BRECKSVILLE — The Suburban League Tournament took place Saturday with 15 area wrestling teams looking to take care of business before the stuff that matters starts.
With sectionals sitting a week away, business is booming.
Wadsworth beat Brecksville by a point to share the National Conference title after losing to the Bees in the regular season.
Aurora lapped the American Conference field to win its fourth consecutive Suburban League crown.
“We preach this,” Grizzlies coach Clay Wenger said. “This is a huge step toward the postseason. It’s Week 1 of the postseason. We treat it that way, so to have this performance going into the state series, it’s awesome.”
Wadsworth put all 14 of its wrestlers on the podium, but essentially picked up the title at 195 pounds when Mason Beal pinned Copley’s Julian Leff to finish seventh.
While it might not have seemed like much at the time, Beal’s two points kept Wadsworth ahead of a hard-charging Brecksville team that landed 13 individuals on the podium.
“It was a big confidence booster,” Beal said. “I’m just real excited for sectionals and seeing how far I can go.”
Wadsworth went far with first-place finishes from Mason Brugh (106), Luke Baughman (138), Michael North (145), Dom Loparo (160) and Jon List (170) to go along with second-place finishes by Mike Lewarchick (113), Landen Hacker (120), Jamisen Jackson (220) and Zach Linn (285).
That kept the Bees away even though they had titles from Jack Stanley (113), Jimmy Carmany (126), James Bronstrup (132), Ethan Hatcher (195) and Ryan Stadler (285) to pair with runner-up finishes by Marco Regalbuto (138), Victor Voinovich (152) and Ben Vanadia (182).
“I think it’s a big statement for us,” Loparo said. “A couple of tournaments we didn’t wrestle our best at this season and coming in we had a really good week of practice. I think it showed this weekend.”
The Greenmen left no doubt as to who the leaders of the American Conference were by besting Barberton by 74 points to complement its regular season title with an overall title.
Dylan Fishback (152) was the only titlist for Aurora, but he had plenty of company among the 12 placers for the Greenmen with Jack Gorman (132), Andy Garr (145), Will McGhee (160) and Ethan Anderson (170) finishing second.
It was Fishback’s win over the returning state champion Voinovich that had everyone buzzing.
Behind 1-0 in the third period, Fishback scored a takedown with 22 seconds left and then kept Voinovich down for the victory.
“It’s pretty big because I used to practice with Victor,” Fishback said. “Him winning state last year shows that now I can win state. I’m ready. I just need to wrestle the way I wrestle and don’t let anyone change it.”
Kyren Butler (120) will be buzzing as well after the Copley state qualifier beat Hacker 6-3 to win the first of what could be two or even three more matches in the coming weeks.
Butler needed two takedowns in the third period to beat his state placer counterpart, but sealed things with a takedown with 23 seconds left.
“I’m feeling great,” Butler said. “He beat me in middle school, but this has given me a confidence boost after beating the No. 5 guy in the state. I know what to do. I know what works and what doesn’t on him when I see him next week and the week after that.”
Gary Wokojance (182) beat Vanadia by technical fall for the second time this season to pick up Suburban League title No. 2 and showed no signs of slowing down.
“I feel composed and feel like it’s any other tournament,” said Wokojance, a projected state champion. “I’m just wrestling to the best of my ability.”
North Royalton’s Lazar Gasic (220) rounded out the Suburban League title winners.