Thursday, September 16, 2021

Blue Devils finish second at Tuslaw Duals

Independence went undefeated on the second day of the Tuslaw Duals tournament on Saturday to finish in second place overall.

The Blue Devils went 2-2 on Friday and 5-0 on Saturday.

“We entered this tournament to wrestle teams like Tuslaw, Orrville, and Fairless who we’ll see at districts,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “We battled well and even though we got beat up by Tuslaw some of my guys now know what kind of effort they’re going to need to bring to beat that caliber of kid. This was a great lead-in to the state duals which start Wednesday.”

Independence opened the tournament with a 39-35 win over Orrville then dropped back-to-back matches to Tuslaw, 66-4, and Fairless, 42-36. The Blue Devils closed out the first day with a 48-11 win over Canton Central Catholic.

Day 2 started with a 36-25 win over McKinley and the Blue Devils followed with a string of victories over Buchtel, 51-12, Wooster, 39-24, Tuscarawas Valley, 48-24, and Garaway, 45-21. They finished tied with Orrville but won second place based on the head-to-head victory.

Nick Mroczynski finished 6-0 while Nick Rossi and Josh Stasek both ended the tournament with 8-1 records. Rossi recorded seven pins while Stasek flattened five of his opponents.

Richie DiGeronimo and Michael Kucera both went 7-2. DiGeronimo pinned five opponents while Kucera ended three of his matches with a fall. Jack Brocco also saw his first action of the season, although he was limited by illness.

“It was good to get Jack Brocco into the lineup, unfortunately, he was battling the flu bug and was only able to wrestle three matches,” DeAngelis said. “It was also good to get Nick Mroczynski back in the lineup after a minor injury. Nick Rossi was very impressive over the weekend going 8-1 with seven pins. He’s just fun to watch out on the mat. His only loss was a decision to (Steven) Skeens from Tuslaw who is ranked 15th in the state.”

Nathan Coudriet and Seth Patterson also contributed to Independence’s second place finish.

“Both of them wrestle at whatever weight class I ask them to and go out and fight hard,” DeAngelis said. “Both won tough one-point matches at different points during the weekend. Those are matches that build character and confidence.”

Independence opens the OHSAA state duals on Wednesday by hosting a Region 19 quarterfinal. The top-seeded Blue Devils wrestle the winner of the match between No. 4 Wellington and No. 5 Columbia. The first match begins at 6:00 p.m.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles


Hawken wins thriller at Chagrin Falls

Hawken earned a thrilling 3-2 win at Chagrin Falls on Tuesday in a battle for second place in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.

Kirtland knocks off Cardinal in first-place showdown

Kirtland defeated visiting Cardinal 3-1 on Monday in a battle for first place in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.

Hawken, Perry win postseason tournament titles

Hawken and Perry added some new hardware to their trophy cases following strong performances at the Chagrin Valley Conference postseason tournament at Punderson Golf Course on Monday.

Kirtland’s Erika Zschuppe commits to Florida Gulf Coast University

Kirtland senior Erika Zschuppe locked in her college choice over the weekend when she announced her commitment to continue her education and soccer career at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Last-second field goal leads Independence to win over rival

Casey McGhee booted a 22-yard field goal as time expired to lead Independence to a 30-28 win at rival Cuyahoga Heights on Friday.