The 20th annual Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament will be filled with another impressive collection of wrestlers and teams this weekend at Walsh Jesuit High School.
Tournament directors Bob Preusse, Ken Dies, Bob Conley and John Mascio are excited for this year’s event, which has grown to feature wrestlers from 91 schools from around the United States.
“InterMat ranks Ironman as the No. 1 in-season high school tournament in USA,” Preusse said. “Many state placers don’t even get seeded in the top 12.”
Dies and Conley also run the Bill Dies Memorial Wrestling Tournament every year in January at Firestone High School.
Eight area schools are scheduled to have either a full team or individuals in the Ironman: Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Perry, Rootstown, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Tallmadge, Walsh Jesuit, Brecksville and Strongsville.
Blair Academy (N.J.) won the team title last year. Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), St. Paris Graham, Lakewood St. Edward and Canon McMillan (Pa.) were second through fifth. All five teams return this year, Mascio said.
“Blair Academy has been in 18 Ironman Tournaments and won 11 times,” Mascio said. “They missed the first one in 1994. St. Edward has won five titles, St. Paris Graham two and Walsh Jesuit one.”
Wrestling starts at 1 p.m. Friday with 14 weight classes competing on mats that cover two gymnasiums. Saturday features the quarterfinals at 10 a.m., the semifinals at about noon and the finals scheduled for 6 p.m. in Walsh’s main gym.
This year’s field features 11 of the top 16 teams in InterMat Wrestling’s rankings put together by wrestling enthusiast Josh Lowe. The 11 teams are No. 1 Blair Academy, 2. Oak Park River Forest (Ill.), 3. Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), 4. Montini Catholic (Ill.), 6. St. Paris Graham, 8. Perry, 10. Franklin Regional (Pa.), 12. Brecksville, 13. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, 15. Broken Arrow (Okla.) and 16. Edmond North (Okla.).
There are 10 of the top 16 teams in the Amateur Wrestling News poll.
Local wrestlers seeded in the top 10 in a weight class are: 106: Perry senior Tommy Genetin (sixth). 113: Perry junior Jose Rodriguez (third). 120: Brecksville junior Austin Assad (third) and Walsh sophomore Alex Mackall (eighth). 126: Perry senior David Bavery (fourth). 138: St. V-M senior Ryan Skonieczny (fourth) and Walsh senior Mike Kostandaras (ninth). 170: Rootstown senior Travis Linton (sixth). 195: Brecksville senior Josh Murphy (second), St. V-M senior Aaron Adkins (fourth) and CVCA senior Tyler Maclellan (10th). 220: Perry senior Stefano Millin (fifth).
Lee Kemp from Chardon is set to receive the “Legacy Award” on Saturday. He was a 1980 Olympic Team Member, a three-time NCAA champion and a three-time World Championships gold medalist.
Coghill guides Nordonia
Graham Coghill is quite comfortable in his first season as Nordonia’s wrestling coach.
Coghill, 71, served as a Nordonia assistant last season after briefly retiring in March, 2012, following a 34-year run as coach at now-closed Bedford St. Peter Chanel. He guided Chanel to five team state championships and seven state runner-up placings, and coached 26 individual state champions.
This year’s Nordonia team got off to a great start last week by winning the 27th annual Solon Comet Classic, a 25-team event. The Knights won with 182½ points, just ahead of Oregon Clay (181), Parkersburg W.Va. (148), Strongsville (130½) and Mentor Lake Catholic (127½).
“We wrestled pretty well,” Coghill said. “It was a great team effort. We didn’t have a first place and we wrestled without our heavyweight [senior Alex Woicehovich], but we had 13 guys [out of the 14 weight classes] place in the top eight. We scored a lot of points in wrestle-backs with pins.”
Nordonia senior Mike DeCesare (145 pounds), senior Heath Phillibert (152) and junior Nick Bina (220) finished second at Solon. Freshman Anthony Perrine (170) and Coghill’s, grandson, senior Andrew Coghill, (113) earned third-place finishes. Senior Ryan Taylor (160) and junior Cam Duvall (106) added fourths.
“I retired and wasn’t figuring on coaching anymore,” said Coghill, a 1961 Bedford High School graduate. “I thought I was done, but I decided to come over to Nordonia to work with my grandson as an assistant. I took the head coaching spot when Audie Atienza left to take a teaching position at Orange.”
Walsh Jesuit senior Mike Kostandaras was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. He and sophomore teammate Alex Mackall both placed first.
Corle scores big
Green senior basketball player Carson Corle scored half of his team’s points in a 50-29 victory over visiting Wadsworth.
Green coach Mark Kinsley said Corle’s work on non-game days has been exceptional.
“About two weeks ago we had a practice on a day where we didn’t have school,” Kinsley said. “Practice wasn’t until 10 and Carson was here at 9 o’clock shooting free throws and working on his game. That is paying off. Carson is doing a great job. He can get in there and finish. He is a tough guy to guard. I am glad he is playing for us.”
Wadsworth coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. was also impressed by Corle’s feat Tuesday.
“He is a tough matchup because he is very strong, yet he can come out on the perimeter and take you off the dribble like a point guard can,” Schmeltzer said.
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.