Many top area wrestlers will be in action Friday and Saturday at Firestone or Alliance.
The 27th annual Bill Dies Memorial Wrestling Tournament at Firestone and the 28th annual Top Gun Wrestling Tournament at Alliance are both scheduled to have 43 teams competing this weekend.
Brecksville has won the Bill Dies team title in each of the past five years and Claymont returns to Alliance to try to defend its title. Perry will also be at Alliance in a venue at which it has placed second four years in a row.
Here is each tournament at a glance:
Bill Dies at Firestone
Schedule — Wrestling begins at 4 p.m. Friday with two championship rounds and two consolation rounds. Saturday features competition beginning at 9:30 a.m. with two championship rounds and four consolation rounds. The parade of champions is set for 5:45 p.m. and the final round starts at 6 p.m. with first- through sixth-place matches.
Area teams — Firestone, Archbishop Hoban, Buchtel, Barberton, Brecksville, Brunswick, Buckeye, Chippewa, Copley, Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Garrettsville, GlenOak, Green, Highland, Kenmore, Kent Roosevelt, Manchester, Mogadore, North, Norton, Norwayne, Revere, Rootstown, Stow, Streetsboro, Tallmadge, Twinsburg and Woodridge.
Area returning Bill Dies champions — Brecksville juniors Austin Assad and Sonny Lucas, Norwayne junior Kollin Moore and Rootstown senior Travis Linton.
Area wrestlers seeded first — Manchester sophomore Joey Bowen (106 pounds), Stow sophomore Kyle Jenkins (113), Assad (120), Lucas (138), Moore (160), Linton (182), Brecksville senior Josh Murphy (195), Norton senior Sean Rutherford (220) and Manchester Jacob Hanzel (285).
Other area wrestlers to watch — Brecksville sophomore Justin DeMicco (126) and senior Austin Strnad (160). Brunswick sophomores DJ Skiba (106) and Josh Heil (120). Coventry junior Zach Lake (145). GlenOak: senior Chris Doyle (113) and junior Tristan Roberts (285). Hoban: freshman Lukus Stricker (106) and junior Kevin Swaney (132). Manchester senior Bobby Bowen (132). Mogadore senior Justin Chew (138). Rootstown senior Zack Ladich (160). Streetsboro junior Tyler Rowland (195). Woodridge freshman Eli Yoho (113), junior Cody Jenkins (195) and Mason Hilling (220).
On Saturday, Firestone’s baseball team is hosting a breakfast fundraiser (pancakes and sausage) from 6-10 a.m. and a dinner fundraiser (spaghetti and salad) from 12-5:30 p.m. For more information, visit: http://www.billdies.com/index.php.
Top Gun at Alliance
Schedule — Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Friday with three championship rounds and two consolation rounds. Saturday features competition beginning at 10:30 a.m. with two championship rounds and four consolation rounds. The finals show starts at 4 p.m. and the final round starts at 5 p.m. with first- through sixth-place matches.
Area teams — Alliance, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Field, Jackson, Lake, Louisville, Minerva, Nordonia, Northwest, North Canton Hoover, Perry, Ravenna, Southeast, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Strongsville, Walsh Jesuit and West Branch.
Area returning Top Gun champion — Perry senior Tony Dailey.
Area wrestlers seeded first — Perry junior Jose Rodriguez (113 pounds), senior David Bavery (126), senior Casey Sparkman (152), Dailey (160) and senior Isaac Bast (170). Lake junior Zac Carson (145), Nordonia senior Alex Woicehovich (220) and St. V-M seniors Ryan Skonieczny (138) and Aaron Adkins (182).
Other area wrestlers to watch — CVCA juniors Ryan Bennett (120) and Andy Dobben (145) and seniors Jeff Hojnacki (152) and Tyler Maclellan (195). Minerva senior Harrison Hoppel (220). St. V-M junior Dre’k Brumley (285). Walsh: sophomore Alex Mackall (120) and senior Nolan Whitely (132). West Branch senior Logan Sharp (285).
For more information, visit: http://wrestling-top-gun.alliance.schoolfusion.us/.
Classic in the country
The 11th annual Classic in the Country girls basketball event is set for this weekend at Berlin Hiland High School.
There are 20 games scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which is Martin Luther King Day.
Tom Jenkins is the director of the Classic and each year the games help extend the Perry Reese Scholarship Fund and promote Dr. King’s vision for racial harmony.
Here is the portion of the schedule that includes area teams:
Saturday — 10 a.m.: Fort Loramie vs. West Branch. 11:45 a.m.: Columbus Africentric vs. Twinsburg. 3:15 p.m.: Canton McKinley vs. Mason.
Sunday — 3:30 p.m.: West Chester Lakota West vs. North Canton Hoover. 7 p.m.: Toledo Rogers vs. Wadsworth.
Monday — 1:30 p.m.: North Canton Hoover vs. Regis Jesuit (Colo.). 8:30 p.m.: Wooster vs. Berlin Hiland.
Michael Beaven can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.