Monday, February 6, 2023

Four Blue Devils place at Division III Classic

Four Independence wrestlers placed among the top six to lead the Blue Devils to a 14th place finish at the 2016 Division III Classic at Waterloo High School in Atwater on Saturday.

Michael Kucera finished second at 120, Nick Mroczynski was third at 170 and Luke Clymer (182) and Josh Stasek (285) both finished sixth for the Blue Devils.

“I thought I wrestled pretty well throughout the whole tournament,” said Kucera, who finished pool wrestling with a 2-0 record and went 4-1 in the tournament. “I feel that I did a good job setting the pace with hand fighting and I had an offensive mindset during my matches.”

Kucera pinned both of his pool wrestling opponents on Friday in a total of 1 minute, 53 seconds.

He then advanced to Saturday’s finals with a pair of pins, one in 44 seconds and the other in 3:22, before getting stuck by Malvern’s Josh Gastin in the championship bout.

“In the finals I felt that I was controlling the match on our feet, but he caught me in a bad position and turned me in the second period,” Kucera said.

Mroczynski was 3-0 on Friday with two pins and a technical fall.

He opened the championship bracket with his third pin of the tournament then dropped a 7-1 decision to a familiar foe in the semifinals.

“I think I wrestled pretty well this weekend,” Mroczynski said. “I was able to work my offense and try some new things. I wrestled (Chris) Miller from Wellington and I think I was a little too confident because I beat him last year at sectionals and he came out aggressive and I wasn't able to setup my offense.”

Mroczynski responded with a 48-second pin in the consolation semifinals then beat Jackson-Milton’s Nick Scarl, 4-2, in the third place match.

“It was very important for me to pin after my loss to boost my confidence back up and the win for third was a good win against a tough kid,” he said. “It was a good way to end the tournament.”

Clymer was 1-1 in pool wrestling with a 30-second pin. He finished 1-3 in the championship bracket.

Stasek was 1-1 in pool wrestling on Friday with a 49-second pin and collected one win in Saturday’s championship bracket.

Luke Swauger (126) and Nick Rossi (145) both earned a spot in the championship bracket but went 0-2. Swauger was 2-1 on Friday while Rossi finished pool wrestling 4-0.

Jimmy Senick (132) and Kevin Clymer (160) both finished pool wrestling with a 2-2 mark. Liam Walker (113) and Chris Roan (195) also competed for the Blue Devils.

Division III Classic – Waterloo

1. Wellington 102.50
2. Newbury 101.50
3. Coshocton 88.50
4. St. Johns 80.50
5. Mogadore 78.00
6. Norwalk St. Paul 66.50
7. Waterloo 56.50
8. Hawken 52.00
9. St. Clairsville 51.00
10. Jackson-Milton 50.00
11. Garfield 44.50
12. Columbiana 43.00
13. Ashland Crestview 42.00
14. Independence 41.00
15. Cardinal 38.50
16. Malvern 36.00
17. Brookfield 30.00
  Villa Angela-St. Joseph 30.00
19. Alexander 26.00

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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