What wrestler wouldn’t want to be part of the Lake Ridge program? You’d have a new wrestling room — fully heated — a lock to own all the school records in the sport and have your own personal coach to help you hone your craft.
It must be pretty good to be Mike Rose.
“We had about seven wrestlers before the season began,” Lions coach Doug Hull said. “There were some kids with potential but they thought we were only going to practice two days a week. Last season, they only practiced on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They just didn’t want to make the commitment to practicing every day.”
Rose, a junior 140-pounder, is all that’s left. He’s stuck it out and now makes up the entire Lake Ridge roster. He’s 2-2 — matches are hard to come by for a team with just one wrestler — but will double his match total this weekend at the Falcon Invitational and is hoping to earn a spot in the Division III sectional tournament at the end of the season.
“We take him over to Brookside to work out,” said Hull, who coached current Cardinals coach Brian Behrendt. “Although we do have a nice facility. It’s a self-contained room that the parents donated. The guy that built the room is a parent of one of our sixth-grade wrestlers.”
A nearly identical story is being told on the other side of Lorain County by Open Door coach John Kolesar.
“We started with five kids this season and we’re down to two,” he said. “It’s tough because they don’t have a lot of different kids to wrestle against in practice, but it’s nice because I get to spend a lot of time with them.”
The Patriots pair — 189-pounder Cody Peacock and 215-pounder Tony D’Abato — sport winning records and seem to be the only kids in the student body who want to dedicate themselves to the demanding sport.
“It seems like the kids at Open Door are involved in everything,” Kolesar said. “They take part in the jazz band, then spend time participating in the school plays — it’s kind of difficult getting them to come out for wrestling.”
Like Lake Ridge, the Patriots don’t have home meets and find it tough getting other teams to schedule them. Open Door will also participate in Firelands’ tournament Saturday.
Week in review
Southview dethroned three-time defending champion Reynoldsburg at the Mary Kerr Invitational at Toledo Waite High last weekend, finishing with 185 points to the Raiders’ 170.5. Leading the way for the Saints with individual titles were Uland Ralston at 103 pounds and Jose Martinez at 171. Also placing for the Saints were Narcisco Inchaurregui (runner-up at 112), Zeno Inchaurregui (third at 125), Tony Martinez (third at 140), Bobby Cruz (third at 145), David Gyorfi (fourth at 119), Jimmy Gyorfi (sixth at 130), Paul Findley (sixth at 152) and Dustin English (seventh at 189).
• Westlake finished seventh and Brookside finished eighth at the Len Pariano Invitational at Midpark High last Saturday. Coming away with individual titles for Westlake were Connor Dempsey at 112 pounds and Devin Henry at 160. Also placing for the Demons were Naseem Merhi (fourth at 130), J.D. Hackman (third at 140) and Eric Simon (fourth at 145). Placing for the Cardinals were Mike Pritt (third at 119) and Nick Rados (third at 171).
• Wellington finished eighth at the Husky Duals at Northwestern last Saturday. Placing for the Dukes were Justin Bockmore (runner-up at 112 pounds), Mark Bennett (fourth at 160), Jason Schramm (sixth at 215) and Aaron Martin (sixth at 140).
• Vermilion, stricken with both injuries and illness, finished seventh at the Napoleon Gold Medal Duals last weekend. There were no individual placements awarded at the tournament.
• Olmsted Falls finished 10th and Black River finshed 33rd at the Bill Dies Memorial at Firestone High last weekend. Placing for the Bulldogs were Brad Slater (runner-up at 103 pounds), Chaz McGrain (sixth at 135), Jerry Knapp (eighth at 215) and Zach Laird (eighth at heavyweight). The Pirates had no placers in the tournament.
• University School finished as runner-up and Berea finished 31st at the 41-team Top Gun tournament at Alliance High last weekend. Elyria resident Brad Wukie placed third at 135 pounds for the Preppers. Larry Tischler placed seventh at 160 for the Braves.
• Lutheran West finished fifth at the Bedford Invitational last Saturday. Winning individual championships for the Longhorns were Colin Dennis at 119 pounds and Josh Malave at 135. Also placing for the Longhorns were Eric Bednash (runner-up at 130), Mike Chambers (third at 125), Jose Soto (third at 140), Steve Flury (fourth at 103), Brad Watson (fourth at 119) and Colin McHugh (fourth at 215).
• Admiral King finished third at the Western Reserve Invitational — a dual-meet tournament — last Saturday. Mike Daniels went 5-0 at 135 pounds, while Tom Sigman (140), Johnny Phillips (152) and Quentin Watson (heavyweight) all finished at 4-1.
Tournaments on tap
Elyria Catholic will participate at the Thunderbird Invitational in Lima today and Saturday.
• Brookside and Columbia will be at the Western Reserve Academy Invitational today and Saturday.
• Oberlin, Open Door, Lake Ridge and host Firelands will be at the Falcon Invitational on Saturday.
• Avon, North Ridgeville and Olmsted Falls will be at the John Matteucci Memorial Classic at Eastlake North on Saturday.
• Avon Lake and Keystone will be at the West Holmes Invitational on Saturday.
• Black River will be at the Willard Invitational on Saturday.
Southview 125-pounder Zeno Inchaurregui suffered the first loss of his sophomore season, an 8-3 decision to Division I state qualifier Jasper Few of Reynoldsburg during the semifinals of the Mary Kerr Invitational. Inchaurregui bounced back to finish third in the 23-team tournament.
• Saints coach Billy Kopp was honored with the James “Big Daddy” Derr award as the top coach at the Kerr tournament.
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Uland Ralston, Southview
WEIGHT: 103 pounds
LAST WEEK: Ralston went 4-0 to capture an individual championship at the Mary E. Kerr tournament at Toledo Waite High School. He had a one-point decision, a pair of major decisions and a pin in the event, improving his record to 24-1.
ULAND’S THOUGHTS ON THE WEEK: “Everybody wrestled tough on the team — they really stepped up. Especially considering we have such a young team, we only have two seniors. So far, I’ve been really happy with the way I’ve been wrestling, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m just looking to finish the year strong.”
THREE THINGS I DO BESIDES WRESTLE: Play baseball for the Saints — he plays shortstop, second base and catcher for his school team — listen to music on his mp3 player or on the radio — his favorite genres are rap and rhythm and blues — and watch television — his favorite shows are “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “George Lopez.”
PARENTS: Uland and Celeste Ralston
FUTURE PLANS: Ralston wants to go to college for physical therapy or sports medicine. He’s not sure where he wants to go, but plans on just sticking with his academics when he gets there.
Colin Dennis, Lutheran West
WEIGHT: 119 pounds
LAST WEEK: Dennis breezed his way to an individual title at the Joe Searcy Memorial tournament at Midpark High last weekend. He had three pins and a technical fall to push his record to 34-2. It was an emotional tournament for the wrestler as his father collapsed and had to be resuscitated before being rushed to the hospital.
COLIN’S THOUGHTS ON THE WEEK: “It’s been a long week. I just went out and did everything I’ve been taught to do by my dad. Everything right now seems to be going really well wrestling-wise. All my moves seem to be working just the way they should be and I’m just getting it done.”
THREE THINGS I DO BESIDES WRESTLE: Play baseball for the Longhorns — he plays catcher and second base — swim competitively for Mills Creek swim team — he competes in the butterfly, freestyle and the individual medley — and play video games — his system is the Xbox 360 and his favorite game is NCAA 2007.
PARENTS: Harry and Barb Dennis
FUTURE PLANS: Dennis has narrowed his school choices to Heidelberg and Findlay. He also said that wrestling in college is a must. His area of study still remains uncertain.