ROOTSTOWN — In virtually every other league across the state, the Cloverleaf wrestling team would have tied for runner-up in the overall standings after finishing third among Metro Division teams Saturday at the Portage Trail Conference Tournament.
The scenario plays out like this: Cloverleaf and Norton finished tied for first in the regular season with Woodridge alone in third. Woodridge won the Metro portion of the league tournament with Norton and Cloverleaf second and third, respectively.
If the PTC runs the tournament like almost everyone else, Norton would be champions outright and Woodridge and Cloverleaf tied for second.
Instead, the weighted formula made Woodridge and Norton co-champs with the Colts third.
It also gave Cloverleaf a ton of motivation with sectionals right around the corner.
“It’ll push us up a lot,” 160-pound champion Caleb Cass said. “We took it up a notch this week, but for district and sectional we can take it up another notch to get to that state tournament. It gave us a viewpoint of what we need to do in practice to get there.”
Cass was the only champion for the Colts and is already looking to better his sixth-place finish at state from a year ago.
The standout rolled to his 142nd, 143rd and 144th career victories with relative ease by pin, technical fall and major decision to better his runner-up conference finish from a year ago.
It was also the senior’s first league title.
“It means a lot because I’ve never won any conference before, Suburban League or PTC,” Cass said. “I knew I was the favorite going in, so I wanted to go out there and dominate.”
With 13 wrestlers in the field, the Colts placed 10 athletes in the top six and seven in the top four.
Among those placing in the top four were Cass, Rocco Pearce (2nd, 182), Cory Stallings (2nd, 195), Jake Arnold (3rd, 106), Bryce Chart (3rd, 170), Reilly Cipullo (3rd, 220) and Kenny Jenkins (4th, 113).
“The guys did what they had to do individually and that’s what I wanted them to do,” Cloverleaf coach Ken Curtis said. “The goal is to win. Flat out, you want to win, and I think our guys did that as much as possible. They did what they needed to do. I think they felt good about how they wrestled and that should help.”
That next step happens at the Northwest Division II Sectional on Saturday. It’s a sectional the Colts have already turned their eyes toward as they look to better a sixth-place finish from a season ago.
“The guys were in good spirits (after the tournament),” Curtis said. “I would assume they would come into practice ready to push forward and work hard to get there.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROOTSTOWN — Results Saturday from the Portage Trail Conference held at Rootstown High School.
Team standings: 1. Rootstown 190, 2. Woodridge 188, 3. Norton 173.5, 4. Cloverleaf 164, 5. Coventry 137, 6. Crestwood 102.5, 7. Springfield 100, 8. Garrettsville Garfield 98.5, 9. Streetsboro 91, 10. Mogadore 72.5, 11. Southeast 44, 12. Field 40, 13. Ravenna 19.
106: Bretty Szuhay (Cre) t.f. Colby Simon (Cov), 17-2; Third: Jake Arnold (Clo) p. Mike Prikryl (Roo), 2:06. 113: Caleb Edwards (Roo) d. Dominic Savoca (Cre), 2-1; Third: Jayden Morr (Nor) d. Kenny Jenkins, 2-0. 120: Dominc Carone (Stre) p. Gaige Harrison (Spr), 5:30; Third: Jordan Vass (Woo) p. Brady Postek (Nor), 1:36. 126: David Massey (Woo) p. Joe Wright (Cov), 1:40; Third: Isaaiah Smith (Fie) d. Logan Martin (Sou), 8-2. 132: Mike Knuckles (Cov) p. Brandon Reeves (Woo), 4:24; Third: Niko Chilson (Roo) d. Kaleb Kiss (Nor), 4-1. 138: Cole Bailey (Sou) d. Dominic Szauhay (Cre), 4-3; Third: Trent Duvall (Roo) m. d. Derek Cain (Spr), 11-1. 145: Logan Kissell (Gar) p. Brent Baker (Nor), 3:09; Third: Tyler Jenkins (Roo) d. Caiden Rodgers (Str), 8-1. 152: Chris Anderson (Str) d. Isaac Yoho (Woo), 3-1; Third: Ryan Finney (Gar) d. Chris Flohr (Nor), 12-8. 160: Caleb Cass (Clo) m.d. Chris Anderson (Roo), 11-0; Third: Austin Hinzman (Cov) t.f. Connor Hrubik (Gar), 8-4. 170: Spencer Robinson (Woo) m.d. Jack Rogan (Spr), 11-2; Third: Bryce Hart (Clo) d. Kaleb Shank (Cov), 8-4. 182: Chris Langguth (Roo) m.d. Rocco Pearce (Clo), 12-4; Third: Donald Otto (Nor) p. Jarrod Peters (Gar), :33. 195: Ryan Boyle (Roo) d. Cory Stallings (Clo), 3-2; Third: C.J. Williams (Nor) p. Jack Kerlee (Woo), 2:24. 220: Paul Skye (Mog) p. C.J. Novotony (Cre), 4:52; Third: Reilly Cipullo (Clo) p. Shawn Evilsizer (Nor), 2:10. 285: Ben Hornacek (Nor) d. Austin Hindley (Woo), 2-1; Third: Lucas Pritchertt (Rav) d. Noah Hoffman (Gar), 4-0.