Perry junior Kyle Rowan’s domination continued as he claimed the 106-pound title and the MVP award at the 2019 Pin City Tournament at Perry on Saturday.
Rowan was one of eight Pirates to finish among the top eight and 19 Chagrin Valley Conference wrestlers to earn a spot on the podium.
“Kyle is wrestling well right now, but he knows he has quite a bit to work on when it comes to his movement and his finishes,” Perry coach Dave Rowan said. “It’s no secret–he has put the time in during the offseason, so he is a bit more polished. He trusts that training and hard work. He doesn’t overlook an opponent or even think about winning. He is focused on just wrestling. He knows that if he just wrestles and works what we work on in training, the wins and losses take care of themselves.”
Rowan finished pool wrestling with a 3-0 record on two pins and a forfeit then pinned all three of his championship bracket foes to win the championship.
“He isn’t as physically gifted as the elite wrestlers, but he does all the work between the weekends that help him wrestle at that level; that’s what I’m most proud of,” Coach Rowan said. “What he does during the week is a great example for our whole program and many of his teammates follow his lead during the week.”
Ryan Berdysz and Zach Bellissimo also placed at 106 pounds for the Pirates, who finished eighth as a team.
Berdysz finished fifth while Bellissimo was eighth.
“A few years ago, we had all big guys. This year, it seems like we have a ton of little guys,” Rowan said. “I’m hoping that they start hitting some growth spurts so we can get them all in the lineup. Really, we have a solid group of lightweights that push each other and are competitive with one another. They battle in practice and it shows on the mat.”
Calvin Rowan (113) and Colin Koenig (126) both placed third and Tommy Jackson (220) was fourth. Deni Espinoza (220) placed fifth and Kyle Cosiano (182) placed eighth for the Pirates.
“I was especially proud of Colin Koenig and Calvin Rowan,” Coach Rowan said. “They both wrestled their best matches of the day in the finals. Tommy Jackson placed for the first time in a varsity tournament, and our lone senior, Deni Espinoza, took fifth in his first varsity tournament.”
West Geauga finished 10th as a team with seven individual place winners.
“I was happy with the effort the boys wrestled with this weekend,” West Geauga coach Ben Stehura said. “They are all making great strides technically and it shows in their results. You always lament the close matches that go the other way but the team is relatively young and still learning how to win the close matches. They will continue to improve and continue to get better at winning those hard-fought matches.”
Gino Fornaro led the Wolverines with a third-place finish at 182 pounds. He finished the tournament with a 6-1 record and four pins.
“Gino has been working on adding a couple of different elements to his game plan and was able to put that into practice this weekend,” Stehura said. “It was really good to see him get quality results from the things he’s been focused on and it led directly to him winning his last two matches.”
Lou Alesnik (285) finished fifth, Josh Moriarty (160) was sixth and Solomon Troychansky (138) and Nathan Meyers (170) both finished seventh. Jack Sparent (126) and Michael Cavasinni (132) both placed eighth for the Wolverines.
“Lou Alesnik continues to have a very good season,” Stehura said. “He has made the semifinals of every tournament this year and he is continually putting up quality matches. I look for him to break through this year and become a dominant heavyweight in the state. Both Nathan Meyers and Josh Moriarty had bounce back weekends. They are the beginning of a very tough upper weight group that we have at West G and are the guys that will get it started for us in the upper weights.”
Kirtland had four wrestlers finish among the top eight.
Will Davidson (106) and Jeff Kusar (285) both finished sixth while Konnor Duncan (126) and Kory Dages (195) both placed seventh.
“We had some good matches throughout the tournament but I don’t think it was the consistency that the kids were looking for,” Kirtland coach Scott Francis said. “I think most of them were expecting a little bit more out of themselves. I know that’s going to reflect in the room this week. I think they’re going to come back and say they need to turn it up a bit.”
Kusar pinned all three of his opponents during Friday’s pool wrestling then lost to nationally-ranked Kawaun DeBoe of Erie Cathedral Prep in the semifinals.
“It’s always good to get out there and wrestle that type of kid in your career,” Francis said. “It lets you know exactly where you stand not just against kids in the state but in the nation. You kind of look forward to those kinds of matches to see what you’ve got. That kid was really tough.”
Kusar then dropped a 2-1 decision to Mentor’s Hunter Colao in the consolation semifinals and a loss to Alesnik in the fifth-place match.
“The kid got the reversal in the second and we got an escape in the third,” Francis said of Kusar’s match against Colao. “That’s a case where you’re learning some basic wrestling stuff when it comes down to winning a match. In close matches, you can give up an escape but you don’t give up the reversal. We had that a few times this weekend. That’s part of learning as you’re wrestling. It’s not just about coming out there and hitting moves but also how to win the close matches. That’s probably the biggest disappointment is we had close matches we didn’t pull out. That’s one thing we’ll definitely be working on this week.”
Video Credit: News Herald