I beat a guy ranked above me so I think it shows. I want this even more because I lost. I want it even more now.”
Before the finals, the National Wrestling Coaches Association honored Elyria’s Chris Chidlaw with the Midwest regional and state assistant coach of the year awards.
Contact Brad Bournival at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Elyria 188; 2. Mechanicsburg 184; 3. Olentangy Liberty 176.5; 4. Brecksville 163; 5. Cincinnati Elder 158; 6. Lowell, Mich. 138.5; 7. Cincinnati La Salle 127; 8. Canfield 122; 9. Wauseon 119.5; 10. Aurora, Lake Catholic 106; 12. Marysville 103; 13. Fairfield 102; 14. Ashland 97; 15. St. Ignatius 90; 16. Milan Edison 83.5; 17. CVCA 80; 18. Oregon Clay 77.5; 19. Midview 76.5; 20. Delta 82; 21. Dundee, Mich. 69.5; 22. Lakota East 65.5; 23. Ashtabula St. John 64; 24. Woodridge 62.5; 25. Western Brown 62; 26. Hilliard Davidson 61; 27. Mentor 60.5; 28. Kettering Fairmont 60; 29. Fremont Ross 59.5; 30. Alliance 58; 31. Nelsonville-York 57.5; 32. Shadyside 52.5; 33. Walsh Jesuit 46; 34. Brecksville “B,” Solon 40; 36. Perrysburg 39; 37. Sycamore 38.5; 38. Padua 37.5; 39. Hickory, Pa. 34.5; 40. Martins Ferry 33; 41. Lake 32; 42. Anthony Wayne 26; 43. Nordonia 25.5; 44. Licking Valley, Columbus DeSales 21.5; 46. Cuyahoga Heights, Willoughby South 20; 48. Manchester 9.
106: FIRST: Lucas Byrd (LaS) dec. Julian Tagg (Bre), 8-4; THIRD: Jacob Decatur (CVCA) dec. Blake Saito (Lib), 5-3; FIFTH: Mick Burnett (Ely) def. Jake Canitano (Sol) by forfeit; SEVENTH: Jim Balazy (Pad) dec. Jack Stanley (Bre), 4-3.
113:FIRST: Braken Mead (Lib) dec. Dylan Shawver (Ely), 5-2; THIRD: Gabe Tagg (Bre) pinned Matthew Cardello (CVCA), 2:12; FIFTH: Zach Shup (Fair) def. Conor McCrone (LC) by inj. def.; SEVENTH: Joey Hirsch (Sol) dec. Antoine Allen (LaS), 5-4.
120:FIRST: Greg Quinn (Sha) dec. Jordan Rosselli (Lib), 4-3; THIRD: Gio DiSabato (HD) dec. Andrew Perelka (Bre), 3-1; FIFTH: Jack Gorman (Aur) dec. Hunter Ryan (LC), 3-2; SEVENTH: Jabari Thomas (Fai) dec. Matt Zuckerman (Ely), 4-3.
126:FIRST: Jordan Decatur (CVCA) dec. Tyler Wetzel (Mec), 9-4; THIRD: Drew Mattin (Del) dec. Matt Fields (Wal), 7-0; FIFTH: Josh Breeding (Ely) pinned Derek Sharp (Mar), 2:41; SEVENTH: Nolan Wochna (Bre) dec. Kyle Green (Syc), 6-1.
132:FIRST: Jarrod Brezovec (Aur) dec. Alex Rhine (Mech), 5-1; THIRD: Austin Boone (Low) dec. Lamonte Chapman (FR), 3-1; FIFTH: Marco Regalbuto (Bre) dec. Demetrios Monroe (HD), 8-1; SEVENTH: Zach Furnas (Lib) dec. Mitchell Skleres (LC), 7-5.
138:FIRST: Corey Shie (LaS) dec. Nick Henneman (Cla), 4-2; THIRD: Brady Barnett (Edi) dec. Jake Martinez (LV), 8-4 (UTB); FIFTH: Eli Yoho (Woo) dec. Avry Mutschler (Low), 8-1; SEVENTH: Hunter Yackee (Wau) dec. Jake Meridieth (Eld), 4-2.
145:FIRST: Kevon Freeman (LC) dec. Sandro Ramirez (Wau), 2-1; THIRD: Tanner Smith (Mec) dec. Jason Bronstrup (Bre), 11-6; FIFTH: Carson Kharchialva (Lib) maj. dec. Tylor Orrison (Dun), 18-5; SEVENTH: Walker Heard (Mar) dec. Travis Barnes (Del), 4-1.
152:FIRST: Jacob Marsh (Mar) dec. Colt Yinger (Mec), 4-3, UTB: THIRD: Conor Brady (Lib) dec. Jacob Lagoa (SJ), 6-3; FIFTH: Isaac Yoho (Woo) dec. Anthony D’Alesio (Can), 5-0; SEVENTH: Connor Craig (Eld) pinned Drew Butera (Ely), 3:59.
160:FIRST: Georgio Poullas (Can) dec. Kyle Lawson (Lib), 6-3; THIRD: TiRic (Evans) (Eld) def. David Cumberledge (SJ) by forfeit; FIFTH: Josh Herhold (Per) dec. Jake Henderson (WB), 10-4; SEVENTH: Andrew Bailey (Wau) pinned Tyler Speelman (N-Y), 2:15.
170:FIRST: Kaleb Romero (Mec) maj. dec. Andrew Sams (Fai), 14-6; THIRD: Michael Baker (LaS) dec. David Crawford (Can), 3-0; FIFTH: Jimmy Traub (Syc) dec. Garrett Barth (FR), 1-0; SEVENTH: Eric Altman (WB) dec. Austin Engle (Low), 8-3.
182: FIRST: J.T. Brown (Ely) dec. Kaden Russell (SI), 10-4; THIRD: Dominic Cooper (Can) dec. Dave Kruse (Low), 6-5; FIFTH: Mark Kimbrell (KF) dec. Devin Goschinski (Ash), 9-2; SEVENTH: James Wilson (LaS) dec. Seth Frambach (Mid), 5-3.
195:FIRST: Brandon Whitman (Dun) dec. Tony Banister (Wau), 6-1; THIRD: Anthony Perrine (Nor) dec. Jerrell Martin (All), 5-4; FIFTH: Pete Abraham (Pad) dec. Sam Stoll (Edi), 7-4; SEVENTH: Cam King (Ely) dec. Josh Bever (Ash), 7-5.
220:FIRST: Antonio McCloud (Eld) dec. Spencer Berthold (Mid), 12-7; THIRD: Donovan McCollister (N-Y) dec. Elijah Boulton (Low), 3-1; FIFTH: Hunter Bodkin (MF) def. Bubba Arslanian (Aur) by forfeit; SEVENTH: Kemal Sarvalov (LE) dec. Aidan Gill (SI), 10-6.
285:FIRST: Kevin Vough (Ely) dec. Jon Spalding (LE), 2-1 (TB); THIRD: Alec Moore-Nash (Eld) pinned Mason Giordano (Can), 2:43; FIFTH: Dylan Hartley (Mech) pinned Tyler Newlan (Ash), :47; SEVENTH: Domenique Wallace (MF) maj. dec. Tyler Connolly (Mar), 10-0.