GRANGER TWP. — For wrestling fans, the time to be the proverbial fly on the wall is next Wednesday.
While the location for the Division I, Region 2 semifinals and finals hasn’t been determined, the teams have and it’s a doozy of a lineup.
Wadsworth, the top-ranked team in Region 2-A, and second-seeded Brunswick will square off in one semifinal. The other semi will see reigning state dual meet champion St. Edward face No. 2 Olmsted Falls in the 2-B bracket, with the winners of those matches facing each other for a right to go to the state quarterfinals.
Based on what happened Wednesday, it should be fantastic, as the reigning Suburban League champion Grizzlies and reigning Northeast Ohio Conference River Division kingpin Blue Devils found little resistance in opening-round wins.
Brunswick dispatched Berea-Midpark 68-10 and then knocked off third-seeded Parma 48-25. Wadsworth shut out Highland 74-0 and then beat fourth-seeded North Royalton 49-13.
“You have us. We’re all riled up and we’re giving it all,” Brunswick 220-pounder Matt Perdue said. “Add that with the other teams and, if I was a fan, I’d be so excited. You have four teams going super hard. It’s going to be awesome.
“It’s really good. It’s showing how hard we go in the room. We bust our butt and never have a goof-around day. It’s exciting.”
Speaking of exciting, the Blue Devils left little doubt with 17 pins. D.J. Skiba (106) Ethan Rivera (113), Josh Heil (120), Christian Camacho (138), Branden Bryant (160), Aaron Naples (170) and Perdue each had two.
“We wrestled Wadsworth in a preview a couple weeks ago, won some and lost five one-point matches,” Brunswick coach Mike Koshar said. “The goal is to see how much we’ve improved from that point. If we’ve closed that gap, it should be great.
“As far as exciting wrestling, that’s as good as it gets. Wadsworth’s tradition and St. Edward — what they’ve done you can’t argue. We’re just happy to be mentioned with Wadsworth and St. Edward.”
As the only team to win a D-I individual state title other than St. Edward this century, Wadsworth looked like it was in postseason form.
The Grizzlies, who reached the regional finals last year, know what’s at stake and just how special next week could be.
“It’s going to be brutal,” Wadsworth coach John Gramuglia said. “There will be a lot of close matches. It’s going to come down to an upset where everyone will be talking about what determined the outcome.”
There was little drama in the opening rounds for the Grizzlies, as Brandon Randolph (106), Connor Gray (120), Jordan Schleigh (138), Alex Jones (160), Shane Mast (170), Tim Knipl (182) and Clayton Brandenburg (220) scored bonus points in both matches.
It’s momentum Wadsworth hopes to take into next week.
“We’ve definitely improved from the beginning of the season,” Schleigh said. “We’re working harder and it’s definitely paying off right now.”
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