Thursday, December 7, 2023

Kirtland wins Berkshire Sectional title

Five Kirtland wrestlers won individual championships and five others earned a spot on the podium as the Hornets won the Division III Berkshire Sectional championship on Saturday.

The sectional title was the first for the Hornets since 2015.

“Five champions, I was pleasantly surprised by that,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “Our goal was to come in there and win it. We kept telling the guys, because they were watching the team score, so we kept telling them whether they were going for third or fifth, we need your team points. They got the job done so that was exciting to have everyone helping out.”

The Hornets finished with 179 team points. Ravenna Southeast was second with 162 ½ and Jefferson was third with 158.

Kirtland’s individual champions included Drew Duncan (120), Will Davidson (132), Gaetano Savelli (144), Louka Babic (165), and Anthony Gencarelli (175).

Eddy Podojil-Schlesinger (113) and Brennon Braud (190) both placed fourth and earned a berth in next weekend’s district tournament.

Tyler Turk (138), Ian Borthwick (126), and Aidan Reed (215) all placed fifth for the Hornets and will serve as district alternates.

“Drew Duncan taking first at 120 was really good,” Francis said. “Gaetano Savelli won two really close matches to win at 144. Brennon was in that tough weight class at 190. He’s coming out in fourth place but there’s a good chance there is going to be a disappointed No. 1 (seed) from another sectional next week.”

Duncan entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed but went out and pinned both the No. 4 and No. 1 seeds on his way to the championship bout. He edged Manchester’s Evan Kusmits in the final, 9-7.

“He’s wrestling tough,” Francis said. “He’s getting in on kids’ legs and finishing. On top, he’s in constant motion and always looking for control.”

Davidson used two pins and a technical fall to win at 120. He’s now 36-1 on the year.

Other individual champions from the Chagrin Valley Conference included Berkshire’s Josh Brown (150) and Lucas Stoddard (190).

The Badgers also had three other district qualifiers in Colin Hering (2nd at 106), Johnny Heiden (2nd at 132), and Alex Munn (3rd at 144).

Cardinal will send five to the Garfield Heights district after Clayton Carman, Josh Ripley, Chase Simak, Andrew Tucholski, and John Avalon all placed among the top four at their respective weight classes.

Carman was fourth at 106, Ripley was fourth at 157, Simak was third at 175, Tucholski placed second at 215, and Avalon was third at 285.

Cardinal’s Mike Wojtasik will serve as a district alternate after placing fifth at 132.

Grand Valley’s Cheyenne Dockery was the runner-up at 126 pounds and will compete at the district tournament.


1. Kirtland 179.0; 2. Southeast 162.5; 3. Jefferson Area 158.0; 4. Liberty 139.0; 5. Berkshire 109.0; 6. Conneaut 103.0; 7. Cardinal 101.0; 8. Pymatuning Valley 81.0; 9. Ak. Manchester 79.0; 10. Ash. St. John 77.0; 11. Cle. VASJ 45.0; 12. Brookfield 35.0; 13. Grand Valley 34.5; 14. Trinity 3.0;

First Place

106: Quintin Burns (Liberty) dec. Colin Hering (Berkshire) 4-0;
113: Dominic Leone (Liberty) pin Adam Peelish (Southeast) 0:38;
120: Drew Duncan (Kirtland) dec. Evan Kusmits (Ak. Manchester) 9-7;
126: Mason Amodio (Southeast) pin Cheyenne Dockery (Grand Valley) 2:47;
132: Will Davidson (Kirtland) pin Johnny Heiden (Berkshire) 3:13;
138: Amari Bowers (Conneaut) maj. dec. Mason Jacobs (Jefferson Area) md9-0;
144: Gaetano Savelli (Kirtland) dec. Logan Pinkerton (Conneaut) 8-7;
150: Josh Brown (Berkshire) dec. Tyler Cathcart (Ash. St. John) 2-0;
157: Lucas French (Ak. Manchester) pin Braden Dietrich (Jefferson Area) 4:57;
165: Louka Babic (Kirtland) maj. dec. Vinnie Sanderfer (Southeast) md15-3;
175: Anthony Gencarelli (Kirtland) tech. fall Brent Dietrich (Jefferson Area) tf16-0;
190: Lucas Stoddard (Berkshire) dec. Jaidyn Sapp (Southeast) 5-2;
215: Spencer Mesaros (Southeast) pin Andrew Tucholski (Cardinal) 5:20;
285: Daren Christine (Conneaut) Default Ryan Elrod (Ash. St. John) Default;

Third Place

106: Owen Martin (Southeast) tech. fall Clayton Carman (Cardinal) tf19-2;
113: Trevor Kusmits (Ak. Manchester) pin Eddy Podojil-Schlesinger (Kirtland) 0:26;
120: Connor Burns (Liberty) maj. dec. Ryan Ramser (Southeast) md13-2;
126: Darian Davis (Cle. VASJ) pin Devin Sharpe (Pymatuning Valley) 4:24;
132: Jonathan Waszil (Jefferson Area) pin Jayce Dietrich (Pymatuning Valley) 3:45;
138: Eli Jones (Liberty) dec. Kian Romeo (Southeast) 7-1;
144: Alex Munn (Berkshire) pin Brennan Moore (Pymatuning Valley) 0:33;
150: Connor Bell (Cle. VASJ) dec. D.J. Partridge (Jefferson Area) 7-5;
157: Jermaine Watson (Liberty) pin Josh Ripley (Cardinal) 4:51;
165: Jason Herd (Conneaut) dec. Cole Pawlowski (Jefferson Area) 3-1;
175: Chase Simak (Cardinal) dec. Nick Hitchcock (Pymatuning Valley) 6-4;
190: Jackson Dougherty (Ak. Manchester) dec. Brennon Braud (Kirtland) 7-2;
215: Wade Woodworth (Jefferson Area) pin Robert Smith (Liberty) 0:45;
285: John Avalon (Cardinal) pin Luke Beckstine (Brookfield) 2:44;

Fifth Place

113: Grayson Shanks (Pymatuning Valley) pin Justin Calip (Brookfield) 2:55;
120: Ian Fuentes (Ash. St. John) forfeit Ty Zeigler (Cardinal) Forfeit;
126: Ian Borthwick (Kirtland) tech. fall Angelo Kozelko (Cardinal) tf21-5;
132: Mike Wojtasik (Cardinal) pin Nolan Truex (Southeast) 2:10;
138: Tyler Turk (Kirtland) pin Ian Martin (Berkshire) 2:41;
144: Konnor Seifert (Liberty) pin Ben Bolton (Cardinal) 4:45;
150: Owen Taylor (Conneaut) pin Michael Morgan (Liberty) 1:21;
157: Joe Kline (Southeast) pin Phoenix Scott (Pymatuning Valley) 0:24;
165: Aiden Heath (Ash. St. John) pin Michael Sattler (Liberty) 2:21;
175: Kaden Johnston (Ash. St. John) pin Troy Randall (Brookfield) 2:22;
190: Reed Edgar (Jefferson Area) dec. Camden Husk (Liberty) 4-0;
215: Aidan Reed (Kirtland) pin Trevor Mullen (Grand Valley) 2:20;
285: Mason Pawlowski (Jefferson Area) pin Corey Smith (Cle. VASJ) 4:10;

Steve Hare
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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