Beachwood's Gross, Harris Advance to State Quarterfinals
Both wrestlers' can place in the state today
COLUMBUS—Two of Beachwood’s three state qualifiers advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals round of the 76th annual Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament at The Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Juniors Sammy Gross and Ryan Harris each dominated their first round opponents and need just one more win to place at state for the third season in a row.
Gross, the defending Division III 113-pound state champion, pinned Amanda-Clearcreek’s Billy Shannon in 58 seconds at 120 and Harris, third last season and seventh as a freshman, recorded a 19-4 first period technical fall of Amanda-Clearcreek’s Steven Fearnow at 160.
“I think that’s what we expected,” said Beachwood head coach Dugan Bentley. “We don’t expect first period tech falls, but we do expect them to dominate. All year long we’ve looked at them as being at a different level than their competition.”
Senior Alex Angersola dropped his first two bouts at 145 to conclude his tournament run.
He was pinned by two-time state champion Jacob Danishek of Dayton Christian in the first round then came up a point short in a 3-2 loss to Genoa Area’s Drew Keenan in the consolation round.
“Al knew he had a tall task ahead of him with Danishek,” Bentley said. “His second match, I think he thought he could have won but he needed to score some points. It was a good season for him. He did accomplish the goal of being a state qualifier. He can hang his hat on that. He did well. We’re happy for him.”
The tournament got off to an interesting start for Gross.
He scored the first takedown of his match and after releasing Shannon to attempt another takedown he found himself in a scramble for points. Gross quickly recovered and put an early end to the bout.
“Sammy’s always in motion, constantly moving,” Bentley said. “These 120-pound kids are all wiry, funky, they roll a lot; he’s going to see that stuff. He wins the scramble, turned him and pinned him.”
Gross’ road to a second state title won’t get any easier in the quarterfinals.
He’ll wrestle Miami East senior Allen Seagraves, a four-time state qualifier. Gross defeated Seagraves 6-5 in last year’s state tournament.
“(Seagraves) has had some major upsets here,” Bentley said. “He has never placed but he’s done really well.”
The only scramble Harris was part of was the one to finish his bout before the first period ended.
Harris used five takedowns and three sets of back points to reach the 15-point tech fall with 25 seconds left in the first period.
“He has a really good ability to put people on their back from his feet,” Bentley said. “He was able to do that repetitively and pretty darn quick. Doing it like that, it’s not too hard to make it quick.”
Harris also is matched up with a returning state qualifier in the quarterfinals. He’ll wrestle Mechanicsburg senior Max Erwin, fifth at 152 last year.
“My kids, at this point, are very aware of what they do well and if they stick to that and try to score they’ll be fine,” Bentley said.