MACEDONIA — The Wadsworth wrestling team knew there were interested bystanders just 10 feet from the mat when it wrestled Nordonia on Thursday.
That’s why the Grizzlies put just a little bit more into their 57-19 Suburban League National Conference win over the Knights before crushing Cuyahoga Falls 82-0.
With defending league champion Brecksville (6-0, 6-0) watching virtually every match from the other mat, the Grizzlies (10-1, 6-0) got on a roll and never let up against Nordonia (6-2, 4-2), which came into the night undefeated, with a tournament win at the Olentangy Liberty Classic and runner-up finishes at the Northeast Classic and Kenston Invitational.
“It’s just that intimidation factor,” 126-pounder Hunter Griffin said. “You want to show them that you’re wrestling at the top level. You just have to prepare the same way you prepare for Brecksville. You want to wrestle everything the same way.”
Everything pointed to Wadsworth rising to the occasion, as the squad was wrestling with its full lineup for the first time this season.
After a forfeit at 106, Mikey Lewarchick (113) showed incredible heart after falling down 8-5 to Jacob Hamad. The returning state qualifier kept pushing the action and eventually pinned Hamad with 33 seconds left.
That’s all the squad needed to get on a roll and stay on a roll.
“It was important to step up,” 126-pounder Landen Hacker said. “It puts it in the back of Brecksville’s mind that they have some tough competition coming in when we face them next Thursday.
“It starts with the lower weights. Once we got it done, it pretty much carried all the way through. We have a little more confidence and we’re a little more ready for Brecksville.”
That showed in the SL opener with the Knights as Lewarchick, Hacker, Michael North (145), Jon List (182), Jamison Jackson (195) and Zach Linn (285) registered pins.
While Nordonia state qualifier Mitch Collica (138) was able to beat returning state runner-up Luke Baughman 3-2 to stem the tide a bit, the wave of wrestling Wadsworth showed was too much for the Knights, and might be a little foreshadowing of its home match next week against the Bees, who last season snapped a 25-year SL title streak by the Grizzlies.
“You just want Brecksville to really think a second about who they’re challenging,” 152-pounder Logan Messer said. “They’re confident because they beat us last year, but we know we have the confidence to try to take back the Suburban League.
“Nordonia has decent wrestlers, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t messing around. Everything is pointing toward the big match with Brecksville. There’s a lot of momentum going in because we’ve won almost every tournament we’ve been in. We’re mentally ready.”
That showed again when the Grizzlies whitewashed the Black Tigers (0-10, 0-4).
Brugh (106), Lewarchick, Hacker, Griffin, North, Messer, Dom Loparo (170), List, Jackson and Linn won both their matches and the Wadsworth machine churned on.
“There’s pretty good momentum coming off a loss over the weekend to St. Edward,” List said. “This one definitely put some fire under us. We should be able to give (Brecksville) a good run.”
With a week to rest before facing the Bees at 6 p.m. Thursday, the feeling is strong throughout the team as it prepares for a Brecksville team that is every bit as ready for the Grizzlies.
“We came out fired up,” Wadsworth coach Clay Wenger said. “We knew Nordonia was tough. They have a great coaching staff and great kids. We were pumped up all week for it. We knew it was a big match. To do it in front of Brecksville, yeah, we’re here and ready to go next Thursday.”
Wadsworth 57, Nordonia 19
106 — Mason Brugh (W) by ff; 113 — Mikey Lewarchick (W) p. Jacob Hamad, 5:27; 120 — Landen Hacker (W) p. Trevor Stutihar, 1:27; 126 — Hunter Griffin (W) by ff; 132 — Jaivon Jones (N) p. Landon Scandlon, 4:38; 138 — Mitch Collica (N) d. Luke Baughman, 3-2; 145 — Michael North (W) p. Tyler Angus, 4:42; 152 — Logan Messer (W) t.f. Dominic Mannino, 17-1; 160 — Salvatore Perrine (N) p. Jacob Walsh, 1:15; 170 — Dom Loparo (W) m.d. Collin Flynn, 16-2; 182 — Jon List (W) p. Justin Olszko, :31; 195 — Jamison Jackson (W) p. Carl Schaub, 1:23; 220 — Ryan Lee (N) d. Mason Beal, 12-0; 285 — Zach Linn (W) p. Blaine Morganstern, 1:54.
Wadsworth 82, Cuyahoga Falls 0
106 — Brugh (W) by ff; 113 —Lewarchick (W) m.d. Billie Farrell, 9-0; 120 — Hacker (W) p. Nolan Yoak, 1:17; 126 — Griffin (W) p. Carson Montgomery, :18; 132 — Scandlon (W) by ff; 138 — Baughman (W) by ff; 145 — North (W) p. Zavan Simon, 2:49; 152 — Messer (W) p. Isaac Puchajada, 3:31; 160 — Walsh (W) by ff; 170 — Loparo (W) p. Cole Pastorius, 1:59; 182 — List (W) p. Jared Andrews, :10; 195 — Jackson (W) by ff; 220 — Beal (W) p. Nick Lambis, 1:43; 285 — Linn (W) by ff.
Brecksville 84, Cuyahoga Falls 0
Brecksville 62, Nordonia 12