WADSWORTH — Each day a wrestler gets a chance to hit the mats is a day to get better.
Take that away and the absence is enough to ruffle the feathers of the calmest competitor.
Highland’s Jake Bryson, Medina’s Blake Chrisman and Wadsworth’s Logan Messer won Wadsworth Division I Sectional titles Saturday, and not a single one of them took the championship for granted.
The trio joined Brunswick’s Logan Heil (126 pounds) and Wadsworth’s Mason Brugh (106), Mikey Lewarchick (113), Landen Hacker (120), Luke Baughman (138), Michael North (145), Dom Loparo (160) and Jon List (170) atop the podium.
For Bryson (132), his return to the mat brought a 2-0 win over Medina’s Quentin Whitehill. The junior wasn’t medically cleared until earlier in the week, meaning he had to sit out the Dale Carroll Invitational at Clyde and the Suburban League Tournament.
“I missed it so much,” Bryson said. “I sat out the tournaments, so that kind of sucked. I made weight and still didn’t get to wrestle. I just wanted to get back to wrestling. This means more because not being able to wrestle for two weeks and coming back and winning this feels pretty good. I won’t see a (sectional champ) until the semis.”
With a pin and technical fall to go with the win over Whitehill, there’s a new swagger for Bryson.
“He’s one of those kids that has a whole lot of potential and sometimes he needs a spark to understand how much potential he has,” Highland coach Tim Maxworthy said.
“We’re seeing a different Jake in many different ways. He has a much different attitude in the room now.”
Chrisman (195) was a district alternate last season, so there wasn’t much of a need to get the junior primed.
Up three weight classes from last season, Chrisman won by fall and decision before knocking out Wooster’s Joey Lyons 12-1.
“That was huge motivation,” Chrisman said of his 2018 performance. “I came up short here and was disappointed. This time through, winning it, it was a huge confidence boost. The season means more. There has been a lot more success. When you’re winning it’s fun.”
Bees coach Chad Gilmore has noticed the difference in one of his star pupils.
“You can tell by his reactions that he’s excited for it,” Gilmore said. “He’s got high goals. He’s improving every match. Even from the beginning of today, he fixed some things on his shots. He’s doing the right stuff. He’s got a lot of momentum going into next week, a lot of confidence and that’s always a good thing.”
The journey back for Messer (152) has been tough. The sophomore and returning state placer was injured at the Grizzly Invitational Tournament on Jan. 26 and sat out the State Duals and SL Tournament.
Determined and undaunted, he came back to repeat as sectional champion after getting a forfeit win over Highland’s Brady Linder.
“This meant a lot, mostly just to show everybody I’m as good as I used to be,” Messer said. “It made me even better because I’ve been drilling with coaches just to get my shape better. I think I’m an even better wrestler than I was before.”
The Grizzlies rolled to the title and will send 12 individuals to the Hoover District, with Hunter Griffin (2nd, 126), Zach Linn (2nd, 285), Jamisen Jackson (3rd, 220) and Mason Beal (4th, 195) also advancing.
Highland’s Linder (2nd, 152), Corey Haney (3rd, 106) James Scavuzzo (3rd, 138), Tyler Haney (3rd, 160), Jack O’Donnell (3rd, 195) and William Scavuzzo (4th, 145) will join Bryson.
Ethan Silvis (2nd, 160), Seth DiCola (3rd, 182), Bobby Johnson (3rd, 285) and Gavin Kaine (4th, 113) joined Chrisman and Whitehill advanced for Medina.
Eddie Sevastos (2nd, 220), Mico Miloradovic (3rd, 132), Jacob Kraker (4th, 152), John Schmidt (4th, 182) and Evan Sevastos (4th, 285) joined Heil for Brunswick.
Returning state qualifier Derek Fields (138) did not compete due to a school policy violation.
WADSWORTH — Results Saturday from the Wadsworth Division I Sectional at Wadsworth High School.
