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Wrestling: 2023-24 Crestwood Red Devils team preview

Wrestling: 2023-24 Crestwood Red Devils team preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor



Dave Wrobel

23rd season

208-136-2 career record




Coaching Staff: Derek Wrobel, Marco Berquist, Conner Nemec, CJ Novotny, Nick Vespucci.

2022-23 Record: 3-4 duals; 1-1 Chagrin Valley Conference.

Returning Lettermen (8): JP Wrobel, sr.; Drake Rennecker, sr.; Gavin McIntyre, sr.; Blake Baumgardner, sr.; Brenton Mason, jr.; Drew Pfost, jr.; Kade Rotter, soph.; Brodie MacLearie, soph.

Lettermen Lost: None.




“We have a nice blend of core wrestlers that have been in the program for a few years and know what to expect, as well as our expectations,” Wrobel said. “We also have a nice group of freshmen that we are high on and will be counted on to step into the lineup and produce immediately.”

The team’s health is the primary conduit to a successful season, according to Wrobel, as well as “getting wrestlers into the right weight classes to develop them throughout the season, where they are peaking at the right time.”




Rocco Wrobel and Jakob Devlin enter as freshmen with experience throughout the youth, middle school and OAC circuits.

“They both will be counted on heavily to make the transition to high school successfully.”

Kade Rotter is a sophomore, who is a returning district qualifier.

“He looks primed to make the next step.”

JP Wrobel is a three-time state qualifier and one of the core leaders of the team.

“He is a skilled Pinner that needs to take his final step in his development to make some noise.”

Jake Becka has been described by Wrobel as a “pleasant surprise” throughout the preseason.

“He is athletic and has picked things up quickly.”

Lucci Hess, who Wrobel believes will “make some noise in the girls division,” brings experience from youth and middle school.

“She is a hard working girl, who is extremely athletic.”




Nick Lukart and Tye Berquist are two more freshmen that Wrobel believes can pop into the starting lineup.

“Tye is a middle school state qualifier that won a few matches at the Covelli Center in Youngstown. With the right coaching and mindset, he should compete at a high level.”

Drake Renneker is another senior leader, who returns to the lineup as a two-time district qualifier.

“He is more than capable of not only getting down to Columbus, but reaching the podium as well. The key is getting him to a weight class, where he is comfortable on days of competition.”

Drew Pfost, who was a district qualifier in 2023, returns after two seasons of marked improvement, while Michael Berquist is a new face to the lineup after transferring from Aurora.




Junior Brody MacLearie and sophomore Brenton Mason are two wrestlers that Wrobel expects to take big strides this season.

“They are both going to be key in terms of the team’s success.”

Freshman Blake Behnke is another newcomer that Wrobel believes has a bright future.

Seniors Gavin McIntyre and Blake Baumgardner bring a deep level of experience and success.

“They anchor us nicely. Gavin had a nice run last season, winning sectionals and qualifying for districts. Blake was a pleasant surprise as a 215-pounder. He did a nice job improving throughout the year and was an overtime loss away from qualifying for districts.”




“The connection to this senior class is special, and I have witnessed their development over the course of six to 14 years. They can make some noise as a collective group. At the same time, I am excited with the potential of the freshman class. We have anywhere from seven to 10 freshmen that are coming out for this year’s team, with at least half of them stepping into the lineup immediately.”




Kade Rotter, Rocco Wrobel, Tye Berquist.




“Put in the EXTRA work.”




“Depth is a concern, as well as filling the lineup and getting kids to the right weights.”




“In Portage County, Rootstown, Aurora and Streetsboro look like the leaders of the pack. In terms of the CVC, Perry looks like the overall conference leader, with West Gauge and ourselves competing for a division title.”

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