CLEVELAND — It was hard to tell what moved faster — the wave of euphoria that rushed over the Elyria High contingent or the wind out of the sails of Perrysburg heavyweight Cale Bonner — the projected state champion — after he was pinned by Pioneers freshman Kevin Vough in the Division I district tournament final.
“Rankings don’t mean anything,” Vough said. “I wrestled him eighth grade year at freestyle and Greco — he beat me. That was back in junior high … this is high school.”
The pair pummeled through a scoreless first period before Bonner chose the bottom position to start the second. Vough broke the junior down and slapped on the cradle. Before Bonner knew what was happening, he was on his back and the referee’s hand was smacking the mat.
“I think he’s got to feel good about things right now,” Pioneers coach Erik Burnett said. “The thing about Kevin is he’s always making adjustments. I don’t think by any stretch he’s going to go from that match and think, ‘Oh, OK, I got it done.’ He knows he’s got another week and he’s got to get the next match. If he continues to make adjustments, he’ll continue to make progress and maybe something cool will happen for him (at state).”
Vough was the area’s only district champion at the CSU district, but 11 other wrestlers earned state tournament berths during Saturday’s opening session. Joining Vough in finals matches were Lorain sophomore Devione Edwards, Elyria sophomore Ben Darmstadt, St. Edward senior Gabe Dzuro — a North Olmsted resident — and St. Edward junior Parker Knapp — an Olmsted Falls resident.
Edwards scored a 4-3 win over Oregon Clay’s Nick Henneman in the 106-pound semifinals, then lost by injury default to Wadsworth’s Noah Baughman in the final.
“(Henneman) is a tough kid — I saw him at Oregon Clay (Maumee Bay Classic),” Edwards said. “He wrestles a different style, so I had to switch up a little bit — I didn’t get to wrestle my style. I was just a little anxious, on my turns and stuff on top, but we got to state, so that’s good.”
Edwards was leading in his go-to match as a freshman last year and lost in the final five seconds. When Henneman pulled to within a point in the third period, he said he never suffered a flashback.
“Actually (my coaches) told me not to think about it,” Edwards said. “I had to go in there with my mind clear-headed.”
Darmstadt pinned Wadsworth’s Robbie Bosley in the third period of their 152-pound semifinal, but was then pinned by Perrysburg’s J.P. Newton in the final.
“I see it as just another tournament and don’t let the fact that it’s districts get in my head,” said Darmstadt, who also qualified to the state tournament as a freshman. “(The semifinals are) special because everyone in this round has also been putting in hard work and you just have to prove that you’re the one putting in more work.”
Westlake senior Yousef Mustafa, who earned a state berth with a third-place finish at 195 pounds, had a similar take.
“You work hard, good things happen … and I work hard,” he said. “I’m not taking anything away from anybody else, but they didn’t work hard enough.”
Mustafa, like Edwards, fell just short in his go-to match last season.
“Last year, I came so close — it was like a tease,” he said. “It hasn’t really hit me — it’s kind of surreal — when it does, I’ll probably cry or something.”
Also earning state tournament berths were Avon Lake sophomore Joey Bernosky (fourth at 132), Elyria senior Armando Torres (third at 120), St. Edward senior — and Sheffield Lake resident — Kevin Khoma (fourth at 170) and the Olmsted Falls trio of Adam Salti (fourth at 138), Noel Caraballo (third at 220) and Jordan Lee (fourth at 285).
Torres lost a 3-1 decision to Brunswick rival Josh Heil in the 120-pound semifinals before winning a pair of matches in the consolation bracket.
“The way I’m thinking about it is last year I took second, and this year I took third … and I think you can interchange those two places,” Torres said. “Just like last year, (I have to) make things happen next week … because that’s when it matters.”
TEAM STANDINGS: Brecksville 212, St. Edward 174.5, Perrysburg 166, Wadsworth 133.5, Oregon Clay 128.5, Elyria 99.5, Nordonia 98, Brunswick 85, Olmsted Falls 69, Fremont Ross 58.5, Lorain 50, Springfield 40, Mansfield 32.5, Amherst 26.5, Lakewood 24.5, Findlay 23, Strongsville 22, Cuyahoga Falls 20, Avon Lake 19, North Ridgeville 18, Westlake 18, Copley 17, Akron Firestone 17, Sylvania Southview 15.5, Medina 14, Ashland 13, Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 11, Toledo Whitmer 9, Toledo St. Francis deSales 8, Anthony Wayne 6, Toledo Waite 5, Sylvania Northview 4, Cloverleaf 3, Wooster 3, Avon 1.