Team standings: 1. Wadsworth 302.5, 2. Barberton 190.5, 3. Highland 154.5, 4. Medina 130.5, 5. Copley 109.5, 6. Brunswick 100, 7. Firestone 98, 8. Wooster 83, 9. Cuyahoga Falls 48, 10. Ellet 42, 11. Akron North 10, 12. Kenmore-Garfield 9.
Individual results (Top 4 advance to North Canton Hoover District)
106: Mason Brugh (Wad) m.d. Zane Van Voorhis (Cop), 10-2; Third: Corey Haney (Hig) p. Gio Peters (Bar), 1:15; Fifth: Yubak Karki (Nor) by ff. Chandler Forshee (K-G). 113: Mikey Lewarchick (Wad) p. Marlon Yarbrough (Cop), :55; Third: Bill Ferrell (CF) p. Gavin Kaine (Med), 2:06; Fifth: Hamzah Abdelrahim (Fir) d. Luke Norman (Hig), 7-0. 120: Landen Hacker (Wad) d. Kyren Butler (Cop), 3-0; Third: Nolan Yoak (CF) by ff. Cole Yurrich (Ell); Fifth: Mason Dewitt (Bar) p. Josue Panchana (Fir), 1:48. 126: Logan Heil (Bru) p. Hunter Griffin (Wad), 2:53; Third: Canyon Wells (Cop) d. Mason Valencia (Bar), 5-4; Fifth: Jarrett Tapp (Woo) by ff. Jordan Yu (Hig). 132: Jake Bryson (Hig) d. Quentin Whitehill (Med), 2-0; Third: Mico Miloradovic (Bru) d. Charles Westfall (Bar), 7-1; Fifth: Logan Scandlon (Wad) d. Ryan Allison (Fir), 6-4. 138: Luke Baughman (Wad) m.d. Kolbie Lange (Bar), 13-1; Third: James Scavuzzo (Hig) t.f. Ricky McReynolds (Fir), 15-0; Fifth: Travis Petkovich (Med) d. Kade Coblentz (Woo), 12-11. 145: Michael North (Wad) by ff. Zack Scalf (Bar); Third: Adam Nedolast (Cop) m.d. William Scavuzzo (Hig), 12-0; Fifth: Matt Hamula (Med) m.d. Sam Lord (Ell), 9-0. 152: Logan Messer (Wad) by ff. Brady Linder (Hig); Third: Channing Valencia (Bar) d. Jacob Kraker (Bru), 16-9; Fifth: Isaac Puchajda (CF) d. Jordan Tranthem (Fir), 11-5. 160: Dom Loparo (Wad) d. Ethan Silvis (Med), 8-3; Third: Tyler Haney (Hig) p. Tom Brunty (Bar), 2:15; Fifth: Josh Panchana (Fir) d. Adam Barnett (Ell), 6-2. 170: Jon List (Wad) p. Cameron Fitzsimmns (Bar), 4:22; Third: Alec Austin (Cop) p. Joseph Durkee (Fir), 3:48; Fifth: Joey Scally (Hig) p. Justin Reish (Ell), :50. 182: Gary Wokojance (Bar) p. George Rozier (Fir), 2:00; Third: Seth DiCola (Med) p. John Schmidt (Bru), 2:47; Fifth: Logan Shiarla (Wad) d. Ashton Rock (Woo), 4-0. 195: Blake Chrisman (Med) m.d. Joey Lyons (Woo), 12-1;Third: Jack O’Donnell (Hig) p. Mason Beal (Wad), 1:44; Fifth: Tyler Rhea (Fir) p. Dane Dusenberry (Ell), 1:44. 220: P.J. Zentiska (Bar) d. Eddie Sevastos (Bru), 5-0; Third: Jamisen Jackson (Wad) p. Jimmy Lyons (Woo), 1:29; Fifth: Logan Johnson (Fir) p. Nsenga Hakizimana (Nor), :20. 285: Jake Burns (Woo) p. Zach Linn (Wad), 3:02; Third: Bobby Johnson (Med) p. Evan Sevastos (Bru), 4:17; Fifth: Nathaniel Lucas (Ell) bye.