November 1, 2014

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Barberton edges Wadsworth for top wrestling seed

COLUMBUS — Area wrestling fans have always argued over which team is the best in the state.

Now, bragging rights will be settled in the form of the inaugural State Duals Tournament. The schedule was announced Tuesday.

Wadsworth earned the No. 2 seed in Division-I, Region 2-B, losing the top seed to Barberton on a tiebreaker. The regional quarterfinals will be held around Ohio on Jan. 23, with the semifinals and finals set for the following Wednesday. The state finals will be Feb. 9 at Ohio State’s St. John Arena.

And while most local coaches are excited by the opportunity to see who’s the best team in the state, many feel that some changes can help make the event even better.

“I think it may turn into a premier event with a few more tweaks,” Grizzlies coach John Gramuglia said. “I would like to see matches on Thursday, so we can train Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Cutting weight in the middle of the week may wear top teams out by individual sectionals, districts and state.”

Gramuglia’s squad will travel to Highland and take on the No. 7 Hornets in a tournament opener on Jan. 23. The winner will meet No. 3 Green or No. 6 Copley on Jan. 30.

In the other bracket segment in region 2-B, No. 5 Medina battles No. 4 Nordonia and No. 8 Ellet squares off with Barberton with the winners meeting the following week. Both matches are at Nordonia.

Medina County’s other D-I programs — Brunswick and Cloverleaf — are members of Region 2-A. Both teams will open at Brecksville. No. 5 Brunswick will battle No. 4 Amherst, while No. 8 Cloverleaf will have to win two matches if it wants to advance to the semifinals. The Colts wrestle Berea in the opener and if they win would face top-seeded Brecksville in a second match.

Like Gramuglia, Brunswick coach Mike Koshar likes the tournament, but feels it will be a challenge on everyone involved.

“I think it is a good idea, however, I think the timing is not the best,” he said. “A team that goes deep into the dual tournament will be doing a lot of wrestling, having an extra weigh-in during the middle of the week and wrestling tough competition. I believe it will take its toll on some wrestlers at a time when you want them to be at their best for sectionals, districts, states.”

Buckeye, the No. 6 seed in D-II, Region 10-A, will travel to University School to wrestle the No. 3 Preppers.

Black River will not be participating in D-III.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.