November 26, 2014

Elyria
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High school wrestling: State tournament capsules


DIVISION I

AMHERST COMETS

Aaron Winemiller

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 171 pounds
RECORD: 30-6
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the Knights of Columbus tournament in Avon Lake, and runner-up at the Southwestern Conference tournament. Runner-up at the Southview sectional and Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Second year.
STATE OUTLOOK: Ranked No. 3 in the state, so he won’t be taken lightly in Columbus. He should be the favorite in his opening match against Lakota East senior Matty Latessa, but could have a close matchup in the quarterfinals against Grove City Central Crossing senior Jason Faiella — the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the state. The two wrestlers ranked higher than Winemiller — No. 1 Brian Roddy of St. Edward and No. 2 John Harasyn of Mentor — are both on the opposite half of the bracket.

AVON LAKE SHOREMEN

Mark Tomanek

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 160 pounds
RECORD: 38-2
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the season-opening Knights of Columbus tournament at Avon Lake, fourth at the Southview Holiday tournament, champion of the West Holmes Invitational and captured the Southwestern Conference title. Won championships at the Southview sectional and Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Heading to state with a ton of confidence. Faces senior Josh Pankewicz of Austintown Fitch in the opening round. Tomanek is ranked No. 13 in the state and Pankewicz — the No. 4 seed out of the Massillon Perry district — is ranked No. 17. But Tomanek showed he’s better than his ranking by easily defeating St. Ignatius’ Marc Bryan — the second-ranked wrestler — in the district finals. A tougher test awaits in the quarterfinal matchup with Fairfield senior Thomas Torres — ranked No. 6 in the state.

BEREA BRAVES

Nolan Grame

YEAR: Sophomore
WEIGHT: 125 pounds
RECORD: 27-16
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Fourth at the Midwest Classic and seventh at Wadsworth. Third at the Midpark sectional and fourth at Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: May have one of the area’s toughest first-round matchups when he faces Cincinnati Elder senior Tom Pretty tonight. Pretty (42-3) placed third at 119 pounds last season, is the Fairfield district champion and is the projected state champion. If Grame gets past Pretty, he would probably have Uniontown Lake’s Scott Mattingly — the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the state — waiting in the quarterfinals.

Joe Abujaradeh

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 171 pounds
RECORD: 28-11
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Runner-up at the Midwest Classic, seventh at Wadsworth and third at the Southwestern Conference. Runner-up at the Midpark sectional and fourth at Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Will be the underdog during his opening matchup with Fairfield senior Ian Mathews, the Fairfield district champ who is 31-5 and ranked No. 13 in the state. Braves coach Mike Rice said he likes the spot Abujaradeh is in and that, “he has to go out and wrestle the way he has been wrestling the last two weeks.” A probable quarterfinal matchup with Mentor senior John Harasyn — the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the state — would be Abujaradeh’s reward for an upset in the opener.

ELYRIA PIONEERS

Steve Mitcheff

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 112 pounds
RECORD: 38-5
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Fourth at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, third at the Brecksville Holiday tournament and champion at the North Coast Classic and inaugural Northeast Ohio Conference tournament. Received the Outstanding Wrestler award at the NCC. Was runner-up at the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Fourth year. Placed seventh at 103 pounds as a freshman, won the 103-pound state championship as a sophomore and placed fifth at 112 pounds last season.
STATE OUTLOOK: With all the seriously talented wrestlers in this weight class, Mitcheff received a somewhat favorable draw. He’s ranked No. 3 in the state and won’t meet top-ranked Sam White of Massillon Perry until the semifinals, and wouldn’t see No. 2 Jamie Clark of St. Edward until the championship match. He already has a victory this season — in the Brecksville Holiday tournament — against opening-round opponent Jimmy Millar of Hilliard Davidson.

Dalton McHenry

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 130 pounds
RECORD: 37-9
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Fifth at Brecksville, was champion at the NCC and third at the NOC. Runner-up at the Southview sectional and Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: McHenry is among a field of hammers and the Pioneer is hoping not to get nailed. While he has a favorable opening matchup against North Royalton sophomore Frank Calarco, he has the top two ranked wrestlers — Wadsworth’s Brad Squire and Lakota West’s Ryan Fields — in his half of the bracket. Waiting on the other side is Massillon Perry junior Seth Horner, who won the insanely tough Massillon Perry district and is probably the odds-on favorite to win the title.

