Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Cardinal edges Independence for Valley Division title

BURTON—It came down to the wire but Cardinal edged Independence for the Valley Division championship at the 2016 Chagrin Valley Conference tournament at Berkshire on Saturday.

The Huskies, who finished fourth overall, scored 120 points while Independence finished fifth with 111.

Trent Mast and Brandon Neikirk both won individual championships for the Huskies while Bryn Havel was second, Brandon Nevison was third, Mason Lustig was fourth and Craig Shanower and Alex Fabiny both finished sixth.

“It was a great day for the team,” said Cardinal coach Jeff Zeigler. “They really came through with some nice wins. Neikirk beat a real tough kid and Trent pulled one out. Nevison wrestled really good. It was a total team effort. I told them even though we had some kids that didn’t get some wins everybody was there competing and battling and really going for the title. That was something they wanted and it was important to them. They went after it and got it.”

Mast’s 3-1 win over Perry’s Zach Berdysz in the 120-pound championships was the 100th win over his career.

“Winning the CVC title this year was great,” he said. “After the upset in the semis last year, losing by one, it felt good. It helps me heading into the postseason because I can keep my focus and intensity up for the next couple of weeks.”

Neikirk beat Perry’s Geoffrey Gedeon, 18-11, for the 145-pound championship.

“I didn't know what to expect going into the match and just tried scoring whenever I had an opportunity,” said Neikirk of the high-scoring affair. “It feels great to win the CVC and raises my confidence entering the post season.”

Havel lost to West Geauga’s Joe Fornaro at 195. He had two pins on his way to reaching the finals.

“He had a great tournament coming in second,” Zeigler said. “He lost to a really good kid in the finals. There’s no shame there at all. It was a great effort all the way round, right up the line.”

Independence also claimed two individual championships.

Matt Mrcozynski pinned Perry’s Dillan Bryan for the 132-pound title and Drew Benos beat West Geauga’s Gino Fornaro, 8-2, at 138.

“It's a good feeling to win in such a tough tournament where everyone wants to win,” Mroczynski said. “My team and I have put in a lot of work to get here and a lot a credit goes to them. It really is a team effort.”

Benos, who dropped down from 145, hopes to use his title as a springboard into an even more successful postseason.

“It’s very exciting for me to start the postseason this way,” he said. “Winning conference has been one of my goals this entire season. This is the first tournament I have wrestled 138 at and the results are encouraging.”

Josh Stasek finished second at 285 and Kyle Corsi (126) and Kevin Clymer (152) both finished fourth for the Blue Devils. Nick Mroczynski was sixth at 170.

Kirtland had two place winners in Brendan Williamson and Alex French.

Williamson beat West Geauga’s Adam Williams, 7-0, to win the 113 pound title and French was third at 120.

“It feels great,” Williamson said. “I wanted this title since last year losing in the semis. This was one of my three goals this season. I just have two more to accomplish.”

Williamson’s other goals include winning the 100th match of his career—he currently sits at 93—and earning a berth to the state tournament.

Perry won the overall title and Chagrin Division championship with 232 points. Geneva was second with 159 ½ and West Geauga was third with 157.


1. Perry 232.0
2. Geneva 159.5
3. West Geauga 157.0
4. Cardinal 120.0
5. Independence 111.0
6. Chagrin Falls 94.5
7. Harvey 90.0
8. Cuy. Heights 87.0
9. Orange 65.5
10. Wickliffe 56.0
11. Beachwood 44.0
12. Berkshire 42.0
13. Hawken 40.0
14. Kirtland 34.0

First Place
106 John Kumher (Berkshire) dec. Luke Hopkins (Cuy. Heights) 8-3
113 Brendan Williamson (Kirtland) dec. Adam Williams (West Geauga) 7-0
120 Trent Mast (Cardinal) dec. Zach Berdysz (Perry) 3-1
126 Logan Smith (Harvey) dec. Zach Bubonic (Perry) 2-1
132 Matt Mroczynski (Independence) pin Dillan Bryan (Perry) 5:40
138 Drew Benos (Independence) dec. Gino Fornaro (West Geauga) 8-2
145 Brandon Neikerk (Cardinal) dec. Geoffrey Gedeon (Perry) 18-11
152 Evan Vetturini (West Geauga) disq. William McClain (Harvey) Disq
160 Ricky Renton (Chagrin Falls) dec. Juan Rodriguez (Geneva) 4-1
170 John Miller (Perry) dec. Kody Brown (Geneva) 11-4
182 Evan Schenk (Perry) dec. Josh Bialosky (Beachwood) 11-5
195 Joe Fornaro (West Geauga) pin Bryn Havel (Cardinal) 1:05
220 Connor VanDeweel (Perry) dec. Kyle Gallagher (West Geauga) 3-2
285 Nick Mason (Perry) pin Josh Stasek (Independence) 3:02

