Wrestling immortality sits two matches away this week for the likes of Brunswick, Wadsworth and Cloverleaf.
With two wins Wednesday at the Division I and D-II State Duals the three schools can etch their names as pioneers as none of the trio has been to the state quarterfinals since the format changed in 2013.
Wadsworth (10-3) has plenty of experience at this level having been here six seasons in a row. The Grizzlies even have state titles in 2009 and 2010 when it was the top eight teams competing in a one-day event.
The Colts (8-0) haven’t even been to the second day before, while the Blue Devils have been here three times (2014, 2015, 2018), but lost to Wadsworth in the round of 32 both times before.
“We’re really excited, it’s championship week,” Grizzlies coach John Gramuglia said. “We’re excited to be at home on Wednesday and excited to be at Barberton on Saturday for the Suburban League Tournament. It’s exciting to see where we’re at. There will be some tough matches.”
The Grizzlies will once again face Brunswick (9-5) in a D-I, Region 2 semifinal and certainly aren’t looking past a regional dual with the Blue Devils to two-time defending champion and three-time king St. Edward (14-1), which has Olmsted Falls (14-3) to start.
Win or lose for either team there, it’s going to be quite the showdown as state caliber competition will likely square off against each other in both matches.
There is a very good chance Wadsworth state placer Luke Baughman (138 pounds), who is projected as a state runner-up, will face two-time state finalist and returning state champion Matt Fields of Brunswick.
Fields will likely drop to 132 when the individual tournament begins and is a projected runner-up there.
It probably won’t end there for either one of the two as 2016 state champion and two-time state placer Bryce Andonian likely awaits the winner in the regional final later that night.
“For the fans it’s going to be a very entertaining match,” Brunswick coach Mike Koshar said. “For (the wrestler), it’s a match to see how the last months have been. Matt’s looking forward to wrestling a good, quality kid.”
Cloverleaf is in an interesting spot as it hosts the D-II, Region 10 semifinals and final.
The Colts have the one team in the field that has been to Columbus since the format change in St. Vincent-St. Mary (9-2), which was there in 2014 and 2015.
The problem for the Fighting Irish is they have holes as anywhere from 8-12 wrestlers make up the lineup. That’s anywhere from 12-36 points in bonus given up.
The issue for the Colts is that SVSM is strong, having won the Top Gun Tournament a few weeks ago with only eight wrestlers.
“I’m hoping the guys are up for the challenge,” Cloverleaf coach Ken Curtis said. “The lower weights are always important because it gets the teams going. Some kids handle the competition better when they don’t know who they have.
“As long as they’re excited about trying to figure out what they can do to put this guy on his back and going hard, it’s good. Right now, we’re keeping focus on going hard in practice. We’re just getting ready to wrestle.”
Win there, and Cloverleaf either has West Holmes (10-4) or River Valley (12-5).
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.