For the past 41 years, Ohio high school wrestling fans have enjoyed pouring through the annual wrestling forecast written by Brian Brakeman — affectionately known as The Brakeman Report. The longtime prognosticator has decided to end publication of the beloved read.
“It was absolutely a tough decision … I’m feeling conflicted at this moment,” Brakeman said Thursday night. “It was a labor of love, I certainly didn’t make any money off it. I have eight grandchildren and they are spread out all over the world — Switzerland, Florida. I felt maybe it was time to do other things.”
The report — numbering 90-100 pages in recent years — did an extensive analysis of every weight class in all three divisions throughout the state. It gave breakdowns of how each district performed and showed Brakeman’s accuracy from the past year.
“It started because I was trying to provide a service,” Brakeman said. “Not a lot of media was covering the sport and I wanted to give everyone an idea of who might make it to the state tournament and who might win. Now you can go on the internet and find several places where they have rankings and ratings.
“It just got to the point where I didn’t think I added a lot of value to it.”
That might take some convincing to area wrestling fans. Many expressed disbelief and disappointment when the news of Brakeman’s decision was placed on Facebook and Twitter several nights ago.
“I don’t know if I should be congratulated or castigated for (the report),” Brakeman said. “It’s been a fairly liberating experience. I’ve never been to a Super 32 or a Bill Dies (tournament), or much of anything in January. So it’s been kind of a blessing.
“I just hope I was able to provide some small boost to wrestling and to the wrestlers.”
Ready to dual
Four Lorain County teams advanced to the regional semifinals of the inaugural state wrestling team tournament Wednesday night.
In the Division I, Region 2-A bracket, No. 3 seed Elyria advanced with a 55-16 win over Lorain and No. 4 Amherst advanced with a 35-33 win over Brunswick. The Pioneers are scheduled to face No. 2 Parma, while the Comets face No. 1 Brecksville at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The dual meets will take place side by side at Brecksville High, and the winners of each meet will face off in the Region 2-A final. The winner of that match will meet the Region 2-B winner for the chance to advance to the state semifinals.
It’s a similar situation in the Division III, Region 19-A bracket, where No. 2 Clearview advanced with a 48-21 win over Columbia, and No. 5 Keystone advanced with a 44-21 win over Lutheran West. The Clippers face No. 6 Independence, while the Wildcats face top-ranked Beachwood at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Beachwood High.
Many Lorain County wrestlers landed on the state rankings on Jakeswrestling.com. The website uses an RPI system — ratings percentage index — based on a mathematical formula. A wrestler had to have wrestled one match this season and is ranked at the lowest weight at which he has competed.
Here is a breakdown of local wrestlers who cracked the top 20 in their weight class:
DIVISION I — 106: Michael Falencki, Amherst, T-No. 18. 113: Armando Torres, Elyria, No. 3; Evan Collier, North Ridgeville, T-No. 15. 120: Ben Darmstadt, Elyria, T-No. 20. 126: Tommy Zeigler, St. Ignatius/North Ridgeville, No. 2. 132: Brandon Egnor, Elyria, No. 2. 138: Alex Funderburg, Amherst, No. 12. 145: Bryce Williams, Amherst, No. 6; Eli Garcia, Lorain, No. 9. 152: Austin Williams, Amherst, No. 19. 160: None. 170: Taylor Workman, Elyria, T-No. 17. 182: Hamza Kirresh, Avon, No. 11. 195: None. 220: None. 285: None. TEAM RANKINGS: Elyria (No. 12); Amherst (No. 51); Lorain (No. 66); North Ridgeville (No. 86); Avon (No. 94); Avon Lake (No. 131).
DIVISION II — None.
DIVISION III — 106: Sebastian Vidika, Black River, No. 2; Jacob Downs, Wellington, T-No. 13. 113: Spencer White, Black River, T-No. 4. 120: Mike Hozan, Black River, No. 4; Dylan Stiner, Keystone, No. 12. 126: None. 132: Michael Hollingsworth, Clearview, No. 5. 138: None. 145: None. 152: None. 160: None. 170: None. 182: None. 195: Jacob Worthington, Keystone, T-No. 8. 220: None. 285: None. TEAM RANKINGS: Black River (No. 9); Clearview (No. 51); Keystone (No. 68); Wellington (No. 89).
