CLEVELAND — Wadsworth has a handful of wrestlers who have a lot of work to do today after just three won both their championship-round matches Friday at the Cleveland Division I District.
“We’ve always had the toughest (district), so this isn’t new for us,” Grizzlies coach John Gramuglia said. “We’ve got to reach a little deeper to find a way to win those (first-round) matches.”
Along with Wadsworth’s Mathias Zollinger (138 pounds), Robbie Bosley (152) and Tim Knipl (170), fellow countians Josh Heil (103) and Tyler Hughes (170) of Brunswick and Highland’s Adam Kluk (195) find themselves in semifinal bouts today with a state berth within reach.
Four one-point losses will make today’s consolation rounds at Cleveland State’s Woodling Gym crucial for Wadsworth’s Noah Baughman (106), Connor Gray (120), Shane Mast (160) and Daryk Maki (285).
Maki, the Medina Sectional champ, dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to Sam Burns of St. Francis DeSales.
“I beat myself,” Maki said. “I went out there and underestimated myself. I know I shouldn’t have because I know I can beat him. I feel bad for whoever I have to wrestle (today) because I’m one (angry) dude and it ain’t gonna be pretty.”
Baughman hung tough with St. Edward’s L.J. Bentley, a state qualifier a year ago, before falling 7-6.
Bosley carried the momentum from his sectional title win at Medina and turned it into a pair of 4-1 victories — over Whitmer’s Marcus Torres and Elyria’s Alex Parker — in his first district meet.
“I knew the kids were going to be tough, so I had to have good defense,” the junior said. “My defense and countering the mistakes and scoring on those helped.”
Zollinger and Knipl also were efficient in winning their bouts and are a win away from the finals — both won by pin and decision — while teammates Abdulhabib Abdulhabib and Alex Carrell went 1-1 to remain alive at 145 and 182, respectively.
After a blowout victory in his opening match, Hughes needed a takedown with 13 seconds left in overtime to upend DeSales’ Shelton Evans 6-4 and earn a semifinal spot.
“I could feel him getting tired and I knew I had some gas left in my tank,” he said. “I was ready to take it into another overtime, but I was able to snap him down and throw that boot in.”
Heil was efficient in his two wins, pinning North Olmsted’s David Brenner in 1:47 and winning 5-2 over Elyria’s Nico O’Dor.
Fellow Blue Devils Brett Thomas (113), Zack Taylor (126) and Christian Camacho (132) went 1-1, while Austin Fallon (138), Ray Floyd (152), Dean Warchak (182) and Matt Perdue (220) dropped their opening-round bouts.
Kluk steamrolled his opponents by pin, slamming Clay’s Brian Richmond in 1:11 and needing 1:47 to dispose of Asam Zayed of Westlake.
Fellow Hornet Marko Vilimonovich went 1-1 at 113 pounds, while 160-pounder Tom Gabyak lost his lone match.
The win of the day locally may have been at 138 pounds, as Cloverleaf freshman Anthony Kozma outlasted Maumee’s Anthony Arroyo — the reigning Clay sectional champ — with a 9-5 decision.
“I think the best thing was that Anthony didn’t know who he was,” Colts coach Neal Nutter said of Kozma, who went 1-1. “He went out, wrestled him tough and beat him.”
Junior Marc Heidelman held off Nordonia’s Heath Phillibert 4-3 before falling to St. Edward standout Dean Heil, Josh Heil’s older brother, in the second round.
Freshman Greg Briggs won his first match at 113 to reach 30 wins on the season, while teammates Matt Montgomery (120), Joe Kruggel (152) and Austin Kozma (182) failed to win in the first round.
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