VERMILION — As has been the case for most of his high school career, Elyria senior Steve Mitcheff found himself in the spotlight Thursday night as he was named the Lorain County Wrestler of the Year during the Lorain County Wrestling All-Stars meet at Vermilion High School.
“This is really cool,” Mitcheff said. “I was thinking about (my high school career ending) when I was walking out during the parade of champions. I was like, ‘Wow … this is my last match.’
“It’s kind of a shock, and I’m going to be sad. I’m real proud of my career.”
The 112-pounder has a right to be. As he was handed the Paul Reynolds trophy given to the county’s top wrestler each year by the Lorain County Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, a long list of Mitcheff’s accomplishments were read to the crowd.
Some of the highlights:
• A 160-23 record, placing him among the career victory leaders in the state.
• The 103-pound state championship during his sophomore season.
• Elyria’s first four-time state qualifier and state placer.
• A four-time conference champion.
• A three-time All-American.
• An undefeated high school dual record.
“When I saw all those things on that list, I thought, ‘Man, this kid has done so much with his career,’” Pioneers coach Erik Burnett said. “Someday he’s going to take a look at those things and be able to appreciate them a lot more than he does right now.”
The Elyria coach was referring to the fact Mitcheff fell short of his goal of winning a second state title in Columbus last weekend. The All-Star event can be a perfect place to exorcise the pain of not winning it all at state.
“This is a fun match to go out on,” said Amherst 171-pound senior Aaron Winemiller, who finished as the Division I state runner-up this season. “I was thinking to myself at the start of this, ‘This parade of champions isn’t quite like the one down in Columbus.’ But this is a fun night and you don’t want to take it too seriously.”
That seemed to be the case for several departing seniors who managed to pick up a win in their final matches. Southview’s David Gyorfi won at 119 pounds, Avon Lake’s Danny Urbin (125) and Mark Tomanek (160) also picked up wins and Vermilion’s Ryan Shupe (145) followed up his fourth-place finish in the Division II state tournament with a win on his home mats.
“It was nice to have this event at my home school,” Shupe said. “I’m sad that it’s the end of my wrestling career, but I did great this year and I couldn’t ask for much more.”
Seven other Pioneer wrestlers joined Mitcheff on his final night of high school wrestling, and, in Elyria’s usual dominating style this season, the team went 8-0. That included a strong performance by another Elyria senior, 135-pounder Brandon Perrott, who will have one last high school match tonight at the Cleveland East-West All-Star Classic.
“I want to end my career with two wins,” Perrott said. “I’m planning on sticking around and being a big Pioneer fan next year. I’m hoping to help out in the wrestling room any way that I can.”
Mitcheff may be cheering his former teammates on, but he won’t be able to make too many personal appearances as he will be battling for the Kent State Golden Flashes with his older brother, Dan.
“I’m excited and a little bit nervous,” Steve said. “I know I’m going to have to work really hard and the matches are going to be a lot closer. But I think I can do well in college.”
Doug Hull was the lone inductee into the LCWCOA Hall of Fame this year. Hull was the head coach at Brookside between 1974-89 — producing 10 state qualifiers and five state placers — and was one of the founders of the LCWCOA and has served as a wrestling official for the past 14 seasons.
Hull retired after 35 years of teaching, resides in North Ridgeville and took over the fledgling wrestling program at Lake Ridge Academy this year.
• The Pioneers, by virtue of their underclassmen’s strong performance at the Marion Harding district tournament, have secured a spot in next season’s Division I state duals at Wadsworth on Jan. 11. The event pits the top eight teams, two from each district, against one another in a bracketed format.
“It’s a great test for us,” said Burnett, who was given the news just a couple hours before the All-Star meet. “This is a good chance to see what you can do against some of the best teams in the state.”
• This year’s Frank Fiore/John Hollett Memorial scholarship winners were Avon Lake’s Ben Kovach in Division I, Keystone’s Jordan Smith in Division II and Clearview’s Jon Bill in Division III.
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or email@example.com.
103 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Uland Ralston (Southview) maj. dec. Alex West (Vermilion), 10-2; THIRD-PLACE: Evan Potts (Avon Lake) pinned Rex Rozar (North Ridgeville), 1:05; FIFTH-PLACE: David Evans (North Ridgeville) maj. dec. Kyle Sykes (Midview), 14-1.