Week in review
Lorain finished ninth out of 26 teams at the Maumee Bay Classic at Oregon Clay last Friday and Saturday. Leading the way for the Titans was senior Eli Garcia, who captured the 138-pound championship. Also placing for Lorain were Devione Edwards (fifth at 106), Devin Resseger (eighth at 195) and Clayton Breeds (eighth at 285).
• Elyria Catholic finished fifth out of the small school and 13th out of 30 total teams at the Catholic Invitational Tournament at Olentangy Liberty last Saturday and Sunday. Placing for the Panthers were Jerot Schill
(runner-up at 160), Adam Kuchta (fourth at 220) and Austin Kuchta (sixth at 195).
• Elyria finished fifth out of 41 teams at the Bill Dies Memorial Invitational at Akron Firestone last Friday and Saturday. Placing for the Pioneers were Armando Torres (runner-up at 113), Ben Darmstadt (runner-up at 120), Nico O’Dor (fifth at 106) and Alex Parker (seventh at 145).
• Keystone finished third out of 12 teams at the Husky Duals at Northwestern High last Saturday. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Logan Stiner, who captured the 132-pound championship. Also placing for Keystone were Dylan Stiner (runner-up at 113) Jason Bustance (runner-up at 285), Clay Hartley (third at 145), Jacob Worthington (third at 195) and Jeremy King (fourth at 170).
• Wellington finished eighth at the Husky Duals. Placing for the Dukes were Kaz Dec (runner-up at 182), Jacob Downs (third at 106), Jon Eschedor (fourth at 126) and Alex Imhoff (fourth at 145).
• Clearview finished sixth at the Terry Munroe Memorial Invitational at Western Reserve last Friday and Saturday. Leading the way for the Clippers with individual championships were Jarrett Hylton at 106 pounds and Derrick Foster at 152. Also placing for Clearview were Mike Hollingsworth (runner-up at 132), Matt Hollingsworth (runner-up at 138) and Deion Arnold (fourth at 285).
Tournaments on tap
Black River will compete at the East of Chicago Invitational at Willard High on Saturday.
• Brookside and the Elyria White squad will compete at the Cy Pinter Duals at Elyria High on Saturday.
• Keystone is at the Marine Corps Classic at West Holmes High on Saturday.
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or email@example.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
Wrestler of the week
Logan Stiner, Keystone
WEIGHT: 132 pounds
LAST WEEK: Stiner won an individual championship and was named the tournament MVP at the Northwestern Invitational last Saturday. Of his 24 victories this season, 17 have come via pinfall and four have been technical falls. Third at D-III at 132. Great confidence booster.
LOGAN’S THOUGHTS ON THE WEEK: “It’s a great feeling to win big matches and get awards … it’s a confidence boost. I wrestled decent (in the tournament), but I think I could have done a lot better in the final. I’ve been working on my offense and my finishes during practice.”
OFF THE MAT: He’s a member of National Honor Society and holds a 4.2 gpa. Spends most of the year competing with the Burnett Trained Wrestling travel club. Works on the maintenance crew at Grey Hawk Golf Club during the summer. Enjoys traveling to Pennsylvania with his family to hunt for deer and turkey.
PARENTS: Katie and Dennis
FUTURE PLANS: Stiner would like to wrestle in college, but said education is his first priority and would like to study aerospace engineering at Miami (Ohio).
106 — Sebastian Vidika, Black River, 24-1 (.960); Justin Clark, Columbia, 20-7 (.741); Jose Gracia, Elyria Catholic, 14-5 (.737); Jacob Downs, Wellington, 19-8 (.704); Jarrett Hylton, Clearview, 20-9 (.690); Nico O’Dor, Elyria, 13-8 (.619); Jason Grau, Midview, 9-6 (.600); Zach Carte, Midview, 11-8 (.579).
