VERMILION — After suffering an opening-round loss in its Super Duals tournament, Vermilion knew it had little margin for error if it wanted to repeat as tournament champions.
On Friday, the Sailors were perfect and it turned out they needed every one of those wins.
Vermilion went 5-0 on the final day of competition with wins over Elyria (white), Monroeville, Clearview, Oberlin and Columbia to finish 8-1. The Sailors scored at least 58 points in all of their matches Friday.
Vermilion was tied with Black River, which also went 5-0 on Friday to finish 8-1, but won the title based on its 54-30 win over the Pirates on Thursday.
“We knew the pressure was on after we lost that first match to Cleveland Central Catholic,” Vermilion’s 145-pound junior Jakob Koleszar said. “We responded well to that pressure and really started wrestling well after that.”
Koleszar was the middleweight MVP award winner.
“It feels really good to win as a team,” Koleszar said. “And it also feels good to win MVP. This has been my goal since freshman year. I was 9-0 last year and I didn’t get it and I was 8-1 as a freshman. I’ve been trying for this the whole time I’ve been here.”
Cleveland Central Catholic and Monroeville finished tied for third with 6-3 records.
Clippers senior J.D. McCardle won the heavyweight MVP award after going 9-0 and pinning all of his opponents.
“It feels great to be able come out and wrestle as well as I did,” McCardle said. “I owe it a lot to my drill partners and coaches in the (wrestling) room for pushing me to be 100 percent of what I can be. The best was beating the Monroeville kid (Trey Leroux). He was large and he’s really good, too.
“I expected to do well here but I didn’t expect to do as well as I did. We grew a lot as a team over the last two days. When we first came in here, I don’t know if we were ready for the competition. We looked very timid and shy. By the end of the final day, we were wrestling good teams like Vermilion and some of our guys who have been struggling all year were pinning. That was awesome to see.”
The Clippers went 2-3 on Day 2 with wins over Port Clinton and Oberlin to finish 5-4. Elyria’s White team was also 5-4.
Phoenix junior Robert Bouchonville (126) won the lightweight MVP award after going 9-0.
“It feels good,” Bouchonville said of winning the MVP award. “I didn’t come in expecting to win MVP. I’ve been practicing hard and my coaches have been pushing me to the limits. It’s nice to see it pay off. This week should really help me with my confidence.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135
Final team standings
Vermilion (8-1), Black River (8-1), Cleveland Central Catholic (6-3), Monroeville (6-3), Elyria White (5-4), Clearview (5-4), Port Clinton (4-5), Rhodes (2-7), Columbia (1-8), Oberlin (0-9).
Monroeville 41, Cleveland Central Catholic 40.
Vermilion 58, Elyria White 24.
Black River 54, Columbia 12.
Clearview 30, Port Clinton 26.
Rhodes 30, Oberlin 28.
Black River 41, Cleveland Central Catholic 27
Vermilion 60, Monroeville 24
Elyria White 38, Clearview 36
Rhodes 30, Columbia 21
Port Clinton 37, Oberlin 36
Black River 45, Monroeville 29
Vermilion 60, Clearview 24
Cleveland Central Catholic 66, Rhodes 15
Elyria White 33, Oberlin 30
Port Clinton 36, Columbia 18
Monroeville 36, Clearview 30
Black River 54, Rhodes 30
Vermilion 66, Oberlin 15
Cleveland Central Catholic 53, Port Clinton 24
Elyria White 27, Columbia 18
Monroeville 48, Rhodes 24
Clearview 48, Oberlin 18
Vermilion 60, Columbia 21
Cleveland Central Catholic 54, Elyria White 30
Black River 48, Port Clinton 24