Monday, February 6, 2023

Independence’s Paul Deely collects 100th career win

Independence senior Paul Deely reached a wrestling milestone on Saturday when he finished in fifth place at the 2014 North Coast Classic. His win in the fifth place match was the 100th of his career.

The milestone is one Deely won’t forget for multiple reasons.

“It wasn’t that great because I was kind of pissed because of the matches I lost,” Deely said. “I didn’t wrestle that well in my match. I still won but it wasn’t that good. I wish it was a better match to get it.”

Deely entered the tournament with a 4-0 record this season and won his first five to advance to the 285 pound quarterfinals, where he dropped a 2-1 decision to Valley Forge’s Aaron Crosby in sudden victory overtime.

The match was tied 1-1after regulation and the first overtime session. Deely then scored an escape to take a 2-1 lead in double overtime. Crosby started the second double overtime period in the down position and managed to escape with one second left to tie the match. Deely chose the down position in sudden victory but was unable to escape, which gave Crosby the win.

“Going into Saturday we were looking forward to the Valley Forget match,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “We knew it would be a test for us and it was. Paul wrestled very well. He came within a second of winning that match in overtime and then he couldn’t get out in double OT and the kid went on to win the tournament. We came a second away from winning the match and almost the whole thing.”

Deely, who was 16-21 as a freshman, recorded identical 37-9 records as a sophomore and junior. He is now 10-2 this season and 100-41in his career.

He opened the North Coast Classic with a bye then reeled off three consecutive pins, all in the first period, then defeated Greensburg Salem’s Derek Berberick, 4-3, in the fifth round of pool wrestling.

Deely beat Shaker Heights’ Christian Lassiter, 5-1, in the quarterfinals before losing to Crosby in the semis and then lost the rematch to Berberick, 5-2, in the consolation semis. He responded with a 2-1 win over Lassiter to earn fifth place.

“The fifth place finish doesn’t really describe what a good weekend he had,” DeAngelis said. “In his pool he just controlled every match he wrestled. At heavyweight, sometimes a 3-1 score can be misleading. On Friday he just controlled everyone and dominated his pool. His 100th win came after a couple tough losses. That just shows his character to go out and do the right thing and keep working hard. Good things happen when you do that.”

Deely, who was 1-2 at the state tournament last season, is focused on returning to Columbus this season. His focus is finishing his career on the top step of the podium at the state tournament.

“I definitely want to end (my career) with a state title,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and coach D has been pushing me. After some of the guys I kept up with this weekend I think it’s possible. It’s a goal I think I can achieve.”

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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