Monday, January 30, 2023

Blue Devils pin way to 21 dual meet wins

Independence defeated St. Ignatius, 36-29, and Lutheran West, 48-27, to push its dual meet record to 21-5 on the year.

The 21 wins are the most in school history.

“Obviously, we had more dual meets than we’ve had in many years so we had the opportunity to win more, but winning 21 of 26 is pretty impressive,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “We had some good teams on our schedule with Tuslaw and Waynedale and we tried to wrestle the bigger schools in our conference.”

Richie DiGeronimo (120), Michael Kucera (126), Nick Rossi (160), Nick Mroczynski (170), Luke Clymer (195) and Josh Stasek (285) all went 2-0 for the Blue Devils. Mroczynski pinned both of his opponents.

Collin Patton (106) and Nathan Coudriet (152) both finished 1-1 with a pin.

Patton’s win was the first of his young career.

“He was a swimmer and he had some friends on the team so he came out and he’s only been to a handful of practices,” DeAngelis said. “He got his first real win, other than forfeits, and it was awesome to see the pure joy on his face. That reminds you of why you do this.”

Patton had scored a pair of takedowns in the match prior to using a half nelson to turn his opponent to his back for the fall.

In addition to recording a school-best 21 wins this season, Independence’s senior class, which was recognized prior to the event, claimed its third conference title and has now recorded over 50 dual wins and made an appearance in the Ohio High School Athletic Association regional finals.

The Blue Devils now turn their attention to the postseason, which begins with the Division III sectional tournament at Independence on Saturday.

“I hope they’re ready,” DeAngelis said. “We’ve learned from our mistakes in the past. Last year, we had a decent year but we had too much time off between the conference tournament and sectionals and we wrestled pretty flat. We adjusted that this year and we have some .pretty high expectations. It’s been a good year and we hope to finish it off with maybe a sectional title.”

Independence 36, St. Ignatius B 29

106 McLellan (SI) pin Patton (I); 113 Double forfeit; 120 DiGeronimo (I) Pin Campolieti (SI); 126 Kucera (I) pin Santagata (SI); 132 Double forfeit; 138 Rini (SI) pin Vitron (I); 145 Tomford (SI) tech fall Coudriet (I); 152 Double forfeit; 160 Rossi (I) pin Clark (SI); 170 Mroczynski (I) pin Buckles (SI); 182 Dinya (SI) pin Corrigan (I); 195 Clymer (I) forfeit; 220 Double forfeit; 285 Stasek (I) forfeit.

Independence 48, Lutheran West 27

106 Patton (I) pin Rader (LW); 113 Double forfeit; 120 DiGeronimo (I) forfeit; 126 Kucera (I) forfeit; 132 Thomas (LW) forfeit; 138 Watson (LW) Tech Fall Vitron (I); 145 Palmer (LW) forfeit; 152 Coudriet (I) pin Pirro (LW); 160 Rossi (I) forfeit; 170 Mroczynski (I) pin Fry (LW); 182 Nicholas (LW) pin Corrigan (I); 195 Clymer (I) pin Gubanyar (LW); 220 Kessel (LW) forfeit; 285 Stasek (I) forfeit.


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.

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