COLUMBUS: Revere senior wrestler Stephen Suglio is in the zone.
The pin zone.
Suglio scored a pin in three minutes, 11 seconds in his opening-round Division II state 182-pound match Thursday at Value City Arena in the Schottenstein Center in front of 11,084 fans.
Suglio (46-2) pinned Port Clinton senior Zach Wheeler and remained perfect in the postseason with seven pins and one win by injury default.
“I am just taking it one match at a time,” Suglio said. “My plan is if I have a chance to end a match early, I am going to take it.
“[Wheeler] got a shot in on me early, so I just had to keep my cool. I took top second period, and then I was able to turn him to get the pin. I am confident with my turns. I think I can turn anyone.”
Suglio has ended 30 matches this season by pin. Thursday was his second appearance at the state meet after posting a 1-2 record at state last year.
He sits three wins away from the ultimate prize — a state championship.
“Last year going into the district tournament, every match I won was like an upset,” Suglio said. “This year I am a favorite. I feel a lot more comfortable in all my positions.”
Revere coach Dan Mosher has noticed Suglio’s improved offensive technique this season and it has enabled him to score in more ways.
“Stephen is a man on a mission,” Mosher said. “He worked his tail off in the offseason to get to this moment right here. I know he has every intention to get to the top spot on the podium.”
Suglio, a Kent State University recruit, has a 3.98 grade-point average and scored 31 on his ACT, according to former CVCA coach Don Lorence, who trains Suglio at Titan Wrestling Club in Aurora.
Suglio said he plans to major in secondary education in college. He would like to be a math or physics teacher and a wrestling coach in the future.
Exploring the mats
Junior Michael Coleman and senior Danny Tiley are Hudson’s lone two state qualifiers, and both won opening-round Division I matches 7-2 in their first state appearance.
“I am excited for both of them,” Hudson coach Joe Caniglia said. “They both worked very hard to get to this point and took advantage of the opportunities that they had. They were a little nervous about their first-round matches with it being their first time down here, but they settled in and won.”
Coleman is 42-5 at 160.
“It feels great to get the first win out of the way,” Coleman said. “It can be the toughest one to get when you get out here under the bright lights. You just to have to settle down and get into the pace of the match.”
Tiley is 30-10 at 182.
“I was pretty nervous out there, but I was prepared to win,” Tiley said.
Tomasello wins opener
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Nathan Tomasello won his opening match at 120 pounds via a technical fall.
Tomasello, an Ohio State recruit and three-time state champion, is 48-0 this season.
CVCA has 20½ points and is second to St. Paris Graham Local (23 points) in Division II.
The Royals also got wins from sophomore Ryan Bennett (113), senior Josh Decatur (126), junior Jeff Hojnacki (145) and junior Tyler Maclellan (170).
St. Vincent-St. Mary is fifth in Division II with 14.5 points.
Fighting Irish who won were sophomore Garret Carter (36-1, 120), senior Mike Rix (35-2, 126), junior Walter Gibson (132), junior Ryan Skonieczny (138), junior Aaron Adkins (182) and sophomore Dre’k Brumley (285).
Other winners in Division II were Norton sophomore Sean Rutherford (220), Walsh Jesuit freshman Alex Mackall (106) and junior Nolan Whitely (132) and Archbishop Hoban senior Michael Belknap (145).
Focused to defend titles
Perry junior David Bavery and senior JoJo Tayse both won their first match Thursday as they each attempt to win a second consecutive Division I state championship.
Bavery is 40-8 at 120 and Tayse is 43-7 at 195.
Other Perry wrestlers who won Thursday were sophomore Jose Rodriguez (39-2, 106), juniors Casey Speakman (138), Isaac Bast (145) and Tony Dailey (152) and senior Bruno Millin (160).
Perry is second in the Division I team standings with 22½ points. Lakewood St. Edward is first with 23 points.
Stow freshman Kyle Jenkins (106) and Nordonia junior Alex Woicehovich (220) also won in Division I.
Kluk scores victory
Highland senior Adam Kluk earned a 10-5 victory over Cuyahoga Falls senior Joey Repasky in a local-versus-local match at 195 in Division I.
“I know that he is a tough kid and that state is like starting a whole new season,” Kluk said. “I just had to go out there and believe in myself and get a win.”
Kluk is a two-time state placer.
“That was a good match for Adam,” Highland coach Paul Casey said. “He came out strong and he scored right away. He got some back points and was consistent throughout the whole match.”
Delta leads Division III with 16½ points. Waynedale is fourth at 12½ points.
Waynedale senior Zack Nelson (55-0, 126), Waterloo senior J.J. Diven (47-0, 138), Norwayne sophomore Kollin Moore (53-0, 152) and Sandy Valley senior Sam Groff (54-0) all kept their record perfect.
Manchester junior Jacob Hanzel won his match at 285.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.