SANDUSKY — The annual Division III Duals wrestling tournament at “The Den” brings out the cream of the crop each year, and this one is no exception.
There are 18 teams in the 2010 field, including the 2009 state champion and runner-up in Troy Christian and Monroeville and the same for the 2010 State Duals as Cuyahoga Heights bested West Jefferson for that title two weeks ago.
In both cases, the difference was one point.
Each of the teams wrestled five matches Friday, and Cuyahoga Heights and West Jefferson swept their opponents and are headed for the showdown final match today at about 5 p.m.
Cincinnati Reading is also 5-0, but faces the likes of Cuyahoga Heights, West Jefferson, Edison and Monroeville today.
Monroeville and Edison posted 4-1 marks among the four area schools in the event. Host SMCC finished 2-3, and Western Reserve had a 1-4 record.
The Eagles’ fab four of Hunter Stieber (119), Logan Stieber (130), Cam Tessari (140) and Chris Phillips (171) continued their sensational performances with five wins apiece.
As a group, they did not spend much time on the mat as pins came easy for the mostpart. They also received a few forfeit wins, and that caught the attention of coach Scott Bauer, especially in the match with West Jefferson in which they fell, 42-29.
“Overall, our kids came to wrestle today and some e of the less experienced wrestlers like Tyler Tonelli and Ben Ringenburg wrestled very well,” said Bauer.
“I didn’t like the way West Jefferson ducked us. They had a great deal of depth and yet did not come out against us, and forfeited the matches. That’s bush in my opinion,” Bauer said.
“We have two big matches tomorrow (today) against Cuyahoga Heights and Edison, but today I was extremely pleased with the results. Cal Clark lost a tough match, then came back with two nice wins and I liked the way we wrestled against Western Reserve. We just went against them Wednesday and today we met them again and improved our score,” Bauer said.
Senior Logan Stieber ran his winning streak to 161 with the five more victories and stands 166-1 overall in his quest to join the list of Ohio’s four-time state champions in March. Hunter Stieber, Tessari and Phillips are also returning two-time state champions, and only juniors.
Edison coach, Davy Hermes, also felt his team wrestled well.
“We’re not a dual team right now, but I think this was our best effort of the year, and I’m very happy,” Hermes said. Edison’s loss was to Cuyahoga Heights, 43-21.
“Kyle Burns came up with a very big win. He was down 8-5, then stuck a cradle in on the Heights kid for the pin. That was huge since it came against the kid who beat him out for fifth place in the state a year ago,” Hermes said.
“We bumped Tyler Majoy up a weight class against Delta against the Yant kid and Tyler comes away with an impressive win as well. We are looking for the best matchups and face some of the top teams tomorrow, but what we are looking at is preparing for the end of the year,” Hermes said.
SMCC coach Rick Bellamy also looked at the bright side.
“We were 2-3 today but gave up four weight classes (forfeits for the mostpart). Overall, I think we wrestled better today than in the past. Freshman Alex Guerra (103) was undefeated and Kody
(his son) also went 5-0 while Logan Reichert won four of his five matches, and the lone loss was to Hunter Stieber. We’re young but our kids give it all they have,” Bellamy said.
Matches begin at 10 a.m. in the “Den” and in the Sandusky Central Catholic Schools (SCCS) auxiliary gym today with five more matches slated for all 18 teams before the 2010 champion is crowned.