Zack Goins

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 152 pounds
RECORD: 40-3
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the Ashland tournament and the NOC, and sixth at Brecksville. Champion at the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Second year. Placed fifth at 140 pounds as a sophomore.
STATE OUTLOOK: The potentially exciting state final between Goins and Westerville North senior Jesse Dong won’t happen as the two are scheduled to meet in the semifinals. Goins is ranked No. 3 in the state and has a 40-3 record, but he’s wrestling at peak form right now and it’s hard to imagine anyone beating him. He’s a brutal competitor that St. Edward senior Cory Martinson — ranked No. 10 in the state — chose not to face in the sectional and district championship matches. Goins is a near-lock to advance to the semifinals and one of the better bets for a local state title.

Ryan Nelisse

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 189 pounds
RECORD: 48-6
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Sixth at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, seventh at Brecksville, champion at the NCC and third at the NOC. Southview sectional champion and placed third at the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Nelisse — ranked No. 10 in the state — picked up a tough first-round match with Stow senior Frank Saranitti — the No. 8 wrestler in Ohio. The two didn’t meet at the inaugural Northeast Ohio Conference tournament, where Saranitti won the title and Nelisse finished third. If Nelisse wins his opener, another tough match could loom against Harrison junior Andrew Tumlin, a two-time state placer who is undefeated and projected to win the state title.

NORTH RIDGEVILLE RANGERS

Greg Byrd

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: Heavyweight
RECORD: 11-1
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Missed the bulk of the season due to a scheduling issue, but was still champion of the West Shore Conference. Also champion at the Southview sectional and runner-up at the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Will get no rest in Columbus as every match looks like a battle. He starts with Wadsworth sophomore Ben Buzzelli, who is 33-7 and ranked No. 6 in the state. He’s also looking at a possible quarterfinal matchup against Clayton Northmont senior Matt Pritchard (No. 3 in the state) and a semifinal showdown with Mason senior Josh Kline (41-1 and projected state champ).

OLMSTED FALLS BULLDOGS

Mike Varga

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 125 pounds
RECORD: 34-6
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the Findlay Duals and the Matteucci Memorial, and runner-up at the Southwestern Conference. Champ at the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Varga, who is the Bulldogs’ co-captain with Knapp, has been steamrolling through the postseason and should be a heavy favorite to dispatch opening-round opponent Jake Sage of Kettering Fairmont. The sophomore is 24-11, a No. 4 seed out of the Fairfield district and unranked in the state. Varga, who is ranked No. 11 in Ohio, will probably see a tougher test in the quarterfinals against two-time state placer Andrew Dinda of Garfield Heights.

Jerry Knapp

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 215 pounds
RECORD: 32-10
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the Findlay Duals, Matteucci Memorial and SWC, sixth at the Medina Invitational and eighth at the Dies Memorial. Third at the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: It’s a coin-flip situation for Knapp in his opener against Xenia junior Reggie Romine. Knapp is 32-10 and ranked No. 24 in the state, while Romine is 35-12 and No. 23. A tougher test awaits in the quarterfinals where Knapp would have to face the winner of the match between Reynoldsburg senior Matt Cook — 41-6 and ranked No. 5 in the state — and Mayfield junior Cody Hayes — 37-6 and No. 4.

SOUTHVIEW SAINTS

Uland Ralston

YEAR: Sophomore
WEIGHT: 103 pounds
RECORD: 35-4
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Runner-up at the Everret Hoppel and Lake Erie League tournaments, and champion at the Ashland Bookmaster, Southview Holiday, Fremont Ross, Hilliard Darby and Mary Kerry events. Runner-up at both the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Hoping to make it a third straight Ralston-Sako finale, as the Southview wrestler lost in both the sectional and district championship matches to St. Edward sophomore Gus Sako — the top-ranked wrestler in Ohio. Ralston, ranked No. 11 in the state, should be favored in his opening match against Hilliard Davidson freshman Angelo DiSabato, who is 37-6 and No. 14 in the state. He could have a tough match in the quarterfinals against Cincinnati Moeller sophomore Jacob Corrill — the No. 3 wrestler in the state.

