October 25, 2014

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High school wrestling: Grizzlies hope to add to glowing resume

COLUMBUS — Wadsworth’s wrestling program has accomplished pretty much everything there is to do in the sport.

The lone thing missing from the Grizzlies’ resume, however, is an appearance in the semifinals of the State Dual Team Tournament. Wadsworth will look to change that, as it earned the top seed in the Division I, Sub-Region 2-A bracket released Monday.

John Gramuglia

John Gramuglia

It won’t be easy for the Grizzlies, however, with the likes of Brunswick and St. Edward standing in their way, but it’s something coach John Gramuglia knows his team is ready for.

“We have to go through Brunswick and St. Edward, so this is going to be a tough task but a challenge for our young team,” said Gramuglia, whose team lost in the regional finals to Brecksville in the inaugural edition of the tournament last winter. “It will help us all prepare for the individual state tournament run coming up.”

Wadsworth will open the tournament Jan. 22 against Suburban League rival Highland, with the winner to face the Medina-North Royalton winner in a match held later in the evening. Sites for the regional quarterfinal round will be announced at a later date.

Awaiting the Grizzlies after that will most likely be Brunswick, as the Blue Devils earned the No. 2 seed in the sub-region and will square off with Berea-Midpark before battling Parma or Strongsville in the next round. St. Edward is the top seed in sub-region 2-B, while Brecksville was moved to Region 3.

While the tournament is still in its infancy, Brunswick coach Mike Koshar still isn’t sure about the event’s placement in the regular-season schedule.

“We have mixed feelings about the tournament,” Koshar said. “It’s always nice to do well and go deep in the tournament. However, if you do that, your team will be wrestling before their conference tournament and possibly before the sectional tournament. We usually take those days to rest up.”

In D-II, Sub-Region 11, No. 6 Buckeye will open against No. 3 Rocky River. With a win, the Bucks would see Padua or University School.

Black River, which didn’t participate in the inaugural event, earned the sixth seed in D-III, Sub-Region 18-A and will see third-seeded Loudonville in its opening match, with Hillsdale or Northwestern awaiting the winner.

Cloverleaf was the only local team not included in the brackets Monday and withdrew itself from competition months ago, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association website. The Colts won a state tourney match last season, beating Berea 36-30, before falling to eventual regional champ Brecksville.

The regional semifinals and finals will be held Jan. 29, at sites to be announced, with the state semifinals and finals Feb. 8 at St. John Arena in Columbus.

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