INDEPENDENCE—Independence senior wrestlers Jacob Spino, A.J. Senick and Paul Deely made the most of their final appearance in their home gym. All three won sectional championships on Saturday to advance to next weekend’s district tournament at Garfield Heights as No. 1 seeds.
Nick Mroczynski, Drew Benos, Tanner Hadick, Matt Mroczysnki and Kevin Clymer all placed among the top four to earn a berth in the district tournament and Luke Swauger finished fifth and will be a district alternate.
The Blue Devils finished in third place as a team behind Wellington and Akron Manchester.
“I thought we wrestled about to our max potential,” said Independence head coach Ken DeAngelis. “I thought if we wrestled as well as we could eight was the number I was looking for. I was hoping to finish in the top four or five team-wise and we finished up in third place, 10 points behind Manchester. I was extremely pleased with that.”
Spino advanced to districts for the fourth straight season and collected his second straight sectional title. He won the 145 pound weight class this season and was the 138 pound champion last year on his way to qualifying for last year’s state tournament. He placed second at 120 in 2013 and was runner-up at 113 in 2012.
He went 4-0 on Saturday with a technical fall, major decision and pin leading up to the finals. He defeated Mogadore’s Josh Tompkins 8-4 in the finals.
“Tompkins, he was a district placer last year. He’s a kid that expects to win and wins close matches but Jake just isn’t fazed by much of anything right now,” DeAngelis said. “He has worked hard all year and has his sights set high. He’s confident in himself, which at this point in the season you really need to have that.”
Spino, who improved to 31-5, will wrestle Fairless senior Carter Casperd (34-13) in the district tournament first round.
Senick beat Cuyahoga Heights’ Will Hopkins, 4-3, to win the 182 pound championship. He defeated Hopkins 8-1 two weeks ago in the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament semifinals. In the semifinals, Senick scored a 2-0 win over VASJ’s Kevin Mullin and he needed just 47 seconds to pin Black River’s Fred Howell in the quarterfinals.
“He has just been consistent all year,” DeAngelis said. “This was his fourth or fifth tournament final. In the semifinals we had Mullin from VASJ, who was a solid kid. A.J. just finds a way to win. In the finals, wrestling Hopkins again for the second tournament in a row, that’s sometimes tough. There’s some familiarity there. We gave up an early takedown but he didn’t panic. He just fought back and did what he needed to do to win.”
Senick, who advanced to the district tournament for the second time, will wrestle Tuslaw senior Christian Climer (33-5) in the first round at districts.
With two wins at the sectional tournament, Deely improved to 33-7 on the year.
He used a 10-2 major decision over Lutheran West’s Kristian Bremer in the semifinals to set up his championship bout showdown with Trinity’s Charlie Draucker. He won that match 2-1 in the sudden victory portion of overtime.
“He sometimes gets frustrated with himself but he’s a 3-2, 2-1 kind of a kid,” DeAngelis said. “He hand fights hard. He takes up ground on the mat when he’s on his feet. He’s learned how to escape and he’s learned how to ride. As a heavyweight I don’t know that you could ask for much more than that.”
Deely, a three-time district qualifier, is paired up with Pymatuning Valley sophomore Jaret Wright (3-7) in the first round at Garfield Heights. He finished second at the Independence sectional last year and won the 285 pound bracket in 2013. He finished fifth as a freshman.
Nick Mroczysnki finished second at 138 pounds.
He drew back-to-back byes in the first two rounds then defeated Mogadore senior Aaron Chew, 5-4, in the semifinals. He dropped a 5-4 decision to Lutheran West’s Kevin Naim in the finals.
“Nick is a little banged up right now,” DeAngelis said. “He’s a freshman who has wrestled a lot of matches this year and that can take its toll at this time of the year. There are a lot of people that would just kind of be happy with what they’ve already accomplished but that’s not Nick. He’s a competitor. He had a real nice draw, with a bye to the semifinals, and he took advantage of that draw by gutting out a good, hard fought win in the semis.”
Benos and Hadick finished third at 132 and 152, respectively.
Matt Mroczysnki and Clymer were fourth at 126 and 160, respectively.
Mroczynski competed in one of the toughest weight classes in the tournament.
“You had (Stan) Bleich from Elyria Catholic and (Trey) Combs from Cuyahoga Heights both bump up from 120. Those are two top 20 kids in the state and Matt lost two matches, one to each of them,” DeAngelis said. “He did a great job. You had six state-ranked kids at that weight class so he did a heck of a job to battle and get out at that weight.”
Swauger finished fifth at 113 and is an alternate for the district tournament. Should any of the four wrestlers from the Independence sectional be unable to compete next weekend Swauger would fill his spot.
