When St. Vincent-St. Mary and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy met in a dual meet earlier in the year, the Fighting Irish gave the Royals a resounding thumping, one that has stuck with CVCA the entire season.
On Saturday in a Division II sectional at St. Vincent-St. Mary, the Royals were able to find some redemption, beating St. V-M in all three sectional final bouts in which the two schools met.
“We came here earlier to the LeBron James Arena, and we got a butt-whooping,” said CVCA senior Jeff Hojnacki, who defeated St. V-M sophomore Ben Knauss by major decision 14-4 in the 152-pound weight class. “They handed it to us. St. V killed us. Our coach wanted us to come here and let them know we’re a whole different team.”
CVCA junior Ryan Bennett beat St. V-M senior Sal Ferrise by technical fall 19-4 in the 120-pound weight class. Later, at 145 pounds, CVCA junior Andy Dobben outlasted St. V-M senior Walt Gibson 12-8.
Dobben was seeking some redemption of his own, as Gibson defeated him earlier in the year. And he doesn’t think they have seen the last of each other just yet.
“I really worked hard and I just wanted to prove to everybody I can win,” Dobben said. “I’d just like to do it again next week. I’ll probably have him in the finals, I’d assume. I’m expecting a tough battle.”
Also winning a sectional title for CVCA was senior Tyler Maclellan, who won by forfeit at 195 pounds.
St. V-M didn’t win in the three title bouts with CVCA, but four Fighting Irish wrestlers came away with sectional titles, including freshman Joe Koontz (126 pounds), junior Garrett Carter (132 pounds), senior Aaron Adkins (182 pounds) and junior Dre’k Brumley (220 pounds).
St. V-M won the team title with 209.5 points, easily outdistancing second-place Parma Padua (159) and third-place Woodridge (145.5). CVCA finished sixth with 132, just behind Ravenna and Streetsboro.
Brumley’s title was the highlight of the day for St. V-M as he pinned Woodridge senior Mason Hilling in 48 seconds.
Brumley, now a junior, is searching for much more than just a sectional title this year.
“I’m a junior so I have a chip on my shoulder now,” he said. “Before I could use that excuse that I’m younger. But I’m ready to wrestle. Coach has always had high expectations of me out of middle school and he tries to bring it out of me.”
Woodridge freshman Eli Yoho took first at 113 pounds. Yoho said this was one of his first goals before entering high school. Up next is a run through the district event and then qualifying for the state tournament.
Ravenna senior Cody Hawkins made quick work of Cleveland Central Catholic’s Isaiah Pope, pinning him in 22 seconds.
Revere junior Zeck Lehman scored two points in the final 10 seconds of the third period to force overtime and eventually took an 8-6 decision over Ravenna junior Brendon Winning.
Winning went for the winning points but Lehman spun around, locked him up and went on to secure the victory, which is the 100th of his career.
“It’s really special for me because I’ve worked so hard in this sport and put so much time into this sport,” Lehman said. “It’s awesome, it’s great.”
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.