Joe Repasky isn’t an average quarterback, normally a position for a guy who doesn’t like to get hit too much. After a season of dropping back in the pocket for Cuyahoga Falls while 230-pound linebackers tried to knock him senseless, Repasky doesn’t take it easy. He wrestles.
And he happens to be pretty good. In fact, he’s a serious contender in the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament at Firestone High School, and has advanced into today’s rounds.
Repasky, a senior who wrestles in the 195-pound weight class, is a returning state qualifier and one of three talented wrestlers in his class in the area competing at the Dies.
In the winter, he gets to hit people. He likes to hit people.
“Oh yeah, that’s fun,” Repasky said when asked if he liked being physical. “I like hitting a little sometimes. I like to keep it balanced.”
He’s gotten college offers to wrestle and has garnered some interest from a couple of Division III schools to play football. Just about every scout he talks with is surprised when they learn of the other sport.
“Talking with coaches and college recruits, they say it’s unique,” Repasky said. “They say usually quarterbacks who can run play basketball or something. But they like that it’s a tough sport and say that I must be a hard-nosed guy, straight forward.”
Perhaps they’re surprised because in talking with Repasky he doesn’t come off as a physical athlete.
“The kid just never stops smiling,” Cuyahoga Falls wrestling coach Craig Wilson said. “That’s just how he is, that’s his character. We talk about athletics, but I think the best thing he has going for him is that he’s a great person. The wrestling, the football, the baseball, you can only talk so much about that. Really, his whole life is great.”
Repasky has been playing football and wrestling since he was 7 years old. He’s always been a talented athlete who could use his physicality to his advantage.
“Everyone says ‘You’re the nicest kid,’ and what I do in sports doesn’t really show it,” he said. “I like it all.”
Wilson categorized Repasky as a “technical” wrestler, not a brawler. Wilson said the best thing about Repasky is how he treats people, but being a little nastier on the mat might not hurt.
“I’d almost prefer him to get a little meaner,” he said, laughing. “For me, I’d think a football player, especially one getting hit all the time, this would be his chance to dish it back out. But that’s just who he is. He’s a very tough kid. Very tough. But not very aggressive.”
Cuyahoga Falls doesn’t mess around too much with cutting weight or staying within a weight class, Wilson said.
Repasky was a state qualifier last year, wrestling at 170 pounds, then gained 35 pounds while working out for football, cut 10 after the season and is at 195 today. Repasky was 20-3 entering the Bill Dies Tournament on Friday, and advanced with two pins, each in the first period. Repasky is the No. 3 seed in the 195-pound weight class. Should he and Highland senior Adam Kluk (26-5) both win their next matches, the two will meet for the first time.
Repasky has lost this season to the No. 1 seed in the weight class, Barberton senior Aaron Tschantz. All three won their two matches on Friday with pins and advanced.
At 132 pounds, No. 1-seed Sonny Shump, a senior from Barberton, advanced. … Michael Belknap of Archbishop Hoban, a No. 2 seed at 145 pounds, won with two pins as well. … The Moore brothers from Norwayne, sophomore Kollin at 152 pounds and senior Kurt at 160 pounds, each remained undefeated this season and advanced. … Revere senior Stephen Suglio had a bye and then won with a pin to advance in the 182-pound weight class. … At 220 pounds, top-seeded senior Vernon Rowe of Barberton improved to 30-2 this season with two pins and Zack Srock, a junior from Chippewa in the heavyweight class (285 pounds), also had two pins.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.