1. Wellington 187.5; 2. Ak. Manchester 170.5; 3. Independence 160.0; 4. Mogadore 132.5; 5. Luth. West 110.0; 6. Cuy. Heights 79.5; Cle. VASJ 79.5; 8. Columbia 78.5; 9. Black River 65.0; 10. Warrensville Heights 43.5; 11. Oberlin 40.0; 12. Trinity 36.0; 13. Elyria Catholic 26.0;
106: Abe Downs (Wellington) pin Tyler Newman (Mogadore) 0:41;
113: Joey Bowen (Ak. Manchester) maj. dec. Nick Amspaugh (Wellington) md17-6;
120: Josh Newman (Columbia) Default Josh Wenhold (Ak. Manchester) Default;
126: Stan Bleich (Elyria Catholic) maj. dec. Brayden Kirk (Ak. Manchester) md18-8;
132: Tim Mecklenburg (Luth. West) dec. Joe Tromba (Cle. VASJ) 6-2;
138: Kevin Naim (Luth. West) dec. Nick Mroczynski (Independence) 4-0;
145: Jacob Spino (Independence) dec. Josh Tompkins (Mogadore) 8-4;
152: Anthony Scurry (Warrensville Heights) pin Ben Huff (Cuy. Heights) 3:29;
160: Drew Brasiel (Ak. Manchester) dec. Alex Imhoff (Wellington) 8-6;
170: James Handwerk (Luth. West) Default Jacob Campbell (Black River) Default;
182: A.J. Senick (Independence) dec. Will Hopkins (Cuy. Heights) 4-3;
195: Jose Caraballo (Columbia) dec. Ryan Slone (Black River) 3-1 OT;
220: Jerek Cropper (Ak. Manchester) pin Collin Kelly (Mogadore) 5:33;
285: Paul Deely (Independence) dec. Charlie Draucker (Trinity) 2-1 SV;
113: Dalton Abfall (Black River) maj. dec. Zack Shaffer (Columbia) md8-0;
120: Jacob Ressler (Luth. West) maj. dec. Michael Sansom (Mogadore) md18-5;
126: Trey Combs (Cuy. Heights) pin Matt Mroczynski (Independence) 2:40;
132: Drew Benos (Independence) dec. Ben Pavilich (Ak. Manchester) 6-4;
138: Aaron Chew (Mogadore) maj. dec. Max Mohrman (Wellington) md12-4;
145: Jon Eschedor (Wellington) maj. dec. Nick Frye (Cuy. Heights) md14-4;
152: Tanner Hadick (Independence) tech. fall Trevor Ulman (Ak. Manchester) tf16-1;
160: Andrew Graska (Mogadore) tech. fall Kevin Clymer (Independence) tf16-0;
170: Paul Dies (Ak. Manchester) maj. dec. Dan Cervenik (Cle. VASJ) md11-3;
182: Paul Skye (Mogadore) maj. dec. Kevin Mullin (Cle. VASJ) md9-1;
195: Josh Kitko (Wellington) pin Vince Skye (Mogadore) 3:53;
220: Steve Ferguson (Wellington) dec. Morality Anderson (Oberlin) 4-0;
285: Kristian Bremer (Luth. West) pin Dawson Hammer (Wellington) 2:04;
113: Luke Swauger (Independence) pin Joey Hancock (Mogadore) 2:55;
120: Colin Saffstall (Wellington) dec. King Seyou (Cle. VASJ) 7-2;
126: Mason Wright (Wellington) tech. fall Adrian Diaz (Luth. West) tf17-1;
132: Gavin Chew (Mogadore) dec. Tyler Wilfong (Wellington) 11-4;
138: Dane Paris (Ak. Manchester) tech. fall Antonio Zindroski (Trinity) tf16-0;
145: Nick Jacobucci (Columbia) tech. fall Nakia Parham (Warrensville Heights) tf16-0;
152: Chris Miller (Wellington) pin Mike Jacobucci (Columbia) 3:33;
160: Marcel English (Cle. VASJ) dec. Jesse Woodall (Cuy. Heights) 7-4;
170: Sam Wilson (Oberlin) dec. Nick Sia (Independence) 3-2;
182: Emmanuel Lodge (Trinity) dec. Nick Fox (Wellington) 7-6;
195: Wesley Gallion (Oberlin) pin Nick Follett (Cle. VASJ) 2:58;
220: Jacob Kozak (Cle. VASJ) pin Josh Stasek (Independence) 0:22;
285: Cody McKean (Black River) pin Matt Villegas (Cle. VASJ) 2:00;