June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Wrestling notes: A look at the county’s finest

With the inaugural state team tournament heading into the regional finals, let’s take a look at what kind of damage we could do if we put together an All-Lorain County team.

There might be enough talent in this lineup to give St. Edward a run for its money.

  • 106 — Starter: Sebastian Vidika, Black River. Backup: Nico O’Dor, Elyria. Analysis: Vidika just knocked off Woodmore’s Evan Ulinski last weekend and is looking for his second straight trip to state. O’Dor looked impressive in pinning at 113 during the state dual tournament.
  • 113 — Starter: Armando Torres, Elyria. Backup: Spencer White, Black River. Analysis: Torres might be the top wrestler in the county, while White has matched Vidika’s jaw-dropping record.
  • 120 — Starter: Mike Hozan, Black River. Backup: Drew Dickson, North Ridgeville. Analysis: Hozan is a two-time state placer, while Dickson is showing motivation during his senior season. Elyria freshman Ben Darmstadt is not far behind the duo.
  • 126 — Starter: Bryan DeRuchie, Amherst. Backup: Darrion Overall, Elyria. Analysis: DeRuchie is a workhorse and never gives up in a match. Overall has put together an impressive record for a Pioneers team with a brutal schedule.
  • 132 — Starter: Brandon Egnor, Elyria. Backup: Angel Alexander, Firelands. Analysis: Egnor is a returning state qualifier and is looking for a postseason run like brother Kodie’s state runner-up performance in 2010. Alexander was a tough choice over Keystone’s Logan Stiner and Clearview’s Michael Hollingsworth, but the Falcons star has been impressive the past two seasons.
  • 138 — Starter: Elijah Garcia, Lorain. Backup: Alex Funderburg, Amherst. Analysis: Garcia went to state as a sophomore and was a state alternate last year. Funderburg dropped jaws by pinning his first 14 opponents last season, and narrowly edged Avon’s Adam Barker for the second spot.
  • 145 — Starter: Bryce Williams, Amherst. Backup: Jake Delorge, Avon. Analysis: Williams was super-impressive against Brecksville last week. Delorge has been a quiet talent for the Eagles, and could finish the season with a flurry. Elyria’s Alex Parker is also tough at this weight.
  • 152 — Starter: Austin Williams, Amherst. Backup: Derek Foster, Clearview. Analysis: These two are nearly interchangeable, but Williams gets the edge for putting up good numbers in a tough Division I schedule.
  • 160 — Starter: Mike Wearsch, Amherst. Backup: Jerot Schill, Elyria Catholic. Analysis: Wearsch is a beast and already has 30 wins this season. Schill has the best record in the county at this weight.
  • 170 — Starter: Luther Washington, Elyria Catholic. Backup: Taylor Workman, Elyria. Analysis: Washington needed overtime and a penalty point to beat Workman in their lone meeting this season. Midview’s Zach Frambach might be considered for a roster spot, but he’s wrestled just nine matches this year.
  • 182 — Starter: Jacob Worthington, Keystone. Backup: Hamza Kirresh, Avon. Analysis: Worthington is one of the most impressive wrestlers in Division III and was a state alternate as a freshman last year. Kirresh has been a consistent winner for the Eagles.
  • 195 — Starter: Connor Kamczyc, Elyria. Backup: Austin Kuchta, Elyria Catholic. Analysis: Kamczyc is explosive and, again, is the benefactor of the toughest schedule in the county. Kuchta shined in North Carolina … let’s see what he can do at an Ohio district tournament.
  • 220 — Starter: Adam Kuchta, Elyria Catholic. Backup: Ryan Slone, Black River. Analysis: Kuchta just missed the state tournament last year after placing at the North Carolina state tournament two years ago. Slone is a rare top-performing upper weight for the Pirates.
  • 285 — Starter: Deion Arnold, Clearview. Backup: T.J. Halstead, Elyria. Analysis: Arnold has looked good in a bit of a down season for Lorain County heavyweights. Halstead has won some clutch matches for the Pioneers this season.

High on Lowe

With Brian Brakeman ending his production of The Brakeman Report after four decades, the Ohio wrestling faithful may turn to Intermat guru Josh Lowe for their annual state tournament forecast fix.

Lowe has been publishing his preview of the wrestling postseason for 10 years, and it includes the top 16 wrestlers at each weight in all three divisions, additions of wrestlers who could compete for state spots at each district tournament and a detailed analysis of his rankings.

