KIRTLAND — Keystone’s magic carpet ride will continue with a weekend trip to Columbus.
The Wildcats, who entered the Division III, Region 19 dual meet tournament seeded fifth, made it four big wins over three weeks Wednesday, eliminating the third-seeded Kirtland Hornets 49-29 to win the Region 19 team championship.
The Wildcats got five pins, two forfeits and a major decision, following up three tough victories over the past two Wednesdays.
Keystone will be one of eight teams representing the state in Division III on Saturday at Ohio State’s St. John Arena. The meet will begin at 11 a.m., and Keystone’s opponent had yet to be determined.
“The kids did awesome today,” coach Jim Pycraft Sr. said. “The kids all did their job almost exactly the way we had it planned out, and it went almost exactly the way we wanted it to go. They all did exactly what they needed to do — they weighed in where they needed to be and everybody contributed. It’s a good deal.”
Each of Keystone’s pins was important, but the two biggest may have been at 160 and 195 pounds – by wrestlers who missed a significant chunk of the season with injuries.
With Keystone – which never trailed — leading 25-17 following Clay Hartley’s 10-0 major decision win at 152, junior Jeremy King gave his team a little more breathing room by pinning sophomore Anthony Parker in 1:15.
“Honestly, this is one of the greatest feelings I’ve had as a Keystone wrestler,” said King, who cut down from 170 to 160 just for this match. “The individual state (tournament) means a lot to everyone, but to be able to go down to state as a team is incredible.
“We’re not just a team, we’re a family. We’re all brothers. We do everything together on and off the mat. To be able to continue this run on Saturday is fantastic. We’ve been practicing like champions, which has turned us into champions, and we’re hoping to keep this going as long as we can.”
Kirtland’s Rocky Calvert recharged the enthusiastic crowd by pinning Joshua Fisher in 1:40 to cut the deficit to 31-23. Hornets coach Scott Francis elected to forfeit the 182 match to standout sophomore Jacob Worthington, setting up a do-or-die scenario with three more weight classes to go.
But junior Corbin Chizmadia emerged from an early back-and-forth scramble to stick senior Cameron Sullivan on his back in 1:35, clinching the regional title for the Wildcats.
“I was looking to go out there and go get it,” Chizmadia said. “I knew our team needed it and I was hoping to be the one to seal the deal. I just withstood that scramble with the mindset of trying to get the pin. I knew our team needed it.
“Being the regional champion means everything. We’ve worked so hard this season and the dream continues.”
“We were counting on him to get a pin there,” Pycraft said of Chizmadia. “He started out a little rough and he kept at it and wound up coming out on top. We hoped that he could get it to kind of seal the deal right there. It worked out that way, and we were happy,”
Other Wildcats with pins were sophomore Daniel Cropp (106), junior Chris McKenzie (138) and junior Jacob Bustance (285).
One of the toughest bouts occurred at 120 between senior Dylan Stiner and Kirtland sophomore Mike Calvert.
Stiner seemed to be in control with a 7-0 lead through two periods, but Calvert came storming back, nearly pinning Stiner with a cradle with a minute left. Stiner was able to avoid the pinfall, and time expired before Calvert could score the two back points needed to send the match into overtime as Stiner won 7-5.
“He’s been hurt this year, and we’ve been trying to wrestle him back into shape,” Pycraft said. “He wrestled that kid earlier in the year and we knew he was strong.
“He said he knew he had to finish the match and not quit. He didn’t quit and wrestled the whole match and wound up getting a big win for us. It could have turned the other way real quick if he didn’t finish the match.”
Pycraft was excited about the chance for his team to wrestle in Columbus in the spotlight.
“The kids are pulling together and believing in it,” he said. “They’re working hard. They listen to what our plan was and they believed in it. Some of the kids had to wrestle where they didn’t want to wrestle, but they took it for the team and that’s been the fun part about it.
“Everyone did their job and has contributed. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can do on Saturday.”
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Keystone 49, Kirtland 29
106 — Daniel Cropp (Keystone) pinned Brendan Williamson (Kirtland), 1:11
113 — Pete Jahnke (Kirtland) tech. fall Matt Dobrilovic (Keystone), 18-3
120 — Dillon Stiner (Keystone) dec. Mike Calvert (Kirtland), 7-5
126 — Evan Francis (Kirtland) won by forfeit
132 — Logan Stiner (Keystone) won by forfeit
138 — Chris McKenzie (Keystone) pinned Chris Brown (Kirtland), 1:23
145 — Clayton Davidson (Kirtland) pinned Ben Ochletree (Keystone), 1:59
152 — Clay Hartley (Keystone) maj. dec. Will Armstrong (Kirtland), 10-0
160 — Jeremy King (Keystone) pinned Anthony Parker (Kirtland), 1:15
170 — Rocky Calvert (Kirtland) pinned Joshua Fisher (Keystone), 1:40
182 — Jacob Worthington (Keystone) won by forfeit
195 — Corbin Chizmadia (Keystone) pinned Cameron Sullivan (Kirtland), 1:35
220 — Evan Brettrager (Kirtland) won by forfeit
285 — Jason Bustance (Keystone) pinned Dylan Diemer (Kirtland), 1:49