WADSWORTH — The next chapter of Brecksville-Wadsworth in high school wrestling was written Thursday, and just like the third verse it had a touch of Bees.
Brecksville evened the Suburban League National Conference series since it joined the conference four years ago, this one coming in a 38-22 victory.
“The goal is always to win,” Bees coach Todd Haverdill said. “I don’t know that today was about January 17 or whatever today is. It’s about wanting to always step out on the mat and win. Wadsworth has a great program. We’ve had a hell of a rivalry with them. At the end of the day, Wadsworth is training for the end of the season just like we are. This was cool, but we want to be winning at the district and state tournament.”
That message is huge, but for now the Bees (8-0, 7-0) will take Round 1, knowing there are likely many more fights with the Grizzlies (10-2, 6-1) down the road.
The reigning league champions will see Wadsworth in the Bee Hive at the SL Tournament. They could see the Grizzlies at the Division I State Duals in Columbus. There could be head-to-heads at the North Canton District and at state as well.
For now, Brecksville will head to the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament on Friday with a ton of momentum.
“Today was big,” 182-pounder Ben Vanadia said. “It was a good opportunity to see how I compare against him. This is fun. Last year, on the stage, it was the best dual I’ve ever wrestled in my life. Hopefully, there’s a lot more to come. It’s just fun to wrestle in atmospheres like this. People are cheering. You don’t see this much in a high school wrestling dual.”
There aren’t many times when two nationally-ranked programs meet up like No. 29 Wadsworth and No. 34 Brecksville, according to IntermatWrestle.com’s Josh Lowe.
The margin of victory was the largest in the four matches since Brecksville joined the Suburban League, but it actually was 8-6 in head-to-head matches.
The difference came in bonus points. Brecksville scored extra points in six matches, and Wadsworth did it in just two.
Brecksville won every big match as well. Vanadia scored a 13-3 major decision over Jon List in a match between state qualifiers, and two-time state placer Marco Regalbuto (138) beat returning state runner-up Luke Baughman 9-5.
Add state placer Jack Stanley (113) beating state qualifier Mikey Lewarchick by decision and things were rolling for the Bees.
“Every match can be different, but early in the year getting a match like this is good,” Regalbuto said. “You can go back into the wrestling room and practice on what you need to get better and practice on areas they’re good at to get better. You have to keep going and going.”
That’s what Brecksville will take into the rest of the season after Stanley, Jimmy Carmany (126), James Bronstrup (132), Regalbuto, Vic Voinovich (152), Venadia, Ethan Hatcher (195) and Ryan Stadler (285) won.
“This is huge,” Hatcher said. “Wadsworth is a very good team and we’re going to face them and wrestle their kids two or three more times. This dual is big. It sets the tone first.”
That’s exactly what Wadsworth is thinking after wins from Mason Brugh (106), Landen Hacker (120), Michael North (145), Logan Messer (160), Dom Loparo (170) and Jamisen Jackson (220).
"We just talked in that wrestling room,” North said. “We’re going to keep working and step it up. We’re going to look through film and look for them at the Suburban League Tournament. That’s what we’re hunting for.”