After three rounds of competition at the Division III district wrestling tournament at Garfield Heights all seven of Beachwood’s district qualifiers remain in contention for a bid to next weekend’s OHSAA state wrestling tournament in Columbus.Ryan Harris gets the first period pin.
Juniors Sammy Gross (120) and Ryan Harris (160) and senior Alex Angersola (145) won their first two bouts and will wrestle in Saturday’s semifinals. Juniors Anthony Walden (138), Andrew Kitay (152), Trevor Sanshuck (170) and Paully Flowers (195) are 1-1 in the tournament and working their way through the consolation bracket.
“I’m happy with three guys in the semis,” said Beachwood head coach Dugan Bentley. “They’re all wrestling good. Hopefully they’ll set themselves up to be district champs. The guys in the wrestle backs, they’re all sitting in good positions. The main thing is to stay alive and anything can happen.”
Gross, the defending Division III 113-pound state champion, opened the tournament with a 28-second pin of Manchester’s Brayden Kirk then defeated Black River’s Mike Hozan, 16-3, in the quarterfinals. Hozan was fourth in the state last year. It was his second win over Hozan after previously beating him 9-3 in the 2012 district tournament.
“I just went after my shots this time,” Gross said. “I kept trying to score points.”
Gross will wrestle Girard’s Zane Chase in the semifinals.
“I don’t think I’m going to be satisfied until March 2 (the day of the state finals),” Gross said. “I’m happy with the way I’m wrestling, but I’ve got to keep after it.”
Angersola powered his way to the 145-pound semifinals with an 8-0 major decision over Rootstown’s Tarren Lowell in the first round and a 5-1 decision of Dalton’s Drew Everett in the quarterfinals. He’s matched up with Mapleton senior Brett Naymik in the semifinals.
The Beachwood senior was tested in his 5-1 victory over Everett.
“I tried all my shots but he was funky and rolled around,” Angersola said. “I finally broke him on top.”
For Angersola, the big prize is winning another match and earning a shot at wrestling at state.
“Just making it out is my No. 1 goal,” he said. “I don’t care about placing. I just want to get there and then I’ll change my goals.”
Harris, third in the state last season, proved why he holds a consensus No. 1 ranking at 160 among state wrestling analysts.
He pinned Brookfield’s Zach Jamieson in 1 minute, 34 seconds in the opening round then cruised to a 17-6 major decision over Tuslaw’s D.J. Blair in the quarterfinals. Blair was sixth in the state last season.
Harris gets another returning state place winner in the semifinals. He’ll wrestle Applecreek Waynedale junior Dakota Stanley, who was eighth at 145 last season.
“I’m trying to go in and tech (fall) him,” Harris said. “That’s my goal. It can be a fluke if it’s a pin. I want the tech fall.”
For Harris, that strategy has led him to a 44-0 record this year.Anthony Walden's third period rally comes up short
“That’s always been my strategy since I’m not really good on top,” he said.
A victory over Stanley could set up a rematch with Norwayne senior Kurt Moore in the finals. Moore, fifth in the state last season, is 45-1. Harris defeated him by a point earlier this season.
“The only way I got taken down in that match was by a low single,” Harris said. “Now I know how to defend the low single.
Flowers won his first match at 195, a 5-4 win over Keystone’s Corbin Chizmadia, then lost to Waterloo’s Brandon Brenes, 7-2, in the quarterfinals. He’ll meet Garfield’s Andy Anderson in the second consolation round.
“He’s a little disappointed,” Bentley said. “I think he thought he could beat (Anderson). He’s still alive, so anything can happen.”
Walden, Kitay and Sanshuck each lost in the opening round then rebounded with a win in their first consolation match.
Walden beat Girard’s Garrett Bass, 6-3. He’ll wrestle Berkshire’s Cody Charvat in the second consolation round. Kitay beat Oberlin’s Tyler Thomas, 8-4. He’ll wrestle Waterloo’s Josh Horning and Sanshuck scored a 21-5 technical fall over Cleveland Central Catholic’s Caleb Pope. He’ll see Kirtland’s Rocky Calvert in Saturday morning’s consolation round.