By Matthew Digiacomo
It was a day of many ups and a few downs for the locals at the District 10 3-AA section tournament Saturday at Greenville High School.
For the most part, however, things were good.
Cochranton and Maplewood tied to send eight grapplers — three less than Greenville — to next weekend’s District 10 tournament in Sharon. The Cardinals also had four champions, just one less than Greenville.
The Cardinals had their usual suspects. Cam Cyphert (220) wrecked his bracket with just one match, a pin of Jamestown’s Keamus Schulen. Cyphert went to work early on the Muskie and it paid off with a 53-second fall.
“I only got to wrestle once this weekend,” said Cyphert. “Now we have to hit the practice room hard and get ready to do it again next week.”
Cyphert’s teammate Austin Andrews (170) had to work a little harder in the title bout. The senior jumped out to a quick lead on Greenville’s Zach MIller, but began to tire late. Miller took advantage and started to make a comeback. But Andrews held him off 9-5.
“I died at the end,” said Andrews. “I need to keep going when I am tired. I need to keep pushing myself and not quit after I get a lead.”
The match of the night may have went to the Cardinals’ R.J. Boozer. The 145 pounder was cruising to what looked like an easy 7-2 win over Conneaut’s Taylor Ellis.
As the match entered the final minute, Ellis made his move. The Eagles senior took Boozer to the mat and turned him for three back points to tie the match at 7-7. Suddenly it looked like overtime was in the picture.
However, Boozer kept his calm. The Cardinal bought his time and with 30 seconds, caught Ellis off balance to reverse control. The two points sent Boozer to the title with a 9-7 win.
“R.J. deserves it,” said Andrews. “He is a tough kid. He works his butt off and of all the people on this team, he deserves it for how hard he works.”
Cochranton also picked up a champ at 113 as Nate Kline decisioned Northwestern’s Cody Copeland. Also making their way to district for the Redbirds are Jared Morrison (2nd, 126), Caleb Peterson (2nd, 152); Ryan Northcott (3rd, 160) and Evan Miller (3rd, 285).
For the Tigers, their return to prominence far outweighed anything else. In fact, not even missing out on the team title or winning an individual gold medal could dampen head coach Matt Wilcox’s mood.
“We have come a long way from last,” said Wilcox. “It would have been nice to be first. But we wrestled well and the name of the game is moving on. That is what is important.”
Maplewood did get five into the finals, but Daniel Simmerman (120), Zak Dennis (132), Jake Parsons (160), Isaiah Stearns (182) and Tim Galford (285) all came up empty in their bid for gold. Still all five, along with Marvin (4th, 113), Coyle (4th, 126) and Jeremy Parsons (4th, 145), all advanced to districts.
The other local squads also did well. Jamestown and Conneaut are each sending six grapplers to the District 10 tournament, while Cambridge Springs advanced three.
Leading the way for Jamestown were Nick Floch (132) and Seth Thurber (138). The duo won their respective weights to reach districts. And no one was more spectacular than Floch, who pinned his opponent in 1:05, also marking the 100th win of his career.
“I didn’t expect it to be that quick,” said Floch. “I went in thinking it was going to the a tough match. But to get a win like that, its a good win.”
Faris Messai (106), Jason Shappee (195) and Keamus Schulen (220) also reached the finals for the Muskies. Mohamed Messai (4th, 170) is the fourth Jamestown grappler to earn a spot at the D-10 tourney.
Kyle Lukowich led the way for Conneaut as the team’s only champ. Lukowich captured the laurels at 126 pounds. He will be joined at districts by teammates Ellis (2nd, 145), Raven Mangrino (4th, 106), Nick Moss (3rd, 120), Paul Beresford (4th, 182) and Brian Lipps (4th, 285).
Cambridge was led by freshman Zach Stafford, who won the section title at 195 with a 3-1. Stafford was impressive at times, but also showed his youth. On several occasions he exposed himself to the mat, but managed to make everything work in his favor. It is a testament to his ability.
“I have been wrestling for 11 years,” said Stafford. “Every day I just have to work hard and do what the coaches tell me.”
Dave Schwab (4th, 120) and Zach Krein (3rd, 138) also advanced for the Blue Devils.
The District 10 Class AA tournament is at Sharon High School this coming Friday and Saturday. The top five grapplers at the District 10 tournament will advance to regionals, which are in two weeks at Sharon High School.