Narcisco Inchaurregui

YEAR: Freshman
WEIGHT: 112 pounds
RECORD: 38-5
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Third at the Ashland Bookmaster, runner-up at Hilliard Darby and Mary Kerr and champion at the Everret Hoppel, Southview Holiday, Fremont Ross and LEL tournaments. Third at both the Southview sectional and Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Probably a slight underdog in his opening match against Springboro sophomore Tyler Riegle. Inchaurregui is ranked No. 12 in the state and the No. 3 seed out of the Marion Hading district, while Riegle is ranked No. 9 in Ohio and the No. 2 seed out of the Hilliard Darby district. If victorious, Inchaurregui will probably meet Massillon Perry junior Sam White — the 103-pound champ last season and this year’s projected champ — in the quarterfinals.

ST. EDWARD EAGLES (locals)

John Cobos

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 119 pounds
RECORD: 20-13
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Cobos, an Avon Lake resident, placed eighth at the Medina Invitational. Third at the Southview sectional and fourth at the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Second year. Cobos was a state qualifier as a freshman, but didn’t wrestle in the postseason as a sophomore due to injuries.
STATE OUTLOOK: Will have to tiptoe through a minefield of talent to reach the championship match in this weight class. Starts off with a tough match against Springboro freshman Cody Shivener, who is 38-1 and ranked No. 7 in the state. Cobos also has Solon’s Garrett Henry (No. 3 in the state), Toledo Waite’s Scott Fuller (No. 2) and Brecksville’s Ryan Marks (No. 9) on his half of the bracket.

Anthony Salupo

YEAR: Sophomore
WEIGHT: 125 pounds
RECORD: 27-10
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Salupo, who resides in Westlake, placed third at the Southview sectional and third at the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Has a tough opener against Cincinnati Moeller sophomore Pierce Harger — the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state. Salupo, ranked No. 7 in the state, would have a probable matchup against Massillon Perry senior Dan Genetin in the quarterfinals. Harger is a returning state placer, while Genetin is a two-time state placer.

Collin Palmer

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 135 pounds
RECORD: 26-0
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Palmer, who lives in Columbia Township, was champion of the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, the Medina Invitational,  the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Third year. Palmer won the 119-pound state championship as a freshman and the 125-pound title last season.
STATE OUTLOOK: Is on pace to match older brother Lance — now a star wrestler for Ohio State — with four state championships. He is unblemished this season and has never been beaten in the postseason during his high school career. Palmer will face Thomas Worthington senior Adli Edwards in his opening match. Edwards is 33-12 and unranked in the state.

WESTLAKE DEMONS

Nick Lawrence

YEAR: Sophomore
WEIGHT: 119 pounds
RECORD: 35-4
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the North Coast Classic and the Southwestern Conference, runner-up at Hudson and third at the Southview Holiday Classic. Runner-up at the Southview sectional and third at the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Second year. Lawrence placed sixth at 103 pounds as a freshman.
STATE OUTLOOK: Lawrence should be favored to win his opener against Reynoldsburg junior Jasper Few — who dropped from 125 late in the season and is currently 34-5 overall. Hopefully the Demon — ranked No. 5 in the state — won’t have to use too much energy as he faces a probable matchup against Brush senior Kyle Ciccarello — a returning state placer and the projected state champ — in the quarterfinal.

Devin Henry

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 152 pounds
RECORD: 35-3
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the Southview Holiday Classic, Midpark and the SWC, and third at the North Coast Classic, the Southview sectional and the Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Faces a tough test in the opening round against Miamisburg senior Brett Ewing — the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the state. Ewing is 38-4 and placed fourth at 145 pounds last season. If Henry — who is ranked No. 11 in the state — can pull the upset, he would probably have another big obstacle in Cincinnati Moeller senior Eric Gobin — No. 5 in the state — in the quarterfinals.