Third Place
106 Nick Began (Orange) pin J.P. Hlifka (Hawken) 4:00
113 Justin Rayner (Chagrin Falls) dec. Brandon Meade (Cuy. Heights) 6-1
120 Alex French (Kirtland) pin Noah Klubnik (Orange) 4:57
126 Brandon Nevison (Cardinal) dec. Kyle Corsi (Independence) 6-1
132 Connor Requa (Geneva) pin Mason Lustig (Cardinal) 1:54
138 Russell Horacek (Wickliffe) dec. David Escott (Chagrin Falls) 12-6
145 Brody Wigren (Geneva) dec. Deondre Rouer (Harvey) 11-7
152 Sam Cales (Perry) pin Kevin Clymer (Independence) 0:18
160 Nick Frye (Cuy. Heights) pin Bo Bubonic (Perry) 2:19
170 Robert Powers (Orange) maj. dec. Spencer Fleming (Chagrin Falls) md13-3
182 Jake Mallos (Cuy. Heights) pin Jordan Brown (West Geauga) 1:47
195 Jacob Golovan (Orange) dec. Travis Cross (Geneva) 5-0
220 Demetrius Mitchell (Harvey) pin Alan Haavisto (Wickliffe) 4:37
285 Jon Gildersleeve (Geneva) pin Alberto Reynoso (Harvey) 2:04

Fifth Place
106 Solomon Troychansky (West Geauga) pin Daniel Argo (Geneva) 1:48
113 Devin Cerjan (Geneva) dec. Paul Jacobs (Beachwood) 6-5
120 Braden Bilicic (Geneva) pin Giovanni Luciano (West Geauga) 0:19
126 Matthew Griswold (Geneva) dec. Tylere Stennet (West Geauga) 3-2
132 Michael Miller (Hawken) maj. dec. Doug Byrne (Wickliffe) md14-4
138 Clayton Meyer (Perry) dec. Craig Shanower (Cardinal) 6-1
145 Matty Baratz (Hawken) pin Dominic Billie (Wickliffe) 3:21
152 Jesse Woodall (Cuy. Heights) dec. Steve Ellis (Berkshire) 7-1
160 Jorge Mirabelli (West Geauga) dec. Matthew Henry (Beachwood) 8-2
170 Chad McDaniel (Cuy. Heights) dec. Nick Mroczynski (Independence) 4-2 SV
182 Jacob Huelskamp (Geneva) pin Grant Tyson (Chagrin Falls) 0:28
195 Kyle Karvounis (Chagrin Falls) dec. Jeremiah Toomey (Perry) 8-5
220 Timmy Stamper (Geneva) pin Henry Woofter (Chagrin Falls) 2:49
285 Anthony Priola (Wickliffe) pin Alex Fabiny (Cardinal) 2:49

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

Lutheran West splits ‘Dual in the School’ at Columbia

Lutheran West earned a split at Columbia in a ‘Dual in the School’ on Tuesday. The Longhorns won the girls’ match, 48-3, but dropped the boys’ competition, 63-12.

Fairview to join the Chagrin Valley Conference

The Chagrin Valley Conference on Tuesday unanimously voted to add Fairview to the league potentially as soon as the 2023-2024 winter season.

Lakeside wins inaugural CVC Academic Challenge

BEACHWOOD—Lakeside’s ‘A’ team brought its A-game to win the inaugural Chagrin Valley Conference Academic Challenge competition at Beachwood High School on Saturday. The Dragons went...

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 12 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week.

Triskett rallies Berkshire past Grand Valley

Maddy Triskett scored 22 points in leading Berkshire to a 38-34 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division win at Grand Valley on Wednesday.