Sunday, January 29, 2023

Lutheran West girls claim first tournament title

Lutheran West’s girls’ wrestling team has had a lot of firsts in its short history and on Saturday, they claimed another by winning the Columbia tournament.

The Longhorns finished with 107 points while Alliance was second with 90.

“That was pretty awesome,” said Lutheran West coach Dave Ressler, one of the driving forces behind girls’ wrestling being sanctioned in Ohio. “We brought seven girls and placed all seven, so that was pretty good. We were down three girls, two had season-ending injuries, so we could have had three more place winners but it was good to finally get that tournament championship. We have finished second and fourth and fifth a bunch of times this year. We just couldn’t get that elusive victory, so that was pretty cool.”

Junior Catie Kerr (120), senior Jaeyla Reyes (145), and sophomore Paris Willis (170) both finished second.

Kerr went 4-0 with three pins during the pool portion of the tournament and then suffered a disappointing loss to Keystone’s Lydia Gould in the championship bout.

“Catie wrestled well except for the last 30 seconds of her championship match,” Ressler said. “She was up and winning that match but got reversed and pinned. I wish she would have gotten that championship because she has been second a bunch of times, but she scores a lot of points for us. She’s got 26 wins on the year already.”

Reyes was 2-1 with a pin and Willis went 4-1 with four pins. Her only loss was to tournament champion Bailey Hackett of Brookfield, who placed fourth at the state tournament last winter.

“Paris wrestled really well for us,” Ressler said. “Jaeyla has been solid for us all year. She’s a senior and has wrestled all four years. She was on that original team so it was pretty special for her to see that the team could get a championship.”

Also placing for Lutheran West were senior Lo Zielinski (4th, 135), junior Nat Rodriguez (4th, 140), sophomore Alexia Martir (5th, 105), and senior Brianna Marich (6th, 135).

Harvey landed five wrestlers on the podium.

Junior Melanie Herrera went 4-0 with four pins in winning the 105-pound bracket and sophomore Leizett Garay was third at 125. Freshman Veronica Pacheco (100) and sophomore Kaley Nagle (235) both placed fourth. Sophomore Violetta Martinez was fifth at 190.

Lutheran West travels to the Mentor duals on Saturday.



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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