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By Michael Leonard | Record Publishing Co.
Day one of the Portage Trail Conference Tournament at Waterloo on Friday reaffirmed a couple of things.
First, the races for the two PTC division titles are likely to come down to the wire.
Second, Crestwood is a very solid tournament team.
The Red Devils went 10-for-10 in Friday's quarterfinal round to take the lead in the PTC Tournament after day one with 93 points. However, Metro Division leader Coventry is right behind with 80 points, while Norton is third with 69.
The two County Division leaders are right behind as well. Woodridge is fourth with 66.5 points, while Rootstown had 60 points.
Wrestling resumes this morning at 11 a.m., with the finals set to start at about 5 p.m.
After his team's flawless quarterfinal round, Crestwood coach Dave Wrobel was very pleased.
"I'm very happy with the way we wrestled today," Wrobel said. "Everybody came ready to wrestle. We've got to keep it up because everybody has something to offer at this tournament. Rootstown is a tough team. Woodridge and Coventry are very strong."
Even though Coventry was able to advance seven wrestlers to the semifinals, Comets coach Keith Shinn wasn't satisfied.
"I was hoping for a little bit more," Shinn said. "It's the nature of the tournament, though. Anybody can beat anybody at any time."
While Norton sits in third, the Panthers suffered the scariest moment of the night when assistant coach Drew Leonard appeared to suffer a seizure during a match.
Leonard, son of Norton coach Gene Leonard, was fine later in the evening. Gene Leonard said his son should be OK going forward, as should his team. The Panthers will have six wrestlers competing in today's semifinals.
In the County Division race, Woodridge was able to get some pins from unexpected places, most notably 160-pounder Carson Norris. Bulldogs coach Mike Massey said Norris was so sick earlier in the day he wasn't sure if he'd wrestle.
"Now he's in the semifinal," Massey said, as the Bulldogs advanced five wrestles to the semifinals.
Massey said he kept his goals modest for the tournament, given the depleted nature of the Bulldogs lineup.
"We've got to keep Southeast and Streetsboro off our backs," Massey said. "I don't have any illusion that we'll be able to catch Rootstown, but stranger things have happened."
Rovers coach Craig Wise also has five wrestlers in the semifinals, but noted his goal for the weekend was to try to win the tournament outright.
"It's always been the goal to wrestle with the big boys," Wise said. "You can't forget about Woodridge, though. They are tough. This tournament is one of the biggest things we do all year, save sectionals and districts."
Southeast (eighth place, 48 points) and Streetsboro (10th, 33 points) will need to have big second days if either team wishes to throw a monkey wrench in the County Division race.
Both teams will have three wrestlers in the semifinals. Streetsboro took a big hit before the tournament started when 195-pounder Tyler Rowland was ruled out due to a skin infection.