HENRIETTA TWP. — It’s rare for a Firelands wrestler to win a championship at his home tournament — named the Jim Solomon Memorial Falcon Invitational Tournament this year.
For the Falcons to have an individual winner in back-to-back years is even rarer.
Leave it to senior 132-pounder Angel Alexander to steal the show Saturday.
Alexander, who placed second, third and second in his first three seasons at Firelands’ tournament, got the top spot in his final chance with a 3-0 performance. He capped the day with a 22-6 technical fall over Elyria’s Mike Dolan.
Alexander had two technical falls and a pin during his dominating day. Maple Heights’
145-pound champion Michael Robertson, however, was voted the lightweight (106-145) Most Valuable Wrestler.
“I’ve been trying to win this for four years,” said Alexander, who improved to 34-3. “After coming close the last three years, it feels good to finally win it. I knew I’d have to work hard, and I knew, with my abilities, I’d have a shot at it. I just had to work hard and stay focused.
“I had my home crowd around me. I had the middle school team here and the biddy kids. I love them all. So to win this in front of them makes this even more memorable.”
Alexander was Lorain County’s only champion. Elyria had three runners-up.
“I just approached it by wrestling how I normally do and how my coaches tell me to,” Alexander said. “If I just did that, I should be fine.
“It’s been a tough season. I’ve lost here and there. I just gotta keep on going on. Each week’s a new week, and I’ve got to keep working hard if I want to reach my ultimate goal — districts and states.
Heavyweight Joe DeWitt won here last season for the Falcons.
“It’s nice to have a lower-weight guy win one for a change,” Firelands coach Jim Black said. “Not to take anything away from Joe, who did a great job for us last year. But Angel is our horse this year and we’re trying to get the most out of him at our tournaments.”
Alexander was the Falcons’ lone placer, and Firelands placed eighth in the nine-team tournament with 42 points.
Elyria, which brought its “White” (or “B”) team, was the top Lorain County finisher, placing fifth with 76 points. The Pioneers led area teams with four placers.
“I saw some ups and downs,” Elyria assistant coach Chris Chidlaw said. “We had some good rounds and some bad rounds. It’s always nice to finish at the top of the county teams, but we want to be the top team here.”
Along with Dolan, Justin Flanigan (145) and Dylan Reis (182) reached the championship match for the Pioneers. Flanigan dropped an 11-1 major decision to Robertson, and Reis was pinned by Brecksville’s Eddie Sternad in 5:31.
Midview, which was unable to bring its full lineup due to injuries and the impetigo skin virus, finished ninth in the nine-team field with 22.5 points.
Sophomore Jason Grau, who is normally the backup at 106 pounds, took advantage of his shot by placing third with a 3-1 performance.
Midview 113-pounder Sam Taylor seemed to have his berth in the third-place match all set with a 17-4 lead on Independence’s Matt Mroczynski. But Taylor was disqualified for an illegal slam. Mroczynski was injured and defaulted to Berea’s Steven Cehovic for third place.
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
1. Maple Heights 229, 2. Independence 125.5, 3. Midpark 112, 4. Brecksville 80,
5. Elyria 76, 6. Berea 66, 7. Olmsted Falls 63, 8. Firelands 42, 9. Midview 20.5.
106 — FIRST: Jarod Bronstrup (Brecksville) dec. Devon Johnson (Brecksville), 3-2 3OT; THIRD: Jason Grau (Midview) pinned Cordale Welch (Maple Heights), 2:57.
113 — FIRST: Andre Stowers (Maple Heights) maj. dec. Frank Montini (Brecksville), 9-0; THIRD: Steven Cehovic (Berea) def. Matt Mroczynski (Independence) by inj. default.
120 — FIRST: Jacob Spino (Independence) dec. Brandon Francik (Maple Heights), 5-0; THIRD: Tommy Thornton (Brecksville) maj. dec. Alec Lunney (Midpark), 8-0.
126 — FIRST: Ian Filo (Midpark) dec. Anthony Girardi (Independence), 5-4; THIRD: Caleb Arnold (Elyria) dec. Darnell Wells (Maple Heights), 6-3.
132 — FIRST: Angel Alexander (Firelands) tech. fall Mike Dolan (Elyria), 22-6; THIRD: Austin Hopperton (Berea) maj. dec. Christian DiVencenzo (Midpark), 8-0.
138 — FIRST: Dejon Moss (Maple Heights) dec. Graham Montague (Independence), 7-3; THIRD: Jesse Orantek (Elyria) dec. Nate Meadows (Midpark), 6-5.
145 — FIRST: Michael Robertson (Maple Heights) maj. dec. Justin Flanigan (Elyria), 11-1; THIRD: Juwan Moss (Maple Heights) pinned Bryce Fetterman (Olmsted Falls), 4:03.
152 — FIRST: Melvin Johnson (Maple Heights) pinned Lewis Glass (Maple Heights), 1:22; THIRD: Issac Lozada (Olmsted Falls) maj. dec. Nate Sia (Independence), 8-1.
160 — FIRST: Deshon Johnson (Maple Heights) pinned Willie Brewer (Midpark), 1:51; THIRD: Ryan Kolp (Berea) maj. dec. Andy Thompson (Olmsted Falls), 11-0.
170 — FIRST: Richard Robertson (Maple Heights) pinned Eisa Khaleel (Olmsted Falls), 1:15; THIRD: Seth Lisi (Midpark) dec. Taylor Bible (Midpark), 10-3.
182 — FIRST: Eddie Sternad (Brecksville) pinned Dylan Reis (Elyria), 5:31; THIRD: Josh Coffee (Maple Heights) dec. Arys Kenner (Maple Heights), 4-1.
195 — FIRST: Larenz Robertson (Maple Heights) dec. Monterol Johnson (Maple Heights), 5-3; THIRD: Ben Himes (Olmsted Falls) wins by default.
220 — FIRST: Alex Scotton (Independence) def. John Hoffman (Midpark) by default; THIRD: Steven Bachie (Berea) def. Carlton Flanagan (Maple Heights) by default.
285 — FIRST: Antonio Weatherspoon (Maple Heights) dec. Paul Deely (Independence), 5-1; THIRD: Sam Manesh (Midpark) dec. Tristan Calvin (Berea), 3-1.