112 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Steve Mitcheff (Elyria) pinned Narcisco Inchaurregui (Southview), 4:00; THIRD-PLACE: Blake Jardonek (Avon Lake) pinned Justin Bockman (Wellington), 1:13; FIFTH-PLACE: Matt Zepp (North Ridgeville) dec. Anthony Johnson (Oberlin), 11-5.
119 — CHAMPIONSHIP: David Gyorfi (Southview) dec. Kevin Brunner (Avon Lake), 4-2; THIRD-PLACE: Kodie Egnor (Elyria) tech. fall Mike Pritt (Brookside), 17-1; FIFTH-PLACE: Nate Hart (North Ridgeville) pinned Joey Cavececi (Elyria Catholic), 3:23.
125 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Danny Urbin (Avon Lake) dec. Zeno Inchaurregui (Southview), 5-4; THIRD-PLACE: Nick DiFrancisco (Avon) dec. Josh Taylor (Elyria Catholic), 5-2; FIFTH-PLACE: Adam Bill (Clearview) dec. Jordan Smith (Keystone), 2-0.
130 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Andrew Squires (Vermilion) dec. Jared Wise (Midview), 4-3; THIRD-PLACE: Bishop Overton (Admiral King) maj. dec. Brandon Mundell (North Ridgeville), 12-3; FIFTH-PLACE: None.
135 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Brandon Perrott (Elyria) tech. fall Anthoney Budka (Vermilion), 19-4; THIRD-PLACE: Mike Daniels (Admiral King) pinned Nate Russian (Avon), 2:31; FIFTH-PLACE: Dan Pierce (Midview) tech. fall Mike Rose (Lake Ridge), 20-2.
140 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jon Bill (Clearview) maj. dec. Danny Accorti (Elyria Catholic), 10-2; THIRD-PLACE: Chase Churchill (Elyria) dec. Tony Martinez (Southview), 7-0; FIFTH-PLACE: Steve Selage (Columbia) dec. James Gerken (Keystone), 7-2.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Ryan Shupe (Vermilion) pinned Bobby Cruz (Southview), 4:44; THIRD-PLACE: Ramone Castoneda (Amherst) dec. Ben Cline (Clearview), 13-8; FIFTH-PLACE: Matt Mylechraine (Avon) pinned Alex Ross (Keystone), :49.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Austin Smith (Wellington) dec. Sean Pincura (Midview), 13-7; THIRD-PLACE: Josh Parker (Southview) dec. James Mees (North Ridgeville), 8-3; FIFTH-PLACE: Alex Taber (Avon) wins by default.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Mark Tomanek (Avon Lake) pinned Matt Ramage (Wellington), 3:33; THIRD-PLACE: Phillip Egnor (Elyria) dec. Derek Lozano (North Ridgeville), 3-2; FIFTH-PLACE: Jason Gott (Elyria) dec. Paul Findley (Southview), 4-3.
171 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Aaron Winemiller (Amherst) dec. Jose Martinez (Southview), 9-6; THIRD-PLACE: Mitchell Fadenholz (Elyria) dec. Dane Szente (Elyria Catholic), 2-0; FIFTH-PLACE: Ben Kovach (Avon Lake) tied Eugene Mercado (Admiral King), 6-6.
189 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Ryan Nelisse (Elyria) pinned Nick Chmura (Oberlin), 1:53; THIRD-PLACE: Shane Friend (North Ridgeville) maj. dec. Justin Stump (Amherst), 10-0; FIFTH-PLACE: None.
215 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Ethan Garafolo (Columbia) maj. dec. Jordan Kaspar (Brookside), 11-2; THIRD-PLACE: Jack Motyka (North Ridgeville) dec. Nick Santana (Southview), 3-1; FIFTH-PLACE: Matt Cadrette (Amherst) dec. Zach Drews (Elyria Catholic), 13-8.
HVY — CHAMPIONSHIP: Greg Byrd (North Ridgeville) pinned Anthony Chizmadia (Keystone), 4:05; THIRD-PLACE: Quentin Watson (Admiral King) dec. Andrew Brumenschenkle (Amherst), 1-0; FIFTH-PLACE: Caleb Borden (Admiral King) dec. Kris Horton (Vermilion), 1-0.