HENRIETTA TWP. — If somebody had asked last week what the chances would be of Admiral King winning an individual championship during Saturday’s Falcon Invitational at Firelands High School, the answer would have been zero.
“We weren’t really supposed to be in this tournament,” Admirals senior Mike Daniels said. “Our coach asked them to let us in at the last minute so we could get some more matches in before sectionals.”
And it turned out to be Daniels who snapped a string of finals wins by Maple Heights with a pin of Firelands’ Alex Vandalov in the 135-pound title match, helping his team finish runner-up to the Mustangs in the 10-team tournament.
“Maple Heights is stacked,” Daniels said. “They’ve got everybody in the finals and they brought a whole bunch of extras.
“I’m the (team) captain and actions speak louder than words. Everybody saw that I came out and took care of business, so I’m hoping that all my teammates figure they can do the same thing.”
The Admirals finished with eight placers in the event. Admiral King coach Jim Black said the team’s performance was a real morale booster because King had just suffered a 65-9 dual meet loss to Southview two days earlier.
“It was a great day for us,” Black said. “We rebounded nicely from that Southview beating we took. It was a great boost for the program because they haven’t finished second in a tournament in I-don’t-know-how-long.”
The only other non-Maple Heights wrestler who managed to come away with an individual title was Oberlin 189-pounder Nick Chmura, who captured his championship when the Mustangs’ Fred Robertson forfeited before the final.
“It would have been nice to wrestle for the title but I’m still glad I won,” Chmura said. “I took second here last year, but the main goal was to beat Maple Heights because their guys kept winning in the finals.”
Chmura said Robertson told him he had broken a small bone in his foot, and believed that it happened at Maple Heights’ dual meet against Mentor on Friday night. But Robertson wrestled with the injury during the first two rounds Saturday afternoon.
“I’m hoping he was scared or something like that,” Chmura said with a laugh.
The host Falcons finished fourth in the event, sparked by four runner-up finishes and a fourth place.
“We had five kids in it and five kids placed,” Firelands coach Rock Farlow said. “I can’t ask for a lot better than that. (Maple Heights provides) very good competition. That’s the kind of guys we’ll have to beat to win conference and win in sectionals.”
The Falcons seemed to have a pair of titles in their grasp, but Zach Novosielski lost a three-overtime 4-2 decision to Maple Heights’ Devin Meadows at 140 pounds, and Paul Garcia dropped a 12-10 shootout to Mustangs
145-pounder Mohammed Ismail.
“We were right there on both of them,” Farlow said. “Just a couple of mistakes can kill you and that’s what happened in those matches.
“But I’m still pretty happy with how we performed and I think we’re right about where we need to be.”
That was the same statement Black used when discussing Daniels — who has won his last 10 matches and two tournament titles to improve to 25-10.
“He seems to be climbing up that ladder and getting ready for the sectional tournament,” Black said. “He’s been a great senior for me this year, I can’t say enough about him. He’s been working hard, he gets good grades in school and I never have to worry about him.”
Daniels’ opponents can’t say the same thing.
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAM STANDINGS: Maple Heights 276.5, Admiral King 109, Olmsted Falls 94, Firelands 72.5, Orange 71, Cleveland Central Catholic 62, Oberlin 55, Elyria Catholic 22, Open Door 5.5, Lake Ridge 0.
NOTE: Results by Maple Heights’ extra wrestlers (MHX) did not count in team standings.
103 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kory Miles (MH) dec. P.J. Mueller (OF), 1:25. THIRD PLACE: Anthony Tarulli (OR) dec. Aaron Sterk (F), 7-0.
112 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Leslie Polley (MH) tech. fall Giles Scott (OR), 17-2. THIRD PLACE: Anthony Johnson (OB) pinned Dave Vazquez (CCC), 3:47.
119 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Stephen Hawkins (MH) maj. dec. Will Vazquez (CCC), 17-6. THIRD PLACE: Daniel Gatalyak (OR) maj. dec. Juan Lugo (AK), 16-8.
125 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Danny Huffman (MH) tech. fall Joe Flynn (F), 15-0. THIRD PLACE: Adam Broski (OF) pinned Brandon Patterson (AK), 4:04.
130 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Terrence Simon (MH) tech. fall Mark Mills (OF), 19-4. THIRD PLACE: Bishop Overton (AK) pinned Cameron Grays (OR), 4:24.
135 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Mike Daniels (AK) pinned Alex Vandalov (F), 3:30. THIRD PLACE: Eric Wilbert (MH) dec. David Schuetz (OF), 8-2.
140 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Devin Meadows (MH) dec. Zach Novosielski (F), 4-2 (OT). THIRD PLACE: Matt Gup (OR) pinned Alex Robertson (OF), 2:58.
145 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Mohammed Ismail (MHX) dec. Paul Garcia (F), 12-10. THIRD PLACE: Erik Hatszegi (CCC) pinned Deontay Tollivar (MH), 2:05.
152 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Deonte Wiggins (MH) pinned Dontel Kennedy (MHX), 2:52. THIRD PLACE: John Phillips (AK) pinned Kimani Grant (MHX), 1:22.
160 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Kavin Henry (MH) tech. fall Josh Roig (OF), 16-1. THIRD PLACE: Brandon Medina (AK) maj. dec. Chellie Colbert (MHX), 17-6.
171 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Anthony Houston (MH) dec. Andy Miller (OB), 14-8. THIRD PLACE: Eugene Mercado (AK) maj. dec. Jerimiah Roig (OF), 11-2.
189 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Nick Chmura (OB) def. Fred Robertson (MH) by forfeit. THIRD PLACE: Nick Macias (OR) dec. Chris Danko (OF), 11-4.
215 — CHAMPIONSHIP: Jordan Konah (MH) pinned Zac Drews (EC), 1:19. THIRD PLACE: Aaron Haynes (CCC) pinned Greg Carter (MHX), 1:18.
HVY — CHAMPIONSHIP: D’Aramis Pope (MH) pinned Abdul Isamel (MHX), 2:23. THIRD PLACE: Quinten Watson (AK) dec. Kenny Contreras (CCC), 7-1.