113 — Spencer White, Black River, 24-1 (.960); Nick Mayer, Avon Lake, 12-1 (.923); Dylan Stiner, Keystone, 8-1 (.889); Armando Torres, Elyria, 26-4 (.867); Zach Klima, Avon Lake, 17-8 (.680); Mike Filiaggi, Elyria Catholic, 18-13 (.581); Sal Corrao, St. Edward/Avon, 13-12 (.520).
120 — Mike Hozan, Black River, 25-3 (.893); Ben Darmstadt, Elyria, 21-4 (.840); Nick Saxton, Elyria Catholic, 8-4 (.667); Anthony Mendez, Amherst, 8-6 (.571); Jack Gothier, Avon, 14-11 (.560).
126 — Tommy Zeigler, St. Ignatius/North Ridgeville, 13-2 (.867); Bryan DeRuchie, Amherst, 27-5 (.844); Darrion Overall, Elyria, 25-5 (.833); Mason Harsar, Elyria Catholic, 18-4 (.818); Joey Bernosky, Avon Lake, 22-5 (.815); Max Kuchenrither, Avon, 25-10 (.714); Jon Eschedor, Wellington, 18-10 (.643).
132 — Angel Alexander, Firelands, 35-3 (.921); Logan Stiner, Keystone, 24-4 (.857); Mike Hollingsworth, Clearview, 31-6 (.838); Sean Kilbane, Elyria Catholic, 23-7 (.767); Jesse Orantek, Elyria, 23-8 (.742); Ben Provoznik, Wellington, 19-7 (.731); Brandon Egnor, Elyria, 18-7 (.720); Michael Dolan, Elyria, 12-5 (.706); Drew Schatz, Midview, 22-11 (.667); Adler Vasiloff, Lutheran West/Vermilion, 16-12 (.571).
138 — Matt Hollingsworth, Clearview, 30-6 (.833); Adam Barker, Avon, 18-4 (.818); Alex Funderburg, Amherst, 24-6 (.800); Chad Shaffer, Elyria, 16-8 (.667); Tony Lupico, Midview, 14-11 (.560).
145 — Jake Delorge, Avon, 28-5 (.848); Bryce Williams, Amherst, 24-6 (.800); D.J. Murdock, Avon Lake, 4-1 (.800); Alex Parker, Elyria, 16-7 (.696); Alex Imhoff, Wellington, 18-12 (.600); Alex Szuch, Midview, 8-7 (.533); Clay Hartley, Keystone, 9-7 (.563).
152 — Derrick Foster, Clearview, 34-4 (.895); Austin Williams, Amherst, 28-4 (.875); Tyler Mayer, Avon Lake, 18-8 (.692); Josh Kitko, Wellington, 15-12 (.556).
160 — Mike Wearsch, Amherst, 28-5 (.848); Jerot Schill, Elyria Catholic, 23-3 (.885); Kolby Hirschfelder, Midview, 15-6 (.714).
170 — Zach Frambach, Midview, 7-1 (.875); Mike Sliman, Amherst, 19-4 (.826); Taylor Workman, Elyria, 20-9 (.690); Felipe Valadez, Clearview, 16-10 (.615); Josh Pierce, Elyria Catholic, 17-13 (.567); David Markiewicz, Black River, 11-9 (.550); Jeremy King, Keystone, 8-7 (.533).
182 — Hamza Kirresh, Avon, 26-3 (.897); Derek Eibon, Amherst, 25-4 (.862); Jake Maund, Black River, 20-7 (.741); Kaz Dec, Wellington, 12-7 (.632).
195 — Austin Kuchta, Elyria Catholic, 28-3 (.903); Connor Kamczyc, Elyria, 10-2 (.833); Dennis Breeding, Amherst, 22-5 (.815); Jacob Worthington, Keystone, 22-5 (.815).
220 — Adam Kuchta, Elyria Catholic, 29-2 (.935); Ryan Slone, Black River, 16-8 (.667); Todd Hastings, Amherst, 11-9 (.550).
285 — Deion Arnold, Clearview, 19-7 (.731); T.J. Halstead, Elyria, 18-9 (.667); Andre Torres, Elyria Catholic, 21-10 (.677); Stephen Moody, Amherst, 15-10 (.600); Jason Bustance, Keystone, 10-9 (.526).