Ryan Smugala

YEAR: Junior
WEIGHT: 215 pounds
RECORD: 31-11
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Runner-up at the North Coast Classic, Southview Holiday Classic, Hudson and the SWC. Fourth at the Southview sectional and Marion Harding district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Will have his hands full in his opening match against Cincinnati Elder junior Orlando Scales — who is 44-0, placed third at the same weight last year and is the top-ranked wrestler in the state.

DIVISION II

University School Preppers (local)

Brad Wukie

YEAR: Sophomore
WEIGHT: 135 pounds
RECORD: 38-11
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Runner-up at the North Canton Holiday tournament, fifth at the Brecksville Holiday tournament and third at the Alliance Top Gun. Runner-up at the Lake Catholic sectional and fourth at the Akron Firestone district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Second year. Wukie, an Elyria resident, was the state runner-up at 119 pounds as a freshman.
STATE OUTLOOK: Entered the postseason as the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the state behind Walsh Jesuit senior Chase Skonieczny, but had a tough time at his district tournament. Even as the No. 4 seed out of Firestone, he should still be the favorite in his first-round matchup with Highland junior Logan Gresock, the No. 15-ranked wrestler in the state who is currently 28-13. A return trip to the championship match will be tough as Wukie may have to face Skonieczny — a three-time state placer — in the semifinals.

VERMILION SAILORS

Ryan Shupe

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 145 pounds
RECORD: 36-5
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Third at the K of C, runner-up at the Bellevue Invitational, went 5-0 during Day 1 of the Vermilion Duals — an event that was canceled after a watermain break at the school — and was the West Shore Conference champion. Runner-up at the Highland sectional and third at the Fostoria district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Was unranked heading into the postseason, which isn’t surprising since the Sailors captain has never advanced to the district tournament let alone placed in the top four. Didn’t wrestle during his freshman year but still has 98 career victories, which could be a motivating factor as he’ll have to win two at state to reach the century mark. It won’t be easy as he’ll meet returning state placer Dustin Fraley of Miami Trace in his opening match. Fraley is 45-3 and ranked third in the state.

DIVISION III

LUTHERAN WEST LONGHORNS

Colin Dennis

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 119 pounds
RECORD: 46-3
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Runner-up at the McNulty Memorial and champion at the J.B. Firestone, Tipp City, Bedford and Patriot Athletic Conference tournaments. Also champion at the Brooklyn sectional and runner-up at the Maple Heights district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: Third year. Placed seventh during his sophomore season at 103 pounds for Holy Name in Division II, and went 1-2 in Columbus last season for the Longhorns.
STATE OUTLOOK: Dennis, who set the school record for pins this season with 33 and counting, is the favorite in the opener against Caldwell sophomore Jacob Border — who is 40-5 and ranked No. 18 in the state. Dennis is ranked No. 10 in the state, and could meet defending 103-pound state champion Logan Stieber (47-0) of Monroeville in the quarterfinals.

Josh Malave

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 135 pounds
RECORD: 47-3
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Champion at the McNulty Memorial, J.B. Firestone, Tipp City, Bedford and PAC tournaments. Named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the McNulty and Bedford events. Also champion at the Brooklyn sectional and runner-up at the Maple Heights district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: Malave, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the state, should be the favorite in his first two matches — he will meet Toledo Christian senior Matthew Curcio in the opening match — before facing Miami East senior Ryan Gambill — the projected state champ — in the semifinals. Gambill is a two-time state champion and three-time state placer.

OBERLIN PHOENIX

Nick Chmura

YEAR: Senior
WEIGHT: 189 pounds
RECORD: 37-6
TOURNAMENT TESTED: Third at Knights of Columbus, runner-up at McNulty Memorial, fourth at J.B. Firestone and champion at the Columbia Invitational and PAC. Runner-up at the Brooklyn sectional and finished third at the Maple Heights district.
STATE EXPERIENCE: First year
STATE OUTLOOK: The three-time district qualifier will be the favorite in his opening match against Wellsville junior Ryan Crabtree — the No. 2 seed from the Heath district is unranked with a 43-9 record. Chmura, the No. 22-ranked wrestler in the state, could meet Troy Christian senior Nathan Jones — the Kettering Fairmont district champ and projected state champion — in the quarterfinals.