By Michael Leonard | Record Publishing Co.
Day one of the postseason got off to a solid start for the local wrestling teams Friday at the Division II sectional tournament at Walsh Jesuit.
Portage Trail Conference County Division champion Woodridge sits second after day one at Walsh with 68.5 points and has seven wrestlers in today's semifinals.
Defending sectional champ Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy leads the team race with 84 points and 11 semifinalists.
Ravenna and Aurora sit tied for third with Revere with 46 points, while Streetsboro is tied with Walsh Jesuit in sixth with 38 points.
Woodridge coach Mike Massey said he was satisfied with his team's effort.
"More important than the team score is the fact that everybody is still alive," Massey said. "We wrestled well. We had a lot of pins and a lot of win. Everybody looked sharp."
A match that was representative of Woodridge's effort came at 220 pounds. Junior Mason Hilling was trailing in the third period to Streetsboro's Tyler Rowland, when he stepped over Rowland put him on his back and pinned him in 5:26.
That result left Rockets coach Rick Charlton fuming, as the Rockets advanced only four wrestlers to the semis.
"When you work hard in the room, you get the results you want," Charlton said. "We had nice wins from (106-pounder) Sean Kuklisin and (120-pounder) Aaron Dantimo did a great job."
Dantimo scored a bit of an upset as he defeated Ravenna's Brogan Lovejoy 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.
"Lovejoy's pinned him three times before this season, so that was a great win," Charlton said.
Ravenna coach Mike Whitmore said he would have liked to seen a better match from Lovejoy, but felt confident he would rebound.
Ravenna advanced six wrestlers to the semifinals, including 138-pounder Jacob Henson, 152-pounder Brandon Winning, 160-pounder Logan Reaser, 170-pounder Kevin Payne, 182-pounder Gavin Reaser and heavyweight Cody Hawkins.
"It's an individual time right now," Whitmore said. "I'm not too worried about team scores. I want the individual boys to go out and live their dreams."
Aurora also will advance six wrestlers to the semifinals, in 106-pounder Josh Whitelaw, 113-pounder Danny Novak, 120-pounder Andrew Peterson, 145-pounder Brian Evans, 220-pounder Micky Carrasco and heavyweight Josh Burger.
"All the kids gave us a good physical effort," said Aurora coach Dick Bliss. "Some of our guys didn't have a good mental effort, but nobody is hanging it up. Everyone is ready to go tomorrow."
Wrestling at Walsh resumes today at 11 a.m.