Thursday, June 8, 2023

Huskies place four at Russ Ward Memorial Tournament

MIDDLEFIELD—Led by Paul Byler, who finished as the runner-up at 138 pounds, Cardinal placed four wrestlers at the 2017 Russ Ward Memorial Tournament at Cardinal.

“Four again,” said Cardinal coach Jeff Zeigler. “We had four last week and this week we had four, even though it was a couple of different guys. It was nice to get some different guys on the podium.”

Byler finished 2-1 in placing second.

He opened the tournament with a 39-second pin of Garfield’s Blake Judge then won a 10-2 major decision over Harvey’s Nate Webster in the semifinals. Aurora’s Jeff Burger pinned Byler in the championship bout in 5:08.

“He wrestled really well,” Zeigler said. “Every match, he seems to get more and more confident and you can see the desire in him grow too. He really wanted to win in the finals but Burger is pretty good. That’s two tournaments for him and two places, this one better than last week, so he’s got a lot of motivation.”

Jerry Rose finished third at 152 pounds.

He opened the tournament by pinning Garfield’s John Zielenienski in 1:07 then dropped into the consolation bracket with a loss to Madison’s Shayne Magda. He then recorded back-to-back pins to finish third.

“I thought I did very well for how young and how much smaller I am than most of my competition,” Rose said. “My strategy going into the matches was to try to take the match to the mat because I am not that good on my feet. That’s what I did in most of my matches. The kid I lost to was older and had more experience as a high school wrestler. He just overpowered me.”

Tim Baril also placed third at 285 pounds with a 3-1 record.

His only loss came in the semifinals to eventual champion Jack Delgarbino of Girard who is projected to finish on the podium in the Division II state tournament.

Baril opened the tournament with a 7-0 win and won his third-place bout over Harvey’s Alberto Reynojo, 6-5.

“We told him last week that we need more out of him,” Zeigler said. “He had a decent week of practice and wrestled with a lot more desire and want. We saw that out of him a little better this week and he definitely stepped it up. We always stress to win in the finals, that’s a big goal of ours, and he went out and got a win.”

Trevor Bachna placed fourth at 126 pounds by recording the first win of his varsity career.

“That was pretty cool,” Zeigler said. “He was excited. He’s new to the sport so he was pretty excited about that, getting a win with a pin. That’s something to build on.”

The Huskies travel to Garrettsville Garfield on Dec. 21 to compete in a triangular with the host G-Men and Kent Roosevelt.

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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