WADSWORTH — Saturday began with every wrestler in the state beginning a journey they hope ends with a state title.
When there’s more to motivate you than the thought of competing on the mats in Columbus, it can oftentimes lead to a sectional championship.
Medina’s Jonathan List (152 pounds) came into the Wadsworth Division I Sectional looking to make up for lost time. After a 5-0 win over Wadsworth’s Cameron Riggenbach, the freshman is well on his way to making the postseason magical as a champion along with teammate Brady Chrisman (170).
One of nine district qualifiers for the Bees, who haven’t had that many since 2010, List isn’t taking his first postseason lightly.
The extra drive started at the Medina Invitational Tournament, when the freshman got hurt in the opening match. The injury kept him on the shelf 23 days.
“I just wanted to prove to myself that I couldn’t let an injury hold me back,” List said. “It was different having someone fill in for you and you not being able to go out there. It made me hungrier. I wanted to prove to people even if you’re dealt a setback, you can still get your goal.
“It feels great to be back on the mat. It feels different. I respect it more, especially beating these older kids. It gives me the mental edge.”
Motivation wasn’t lost on the Brunswick duo of Derek Fields (126) and Matt Fields (132), who joined teammate Logan Heil (120) as sectional champions. The Blue Devils will send eight to the North Canton Hoover District.
Matt Fields already knew the lay of the land as a two-time state finalist and returning state champion for Walsh Jesuit. The senior came back to Brunswick so he could wrestle with his brother.
It paid huge dividends at Wadsworth, as they each won by technical fall.
“It’s really special to share a moment with my little brother,” Matt Fields said. “It’s a big step. Being first out of a sectional like ours is a pretty good thing. This is no joke coming out of here as a one seed, and to do it with Derek is pretty cool.”
The two earned tournament titles at the Balough-Hall Invitational at Canton South earlier this year, and they hope to do so twice more.
“It’s very special,” Derek Fields said. “It’s my dream to win state with him and be on top of the podium. He’s taught me everything I know. We need to get in the room and keep doing what we’re doing to climb up to the finals of district and then climb up to the final at state.”
For two-time returning state finalist and three-time state placer Joey Baughman, the drive has never been higher.
Named Mr. Football in the fall, the Wadsworth senior put any rumors of his decline to bed in the finals. He heard the whispers about how wrestling doesn’t mean that much to him now that’s he’s signed to play quarterback for Elon.
On Saturday, the 182-pounder smashed Barberton’s Gary Wokojance with a 24-8 technical fall. It was the marquee final, as Baughman is ranked third in the state and Wokojance fifth.
“People have been talking that I’ve given up on wrestling,” Baughman said. “I wanted to send a statement that I’m back and ready to win a state title. I’ve been wrestling my whole life. These last 12 days are my last 12 days on the mat ever, so I’m ready to go.”
The four-time sectional champion will join his entire team at Hoover, as all 14 wrestlers qualified for districts for the second year in a row.
Mikey Lewarchick (106), Luke Baughman (138), Michael North (145), Dom Loparo (160), Clay McComas (220) and Jordan Earnest (285) joined Joey Baughman as a one seed.
The Grizzlies nearly lapped the field, finishing 120 points higher than second-place Medina.
“It’s big to make a statement here at sectionals as a team,” Loparo said. “We work hard in the room. It makes it worthwhile when we go out here and win championships. It says something about the program and all the hard work that goes into it.”
Behind sectional runner-up Jake Bryson (132), Highland advanced four to districts.
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WADSWORTH — Results Saturday from the Wadsworth Division I Sectional at Wadsworth High School.
Team standings: 1. Wadsworth 308, 2. Medina 188, 3. Brunswick 183.5, 4. Barberton 171, 5. Copley 120.5, 6. Highland 112,7. Ellet 70, 8. Cuyahoga Falls 54, 9. Firestone, Wooster 40, 11. Akron North 32, 12. Kenmore-Garfield 3.
Individual results (Top 4 advance to North Canton Hoover District)
106: Mikey Lewarchick (Wad) p. Marlon Yarbrough (Cop), 1:22; Third: Michael Moffa (Hig) d. Brandon Tarnai (Bru), 8-7; Fifth: Jonathan Williams (Fir) p. Mohammad Mahdi (Nor), 4:29. 113: Kyren Butler (Cop) d. Braydon Potter (Med), 8-3; Third: Hunter Griffin (Wad) p. Craig Schramm (Ell), 1:58; Fifth: Billie Ferrell (CF) p. Tyler Skiba (Bru), 2:14. 120: Logan Heil (Bru) p. Jared Dressler (Med), 3:15; Third: Landon Hacker (W) d. Canyon Wells, 10-3; Fifth: Warren Wright (Hig) p. Travis Gwinn (Bar), 3:59. 126: Derek Fields (Bru) t.f. Michael Kelly (Bar), 17-2; Third: Quentin Griffin (Wad) d. Matt Kapler, 2-1; Fifth: Leo Smith (Hig) by ff Collin Prew (K-G). 132: Matt Fields (Bru) t.f. Jake Bryson (Hig), 21-5; Third: Logan Messer (Wad) by ff Caleb Schramm (Ell); Fifth: Kolbie Lange (Bar) p. Travis Petkovich (Med), :59. 138: Luke Baughman (Wad) t.f. Zack Scalf (Bar), 21-6; Third: Robbie Lord (Ell) d. Ian Senz (Med), 14-8; Fifth: Brayton Lantz (Bru) d. Ricky McReynolds (Fir), 3-2. 145: Michael North (Wad) by inj. def. Ryan Wissel (Med); Third: Osiris Khalfani (Cop) d. Brady Linder (Hig), 3-2; Fifth: Cameron Fitzsimmons (Bar) d. Sam Lord (Ell), 8-4. 152: Jonathan List (Med) d. Cameron Riggenbach (Wad), 5-0; Third: Channing Valencia (Bar) p. El Ser (Nor), :24; Fifth: Tyler Haney (Hig) t.f. Jacob Kracker (Bru), 18-1. 160: Dom Loparo (Wad) p. George Rozier (Fir), 4:32; Third: Matt Smoley (Ell) m.d. Kevin Kiussis (Bru), 11-3; Fifth: Blake Chrisman (Med) d. Joey Lyons (Woo), 7-1. 170: Brady Chrisman (Med) t.f. Hunter Blaz (Wad), 17-2; Third: Curtis Helman (Bru) m.d. Alec Austin (Cop), 14-6; Fifth: Tom Brunty (Bar) d. Joseph Parianos (CF), 3-2. 182: Joey Baughman (Wad) t.f. Gary Wokojance (Bar), 24-8; Third: Seth DiCola (Med) d. Jack O’Donnell (Hig), 8-6; Fifth: John Schmidt (Bur) by ff Saiq Sheikhmeeri (Nor). 195: Paul Zentiska (Bar) p. Isaiah Helton (Med), 1:21; Third: Jamisen Jackson (Wad) d. Garret Anderson (Bar), 3-1; Fifth: Gable Noble (Hig) bye. 220: Clay McComas (Wad) by ff Caleb Puchajda (CF); Third: Eddie Sevastos (Bru) p. Brenden Holiday (Woo), 4:39; Fifth: Avery Speedy (Bar) bye. 285: Jordan Earnest (Wad) p. Will Gallien (Cop), 3:35; Third: Jake Burns (Woo) p. Logan Johnson (Fir), 2:44; Fifth: Magnus Mosely (Bar) p. Logan Johnson (Fir), 2:44.