ALLIANCE: St. Vincent St. Mary won two individual weight classes and took home the team title at the Division II district tournament Saturday night. The Fighting Irish will send seven wrestlers to the state meet next week in Columbus.
St. V-M, which took third in the district tournament last year, scored 165.5 points as a team, topping Lake County Perry’s 144.5. The Fighting Irish were led by two district champions, senior Aaron Adkins (182 pounds) and junior Dre’k Brumley (220 pounds).
Adkins’ match with Perry’s Alec Schenk proved to be the highlight of the night as two of the best wrestlers from the two best teams competed. They had met earlier this season with Schenk pulling out a win in the last seconds. Adkins trailed 4-2 in the final minute Saturday night but got a point on an escape and turned Schenk around for the winning points with 30 seconds to go to win 5-4.
Now, his sights are set for doing the same in Columbus.
“I’m going to win it. At least that’s the only thing on my mind,” Adkins said. “This puts me in a good spot. It’s another step and I’ve got one more to go.”
Brumley defeated Norton junior Sean Rutherford with a 6-4 decision. Brumley recently dropped down from the heavyweight class to wrestle at 220 pounds and is improving quickly.
“The way he’s wrestling and listening I think is putting him in a good position to finish well in Columbus,” Irish coach Anthony Gary said. “Now it’s the transformation of saying, ‘OK, my body’s at 220. Now my mind and my wrestling need to be at 220.’ And the consistent effort is just now starting to come out.”
The top four wrestlers from each weight class automatically advance to the state tournament. Also advancing for St. V-M are senior Sal Ferrise (third place, 120 pounds), junior Garrett Carter (second place, 132 pounds), senior Ryan Skonieczny (second place, 138 pounds), senior Walt Gibson (fourth place, 145 pounds) and sophomore Ben Knaus (third place, 152 pounds).
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Tyler Maclellan took first in the 195-pound weight class, beating Crestwood senior Kenny Jackson 3-1 in overtime to win his first district title.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and momentum to do well at states,” Maclellan said. “I’ve been training hard and I think I can win there.”
Coventry junior Zack Lake won a 3-0 decision to take first in the 145-pound weight class. And Field sophomore Cory Simpson won the district title at 113 pounds. Simpson placed eighth at the state tournament a year ago.
“Last year I went into the state tournament just trying to do the best I could but now I know what it’s like,” Simpson said. “So the goal is to place higher.”
Tallmadge junior Terrell Grant placed third in the 106-pound weight class. Grant transferred from Archbishop Hoban before the season and is advancing to the state tournament for the first time.
CVCA senior Jeff Hojnacki took second at 152 pounds and CVCA junior Andy Dobben defeated St. V-M’s Gibson 3-1 to place third at 145 pounds.
Revere junior Zeck Lehman got the better of Ravenna junior Brendon Winning for the second week in a row, winning 7-4. They took third and fourth, respectively, in the 170-pound weight class. Lehman’s teammate, senior Ahmad Khatib (182 pounds) also finished third. And from Ravenna, senior Cody Hawkins took fourth at 285 pounds.
Woodridge will send two wrestlers to Columbus, senior Mason Hilling (third, 220 pounds) and junior Kyle Kremiller (third, 195 pounds).
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.