106 — FIRST: Noah Baughman (Wadsworth) def. Devione Edwards (Lorain) by default. THIRD: Jarod Bronstrup (Brecksville) dec. Alan Hart (St. Edward), 3-2. FIFTH: Nick Henneman (Oregon Clay) pinned C.J. Leffler (Springfield), :59.
113 — FIRST: L.J. Bentley (St. Edward) dec. Garrett Lambert (Strongsville), 7-1. THIRD: Mario Guillen (Perrysburg) pinned Andrew Coghill (Nordonia), 1:37. FIFTH: Brandon Randolph (Wadsworth) pinned Trayvion Scott (Fremont Ross), :56.
120 — FIRST: Austin Assad (Brecksville) def. Josh Heil (Brunswick) by forfeit. THIRD: Armando Torres (Elyria) dec. Moises Guillen (Perrysburg), 5-2. FIFTH: Evan Collier (North Ridgeville) dec. Mitch Hannan (Cuyahoga Falls), 7-4.
126 — FIRST: Justin DeMicco (Brecksville) dec. Jared Davis (Oregon Clay), 6-2. THIRD: Darrin Gilkerson (Wadsworth) dec. Justin Jolliff (Findlay), 6-2. FIFTH: Isaac Collier (St. Edward) pinned Xaevier Edwards (Lorain), 2:20.
132 — FIRST: Nick Kiussis (Brunswick) dec. Austin Hiles (Brecksville), 2-1. THIRD: Richie Screptok (Oregon Clay) dec. Joey Bernosky (Avon Lake), 8-1. FIFTH: Hunter Ladnier (St. Edward) pinned Nick Collica (Nordonia), 3:15.
138 — FIRST: Yassir Abdel-Salam (Lakewood) dec. Gavin Nelson (Oregon Clay), 3-1. THIRD: Christian Camacho (Brunswick) dec. Adam Salti (Olmsted Falls), 11-9. FIFTH: Sonny Lucas (Brecksville) def. Mikah Price (Elyria) by default.
145 — FIRST: Trey Grine (Fremont Ross) tech. fall Mike Decesare (Nordonia), 17-1. THIRD: Grayson Davis (Brecksville) dec. Zach Defraine (Medina), 4-1. FIFTH: Brice Locklear (Olmsted Falls) dec. Matt Waltermeyer (Perrysburg), 6-4 (OT).
152 — FIRST: J.P. Newton (Perrysburg) pinned Ben Darmstadt (Elyria), 3:43. THIRD: Robbie Bosley (Wadsworth) dec. Heath Phillibert (Nordonia), 3-0. FIFTH: D.J. Williamson (St. Edward) dec. Peyton Geary (Fremont Ross), 10-7.
160 — FIRST: Austin Strnad (Brecksville) maj. dec. Shane Mast (Wadsworth), 10-1. THIRD: Nick Stencel (Oregon Clay) dec. Dan Waltermeyer (Perrysburg), 10-5. FIFTH: Mike Wearsch (Amherst) maj. dec. Taylor Workman (Elyria), 10-0.
170 — FIRST: Tim Knipl (Wadsworth) dec. Troy Lang (Brecksville), 4-2. THIRD: Jesse Palser (Mansfield) dec. Kevin Khoma (St. Edward), 3-1. FIFTH: Anthony Perrine (Nordonia) dec. Mike Hansinger (Olmsted Falls), 10-3.
182 — FIRST: Matt Stencel (Oregon Clay) dec. Gabe Dzuro (St. Edward), 8-6. THIRD: Rocco Caywood (Perrysburg) pinned Traevon Dickerson (Mansfield), 4:29. FIFTH: Jimmy Suhayda (Brecksville) dec. Zack Uram (Toledo St. Francis deSales), 4-3.
195 — FIRST: Josh Murphy (Brecksville) dec. Kadin Llewellyn (Perrysburg), 9-3. THIRD: Yousef Mustafa (Westlake) dec. Ross Lonsway (Springfield), 4-3. FIFTH: Jared Campbell (St. Edward) pinned Adam Kuchta (Lorain), 4:09.
220 — FIRST: Alex Woicehovich (Nordonia) dec. Parker Knapp (St. Edward), 9-7 (OT). THIRD: Noel Caraballo (Olmsted Falls) dec. Mark Delas (Perrysburg), 5-4. FIFTH: Arman Samouk (Copley) dec. Rudy Ware (Cuyahoga Falls), 3-1 (OT).
285 — FIRST: Kevin Vough (Elyria) pinned Cale Bonner (Perrysburg), 2:37. THIRD: Ralph Nichols (St. Edward) pinned Jordan Lee (Olmsted Falls), 3:35. FIFTH: Jovahn Fair (Akron Firestone) pinned Kamal Smith (Springfield), 2:07.