Here are the Lorain County wrestlers who landed on Lowe’s report:

  • DIVISION I — 113 pounds: Armando Torres, Elyria, No. 2; Sal Corrao, St. Edward/Avon, in the mix at CSU district. 120: Ben Darmstadt, Elyria, No. 8; Drew Dickson, North Ridgeville, No. 15. 126: Tommy Zeigler, St. Ignatius/North Ridgeville, No. 2; Bryan DeRuchie, Amherst, No. 11. 132: Brandon Egnor, Elyria, No. 5. 138: Eli Garcia, Lorain, No. 5. 145: Bryce Williams, Amherst, in the mix at CSU. 152: Austin Williams, Amherst, in the mix at CSU. 160: Mike Wearsch, Amherst, No. 13. 170: Taylor Workman, Elyria, No. 15. 182: Hamza Kirresh, Avon, No. 12. 195: Connor Kamczyc, Elyria, No. 14. TEAM: Elyria projected to finish No. 9 in the state.
  • DIVISION III — 106: Sebastian Vidika, Black River, No. 3. 113: Spencer White, Black River, No. 6. 120: Mike Hozan, Black River, No. 9. 132: Michael Hollingsworth, Clearview, in the mix at Garfield Heights district. 152: Derek Foster, Clearview, in the mix at Garfield Heights. 182: Jacob Worthington, Keystone, No. 8. 195: Austin Kuchta, Elyria Catholic, in the mix at Garfield Heights. 220: Adam Kuchta, Elyria Catholic, No. 11. 285: Deion Arnold, Clearview, in the mix at Garfield Heights.

Week in review

  • Keystone finished third out of 12 teams at the Marine Corps Classic at West Holmes High last Saturday. The Wildcats were led by a pair of individual champions — Logan Stiner at 132 pounds and Jacob Worthington at 182. Also placing for Keystone were Dylan Stiner (runner-up at 120), Jeremy King (third at 170), Corbin Chizmadia (third at 195), Chris McKenzie (fourth at 138), Joshua Fisher (fourth at 160), Jason Bustance (fourth at 220), Daniel Cropp (sixth at 113) and Clay Hartley (sixth at 145).
  • The Elyria White team went 5-0 at their host event — the Cy Pinter Duals — last Saturday. The Pioneers were led by Mikah Price (132 pounds) and Jesse Orantek (138), who went 5-0, and Josh Kurtz (106) and Tyler Giorgini (220), who went 4-0. Elyria defeated Glenville (42-18), Ashland (42-31), Brecksville “B” (40-30), Uniontown Lake “B”
    (47-30) and Ashland (48-24).
  • The St. Edward Green team finished second at the New Lexington tournament last Saturday. Local placers for the Eagles included Adam Wukie of Elyria (fifth at 152), Kevin Khoma of Sheffield Lake (fifth at 170) and Kevin Ward of Avon (fifth at 285).
  • Black River finished sixth out of 10 teams at the East of Chicago Invitational at Willard High on Saturday. Leading the way for the Pirates with individual titles were Sebastian Vidika at 106 and Spencer White at 113. Also placing for Black River were Mike Hozan (runner-up at 120) and Ryan Slone (runner-up at 220).

Tournaments on tap

  • Elyria will compete in the Northeast Ohio Conference tournament at Garfield Heights today and Saturday.
  • Lorain will compete in and host the Lake Erie League tournament on Saturday.
  • Amherst and Avon Lake will compete in the Southwestern Conference tournament at Olmsted Falls on Saturday.
  • Black River, Brookside, Clearview, Columbia, Firelands, Keystone, Lutheran West, Oberlin and host Wellington will compete in the Patriot Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday.

Player of the week


Jacob Worthington, Keystone

  • YEAR: Sophomore
  • WEIGHT: 182 pounds
  • LAST WEEK: Went 7-0 — six pins and one technical fall — winning five matches at the Marine Corps Classic at West Holmes and two matches in the state team tournament. He captured an individual title at the Classic, then helped the Wildcats advance to the regional final of the inaugural tournament.
  • JACOB’S THOUGHTS ON THE WEEK: “It feels good. The coaches are pushing us really hard because it’s the end of the season. All this is practice for district and state. I fell short last year and was just a state alternate. My goal is to be on the top of the podium this year.”
  • OFF THE MAT: Enjoys riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers at home and his grandparents’ woods, where he also enjoys hunting. He uses a compound bow and a shotgun to hunt deer and rabbit. Enjoys spending time with his family, playing Madden with his brother on their PS3 and playing pickup basketball at Splash Zone in Oberlin. Also enjoys watching “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel.
  • PARENTS: Glenn and Mary
  • FUTURE PLANS: Would like to wrestle in college — Ohio State and Penn State top his wish list — and would like to be a cardiologist.

Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or sbennett@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

About Shaun Bennett

Shaun Bennett is a sportswriter for The Chronicle-Telegram, with primary beats of Ohio State football and high school wrestling. He can be reached at 329-7137 or SBennett@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.