BROADVIEW HTS. — Wadsworth wrestling coach John Gramuglia is looking for a few mettle heads to start a new legacy.
While Brecksville snapped the Grizzlies’ 82-match Suburban League winning streak with a 28-25 National Conference win Thursday, the call to arms went up immediately.
The squad’s focus is on the Grizzly Invitational Tournament this weekend, a dual with St. Paris Graham and Richmond (Mich.) on Jan. 27 and the SL Tournament on Feb. 3.
“We’ll just start another streak, that’s all,” Gramuglia said. “We have to get composed. The cream rises to the top at the end. We have to wait, refocus this weekend, enjoy our showcase and just get back after it. A shout out to Brecksville to put all this together. That took a lot of extra time.”
Wrestling on a stage in a near-sold-out auditorium, Wadsworth (8-2, 6-1) gave the Bees (7-0, 7-0) every bit of a fight.
Brecksville jumped to a 19-0 lead after five matches but had to keep the Grizzlies at bay.
There were huge wins for Wadsworth, as Hunter Blaz (170 pounds) pinned state qualifier Ethan Hatcher to keep things tight and state qualifier Clay McComas beat state placer Zach D’Anna at 220.
But unlike the last two contests against the Bees where 14 weight classes were split and Wadsworth out-bonused Brecksville, the extra points weren’t there.
Only Blaz, Luke Baughman (138) and Jordan Earnest (285) picked up bonus points and Brecksville won eight matches.
“After seeing this, we’re going to pick it up a lot,” Earnest said. “No one wants to lose a 25-year tradition right now. That’s not what we came here to do. The GIT should be a confidence-booster for some kids, and the match with Graham will help us see where we’re at.”
The next two weeks will be interesting, as Wadsworth is still very much alive in the SL race. While Brecksville won the mythical regular-season crown, the last two times the Grizzlies lost, they bounced back to win the SLT.
On. Jan. 6, 2006, Wadsworth lost a 29-28 match to Barberton but came back and won the tournament to share the title with the Magics.
On Dec. 14, 2006, the Grizzlies fell to Highland 31-24 but won the SLT and took the title outright.
Wadsworth certainly has the hammers to do it again in Barberton in two weeks, but for now it’s about starting from scratch and building momentum.
“We don’t train to win the Suburban League,” Joey Baughman said. “We train for when we’re down in March at state. This isn’t too big of a deal for us. We’ll come back. In two weeks, we’ll be refocused and ready to go. It stings. We definitely like to win it every year. It’s obviously a big deal because we’ve won it 25 years in a row and 26 would be a crazy feat. It would be a good deal.”
With Luke Baughman (132), Blaz (170), Joey Baughman (182), Chris Suarez (195), McComas (220) and Earnest (285) picking up wins over the Bees, the gap to make up the difference isn’t all that large in what should be an incredible conference tournament.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Brecksville 28, Wadsworth 25
106: Jack Stanley (B) d. Mike Lewarchick, 3-0. 113: Andrew Perelka (B) p. Hunter Griffin, 1:05. 120: Julian Tagg (B) t.f. Landen Hacker, 18-2. 126: Jimmy Carmany (B) d. Quentin Griffin, 11-5. 132: Gabe Tagg (B) d. Logan Messer, 6-0. 138: Luke Baughman (W) m.d. James Bronstrup, 14-5. 145: Victor Voinovoch (B) d. Michael North, 5-2. 152: Marco Regalbuto (B) d. Cameron Riggenbach, 6-1. 160: Ben Vanadia (B) d. Dom Loparo, 6-2. 170: Hunter Blaz (W) p. Ethan Hatcher, 3:34. 182: Joey Baughman (W) d. Nick Franks, 8-4. 195: Chris Suarez (W) d. Max Carroll, 8-3. 220: Clay McComas (W) d. Zach D’Anna, 4-2. 285: Jordan Earnest (W) p. Ryan Stadler, 1:09. Records: Wadsworth (8-2, 6-1), Brecksville (7-0, 7-0).