Brad Bauer wins on wrestling mat

By Tom Hardesty Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Brad Bauer admits he is something of a worry wort before matches. "Things just start running through my mind," said the Ravenna senior wrestler. "If we need the pin, I get nervous that I won't get the pin. If it's a tough kid, I worry I won't be quick enough and that my moves won't work." Most of the time, though, Bauer needn't worry. Because in 14 of his 16 matches this season it's been his opponents who needed to get nervous, including in this past weekend's Western Reserve Conference Tournament at Solon. Bauer made a mockery of the competition in the 189-pound weight class, winning by pin, major decision and technical fall in capturing his second straight WRC title. Bauer won the crown at 171 as a junior. "Brad has a tendency to get real nervous," said Ravenna coach Steve Reedy, whose team took second at the tourney after winning nine straight league titles. "We just tell him to relax. That's what he did in the finals, and he looked fantastic." Bauer first registered a pin in 1:28 in Friday's quarterfinals, came back with a 9-1 major decision of Stow's Bill Foster in Saturday's semifinals, and completed his impressive sweep to the title with a 16-1 technical fall of Mayfield's Nick Delguyd in Saturday night's championship bout. "He wrestled real well," said Reedy. "He's been wrestling real well all year. He's having a great year so far. "I thought the (WRC tourney) would be a little bit tougher for him, but he had a fantastic tournament. That kid he beat in the finals was fifth in Division I last year." Bauer, who has a 3.2 grade-point average, credits wrestling at 189 as a major reason why this season has been so enjoyable. "Last year I had to cut about 10 pounds every week," he said. "After you finish practice, you're tired and sweaty and hungry and all you want to do is come home and eat a nice, big dinner. But when you have to cut weight like that, you can't do that. I didn't want to talk to anybody when I came home. I just took a cold shower and went to my room. "Now I don't have to cut at all. I really don't have too much fat on my body as it is, and I get to eat normally now. And I'm faster than about 95 percent of the kids I go against at 189." Reedy admits last season was rough on Bauer and his body. "He cut too much weight last year," said Reedy. "Now he eats every day, he eats lunch ... it's good for him. I don't think there's five-percent body fat on him." Bauer, at 6-foot-3, has made a living of using his speed, quickness and leverage to defeat his opponents, but he isn't known for his strength. Ironically, though, it's that last fact that has schools like Nebraska, Central Michigan and Kent State drooling over his potential. "That's what Nebraska likes about him," said Reedy. "He's never spent much time in the weight room, and Nebraska thinks they can put 35 to 40 pounds of muscle on him. I think he can, too, if he spends the time in the weight room." For the moment, though, Bauer has put his collegiate plans on hold. He has some unfinished high school business to tend to, like earning his first trip to the state tournament _ a goal he missed out on by a painful three points last season at the Akron Firestone District. In fact, his sights aren't set merely on qualifying for state. "I plan on winning it," he said. "It's not too early to starting thinking about that. Every day in practice you want to think about that. You want to think about your next match, but state is always in the back of your mind."

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