PTC Wrestling Report: Christmas brings a few treats for wrestling fans

By Michael Leonard | Record Publishing Published:

This past week was a bit light on dual meets in the Portage Trail Conference.

The lone Metro Division double dual meet took place at Streetsboro Dec. 20. Norton easily handled Streetsboro 54-21 and Springfield 66-12. Field defeated Streetsboro 57-18 and routed Springfield 69-6 as well.

As result of that meet, Norton stands at 3-1 in the Metro Division, tying them with Crestwood and Coventry for first place in the division heading into 2013.

This start comes despite the fact Gene Leonard has a grand total of one senior on his squad.

The young Panthers might not get there this season -- tough dual meets with Ravenna and Coventry still lay ahead -- but Norton could be a fixture in the Metro Division race over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Field evened its record at 2-2 and has something resembling its full lineup in place. As coach Joe Retherford said, his team will look better the longer the season goes on.

There is one scheduling note in the Metro Division as well.

The double dual meet at Springfield involving Kent Roosevelt, Ravenna and Streetsboro has been rescheduled for Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m. This meet was originally scheduled for Dec. 6, but had to be postponed due to an outbreak of skin infections at Springfield.

ROVERS, G-MEN RANKED IN STATE POLLS

The success Rootstown and Garfield had at last year's Division III state tournament opened a lot of eyes.

It appears wrestling coaches haven't forgotten the Rovers and G-Men this season, either, as both teams remained ranked in the Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association poll.

In the Dec. 19 poll, Rootstown was tied with Archbold at No. 7 in the Division III rankings with 12 points. Garfield sits in tied in the No. 10 spot with Beachwood and Nelsonville-York with 10 points.

Defending state champion Apple Creek Waynedale leads the Division III poll with 48 points, but Troy Christian is just two points behind.

To the shock of precisely no one, defending state champions Lakewood St. Edward and St. Paris Graham are the unanimous top choices in Division I and Division II, respectively.

FEAST OF HOLIDAY TOURNAMENTS UPCOMING

Merry Christmas to wrestlers, coaching and local fans.

However, the big day for wrestling folks this week isn't Dec. 25. It's Dec. 28 and 29.

Those are the dates when three of the biggest wrestling tournaments of the year are set to take place -- and Portage County will be well represented at each.

The oldest, deepest and largest of these is the 52nd annual Brecksville Invitational Holiday Wrestling Tournament. This nine-mat beast has attracted teams from as far as Georgia in recent years.

Aurora, Field and James A. Garfield will deal with a field that has state title contenders in all three divisions and eight returning state champions.

Intermat.com wrestling guru Josh Lowe has Davidson, Mich. listed as the tournament favorite, but defending champion Oregon Clay, Brecksville, Troy Christian and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary all could be in the mix for the team title.

Wrestling starts Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. Finals will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

A bit closer to Portage County, the 48th annual Kenston Invitational Tournament will take place.

Crestwood is the defending runner-up at Kenston and will return this season, along with Ravenna and Streetsboro.

The Red Devils, Fairfield, Parma and West Branch are likely to be in the mix for the title.

Wrestling begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 28 and 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29 with the final round starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 29.

Portage County also will have a presence at the Medina Invitational Tournament this year. The tournament that calls itself "The Greatest Show in Wrestling" returns for its 38th edition with Rootstown joining the fun.

The Rovers are marching into a field that includes Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Massillon Perry, Oak Harbor, Uhrichville Claymont -- and, of course, Lakewood St. Edward.

Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. Dec. 28 and 29, with the final starting at 6 p.m.

Enjoy the holidays -- and then enjoy the wrestling feast.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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