It was a disappointing Day 1 for Sandusky at the Division I district wrestling tournament Saturday as only heavyweight Mike Brown advanced to the championship semifinals.
The Blue Streaks sent 12 wrestlers to Lorain High out of the Marion Harding sectional, but only three -- senior 140-pounder Justin Palma, senior 171-pounder Phil Henderson and Brown -- managed to win first-round matches.
"I've seen some promise from a few individuals going up there, trying some moves against some guys that have been seeded in the state previously, wrestling state qualifiers," Blue Streaks coach Casey Harrington said. "Especially the (three) freshmen we brought. You're coming from junior high and all of a sudden you're wrestling in the district tournament ... that's quite an accomplishment."
The biggest accomplishment of the day was Brown's 2-0 performance. The big man pinned Lorain 's Deshonte Davis at 3:17 in his opener, then pinned Toledo St. Francis deSales senior Sam Burns in 1:06 in the quarterfinals.
"I think I wrestled pretty good today, but I could have used a little more offense," Brown said. "I'm just taking it match by match, I'm not looking forward to anything down the road."
Brown, who is ranked No. 12 in the state on the Brakeman Report, said he never takes his unranked opponents for granted.
"You can't underestimate anybody," he said. "You have to wrestle every match like it's going to be your toughest opponent. I try to wrestle every match as a finals match."
Brown won't have to use much imagination in today's semifinal. He'll be up against St. Edward junior Greg Kuhar, who won a national freestyle championship last summer.
"I would say that'll be his toughest match to date," Harrington said. "But no matter what happens in that match, I believe Mike will make it to state."
Harrington is hoping several other Blue Streaks wrestlers will follow his heavyweight's lead.
"I want to see Palmer wrestle back and I'd definitely love to see Phil wrestle back, and I kind of almost expect them to because I know that they can," the coach said. Regardless of how many Sandusky wrestlers earn state tournament berths, the experience the underclassmen get this weekend will be huge for the program.
"That's priceless for someone who's new and never been to this tournament before," Harrington said.
Through two championship rounds
TEAM STANDINGS: St. Edward 107.5, Wadsworth 98.5, Brecksville 49.5, Oregon Clay 48, Elyria 41.5, Medina 34, Copley 30, Lorain 25, Toledo Whitmer 23, Lakewood 22.5, Perrysburg 21, Fremont Ross 19, Sandusky 15, North Olmsted 15, Sylvania Northview 14, Strongsville 14, Nordonia 12.5, Midpark 11, Cuyahoga Falls 10, Westlake 10, Springfield 7.5, Midview 7, Toledo St. Francis deSales 6, Mansfield Senior 6, Olmsted Falls 6, Ashland 5, Anthony Wayne 4, Toledo St. John's Jesuit 4, Findlay 4, North Ridgeville 4, Avon Lake 4, Cloverleaf 3, Brunswick 2.
103 -- Evan Krumheuer (Midpark) vs. Armando Torres (Elyria); Ryan Hornack (Medina) vs. Dominic Diaz (Lorain). 112 -- Mike Screptock (Oregon Clay) vs. Brandon Jones (Wadsworth); Edgar Bright (St. Edward) vs. Jake Demio (Strongsville). 119 -- Aaron Warstler (Wadsworth) vs. Yousef Abdel-Salam (Lakewood); Dean Heil (St. Edward) vs. Brian Elden (Sylvania Northview). 125 -- Markus Scheidel (St. Edward) vs. Kevin Scholtz (Strongsville); Eli Garcia (Elyria) vs. Kagan Squire (Wadsworth). 130 -- Josh Ayers (Midview) vs. Mitch Baran (Brecksville); Colin Heffernan (St. Edward) vs. Alfredo Gray (Wadsworth). 135 -- Nick Barber (St. Edward) vs. Colin Taylor (Cuyahoga Falls); Mike Griffith (Medina) vs. Nick Ramsey (Lakewood). 140 -- Quinton Hiles (Brecksville) vs. Nate Ball (Wadsworth); Matt Hammer (Medina) vs. Mark Gupko (Nordonia). 145 -- Jacob Opial (Toledo Whitmer) vs. Jon Garrison (Copley); Clay Wenger (Wadsworth) vs. Myles Wright (Elyria). 152 -- Mark Martin (St. Edward) vs. Andrew Barr (Brecksville); C.J. Edwards (Wadsworth) vs. Sheldon Stuckart (Westlake). 160 -- Sheldon Brandenburg (Wadsworth) vs. Domenic Abounader (St. Edward); Kyle Roddy (Brecksville) vs. Thaer Zayed (North Olmsted). 171 -- Luke Boff (Perrysburg) vs. Marshal Willet (Brecksville); Jacob Davis (St. Edward) vs. Chico Cloyne (Oregon Clay). 189 -- James Suvak (St. Edward) vs. Tylor Trautwein (Fremont Ross); Brandon Veler (Oregon Clay) vs. Sam Wheeler (Copley). 215 -- Nick Tavanello (Wadsworth) vs. Jason Gott (Elyria); Ty Walz (St. Edward) vs. Amon Willis (Lorain). HVY -- Mike Brown (Sandusky) vs. Greg Kuhar (St. Edward); Jake Crowley (Wadsworth) vs. Garrett Gray (Oregon Clay).