WADSWORTH — Following a rare Suburban League loss, John Gramuglia was curious to see how his Wadsworth wrestling team would respond.
The Grizzlies answered the bell Saturday and cracked it in half.
Wadsworth lapped the field in the 32nd annual Grizzly Invitational Tournament, beating closest competitor Olentangy Liberty by 89½ points.
“The loss (to Brecksville) hurt,” Gramuglia said. “It stung, but they knew the bigger picture was down the road. We have a lot of work to still do. It’s not over. We have to correct little things, but I’m very proud of the team, our parents and alumni. They’ve really gone overboard. It might just be the finest GIT ever.”
There was a lot to smile about, as Luke Baughman (138 pounds), Michael North (145) and Jordan Earnest (285) earned titles.
Logan Messer (132), Joey Baughman (182) and Clay McComas (220) finished second. Landen Hacker (3rd, 120), Dylan Miller (3rd, 220), Dom Loparo (5th, 160), Hunter Blaz (6th, 170), and Chris Suarez (6th, 195) also registered top-six showings.
If the Grizzlies were feeling the aftereffects of a 28-25 loss to Brecksville on Thursday, they certainly didn’t show at the GIT.
“We showed toughness,” Luke Baughman said. “We lost our first conference dual in 82 matches. It was really hard. ‘G’ gave us some tough love and got our heads on straight. Coming into the tournament we wanted to win it, but not just win it. We wanted to destroy everyone. We did really well and are really excited about the Suburban League Tournament (on Feb. 3).”
Given the way it performed at its home invitational, Wadsworth could make the SLT interesting.
The Grizzlies took home the title for the third year in a row, 16th time in 17 years and 22nd overall while leaving very little doubt.
While there were some tough finals losses, steps were taken to improve with a hammer of a remaining schedule as Wadsworth likely closes the season with duals against St. Paris Graham, which is ranked fifth in the nation by IntermatWrestle.com, and No. 8 St. Edward before taking on No. 23 Brecksville and the rest of the SL in two weeks.
“We showed ourselves a lot today,” Earnest said. “We had kids show what they have right now. We stepped up and prove that we know we can come back.”
Wadsworth wasn’t the only Medina County team making noise, as seven individuals from Cloverleaf were added late to the GIT field.
While an abbreviated lineup finished 10th, Caleb Cass (2nd, 160), Kenny Jenkins (3rd, 113) Cory Stallings (4th, 195), Bryce Hart (5th, 170) and Rocco Pearce (5th, 182) had top-six showings.
With former coach Bob Scandlon stepping down Friday and Ken Curtis filling in, no one would have blamed the Colts had they fell hard.
Instead, Cloverleaf fought hard and showed well.
“Obviously, this feels really good, especially at a tournament like this,” Curtis said. “We’ve got good wrestlers. They’ve been in this sport for a long time. They’re strong and resilient. I knew they would come in here and just want to wrestle and do their best. I’m very impressed. I didn’t know what to expect coming in because it’s our first time being here.
“They needed a chance just to focus on the wrestling, and there’s nothing like a tournament to make that happen. Practice is one thing, but when you’re in a tournament, you want to win. You want to progress. It helps get your mind straightened out.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WADSWORTH — Results Saturday from the 32nd annual Grizzly Invitational Tournament at Wadsworth High School.
Team standings: 1. Wadsworth 394; 2. Olentangy Liberty 304.5; 3. St. Vincent-St. Mary 260.5; 4. CVCA 255.5; 5. Lake Catholic 236.6; 6. Findlay 233.5; 7. Aurora 221; 8. Indian Valley 201.5; 9. Parkersburg (WV) 163; 10. Cloverleaf 155.5; 11. Hoover 37; 12. Smithville 125; 13. Perry 116.5; 14. Tri-Valley 111.5; 15. Kenston 98; 16. University School 77.5; 17. Mayfield 73; 18. Avon 60.
106: Jacob Decatur (CVCA) d. Kyle Rowan (Per), 7-4. 113: Anthony Trivisonno (LC) d. Colin Koenig (Per), 9-6; Fifth: Kenny Jenkins (Clo) d. Kaleb Long (TV), 3-2; 120: Matthew Cardello (CVCA) d. Kyle Peterson (Aur), 6-2; Third: Landen Hacker (Wad)d. Joseph Eckelberry (TV), 4-2; 126: Hunter Olson (STVM) d. Nick Nastasi (Ken), 3-1; 132: Jordan Decatur (CVCA) d. Logan Messer (Wad), 19-5; 138: Luke Baughman (Wad) d. Andy Garr (Aur), 3-2; 145: Michael North (Wad) p. Steven Carder (Par), 3:31; 152: Connor Brady (Lib) p. Jared Musci (STVM), 5:01; 160: Kevon Freeman (LC/Medina resident) p. Caleb Cass (Clo), 5:39; Fifth: Dom Loparo (Wad) d. Joe Koplow (Ken), 4-3, OT; 170: Carson Kharchla (Lib) p. Josiah Trevino (Fin), 3:04; Fifth: Bryce Hart (Clo) d. Hunter Blaz (Wad), 10-3; 182: Trevor Lawson (Lib) d. Joey Baughman (Wad), 3-0; Fifth: Rocco Pearce (Clo) m.d. Logan Nay (Par), 10-2; 195: Ben Smith (Hoo) m.d. Zach Bryant (Fin), 11-3; Third: Colin McNamara (Aur) d. Cory Stallings (Clo), 4-3; Fifth: Jordan Geer (Avo) d. Chris Suarez (Wad), 8-4; 220: Breslen Walker (CVCA) d. Clay McComas (Wad), 6-2; Third: Dylan Miller (Wad) d. Elijah Harrison (May), 6-0; 285: Jordan Earnest (Wad) p. Warren (Smi), p. 2:53.