YOUNGSTOWN — If the turnout of area talent at the 15th annual Ohio Junior High State Championships is any indication, the future of Medina County wrestling is bright.
More than 20 local grapplers from five school districts took part in the two-day tournament at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. Eight found their way onto the podium. In all, more than 850 wrestlers battled it out for state bragging rights in 18 weight classes.
Nick Kiussis, an eighth-grader from Brunswick’s Willetts Middle School, brought home the state title at 120 pounds. Kiussis was dominant in his first four matches, winning three by pin, before defeating Corey Shie of Golden Cross 6-4 in the title bout.
Brunswick’s Ethan Rivera (114 pounds) and Aaron Naples (164) took fourth and sixth, respectively. Matt Fields (78) and Colin Sustersic (249) also represented the Blue Devils.
At 102 pounds, Brandon Randolph of Wadsworth went 5-1 en route to placing third. The eighth-grader bounced back from a bitter semifinal loss with two wins to end the tourney, highlighted by a 10-8 victory over Brecksville’s Matthew Jones for the bronze.
Randolph was one of three placers for the Grizzles, who had nine wrestlers compete in the event sponsored by the Ohio Athletic Committee.
Joey Baughman (4th, 108) and Michael North (5th, 78) posted 5-2 records, while teammate Alex Jones also had just two losses in a seventh-place finish at 138. Baughman dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to Perrysburg’s Moises Guillen in the third-place match.
Fellow Wadsworth grapplers Cameron Riggenbach (90), Cody Surrat (114), Conner Clark (120), Hunter Blaz (132) and Evan Goebel (164) also participated.
Medina’s Brady Chrisman rounded out the area placers, as the Claggett Middle School seventh-grader took seventh at 102.
Highland had three wrestlers take part in the tournament. Brothers Ryan and Tyler Wissel qualified at 78 and 84 pounds, respectively, while eighth-grader Josh Kedzior competed at 108.
Buckeye had a pair of qualifiers in Mike Clark (86) and Eric Bartos (92), while Alex Kozma (114) represented Cloverleaf.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.