By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The 10 schools that are participating in this year’s Portage County Wrestling Tournament may be in five different leagues, but they are coming together again this weekend.
For the third consecutive year, schools from around Portage County are snapping back to their roots in a wrestling tournament that will be hosted at Streetsboro High School — and that will feature some some of the top wrestlers in the state.
Aurora (Suburban League), Crestwood (Chagrin Valley Conference), Field, Ravenna and Streetsboro (Metro Athletic Conference), Garfield and Waterloo (Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference), along with Mogadore, Southeast and Rootstown (Portage Trail Conference) will all be competing against each other at the large event, which will feature a middle school tournament on Friday and the high school tournament on Saturday.
“We are very excited to host the county tournament at Streetsboro and keep it going as a tradition,” Streetsboro wrestling head coach Josh Zupancic said. “Portage County wrestling, historically, represents some of the best Ohio has to offer and tends to be very passionate about the sport. So it has been a joy for me to coach in the PTC at first, then the county tournament after the conference split off. The kids take it seriously and it is not just another tournament, as there are some local bragging rights behind it.”
• Aurora: Luke Green, soph., 106; Johnny Green, soph., 113; Cole Munn, jr., 120; Drake Brasiel, jr., 138; Kyle Bizjak, sr., 144; Cole Walton, soph., 150; Connor Tschudy, sr., 157.
• Crestwood: JP Wrobel, jr., 126; Drake Rennecker, jr., 138.
• Field: Robert Atha, sr., 190.
• Garfield: Grayson Hoover, sr., 138; Joe Sparks, sr., 157; Keegan Sell, jr., 190; Hunter Andel, sr., 165.
• Mogadore: Mason King, fresh., 106; Tyler Shellenbarger, sr., 215.
• Ravenna: Cory Cole, sr., 113; Sean Loucks, sr., 150; Alex Johnson, sr., 285.
• Rootstown: Will McEuwen, jr., 113; Nathan Lee, soph., 126; Nick Malek, soph., 132; Tyler Paulus, jr., 138; Cody Coontz, sr., 175; Dominic Duvall, jr., 144; Tristen McKibben, sr., 157; Sylas Reiherd, sr., 156; Lane McKenzie, sr., 190.
• Streetsboro: Aiden Carone, jr., 113; Anthony Perez, sr., 120; Matt Klimak, soph., 126; Donovan Paes, sr., 132; Cohen Klimak, soph., 150.
• Waterloo: Rex Fryer, jr., 120; Aidan King, sr., 138; Justin Fox, sr., 175.
“It’s always fun to get back to your roots,” head coach Dave Wrobel said. “I enjoy this tournament because of the natural rivalries that existed before … I am glad that we have carried on the traditions of the PCL.”
“I am very happy the coaches decided to keep this tournament going,” head coach Duane Funk said. “I am looking forward to the tough competition for our team and how we measure up at this point in the season.”
“I am very excited to have the tournament grow and continue,” head coach Craig Wise said. “This tournament has been around for 50 years and Portage County is a great wrestling area, with great wrestlers year in and year out. This is our third year getting together since the league broke up and it is always fun competing against guys down the street and in your backyard.”
“I think my excitement for the PCT is similar to most of the Portage County coaches. It is the chance for our kids to show the talent level in our local area,” coach John Foster said. “Some of the best kids in the entire state come from Portage County and they compete in different divisions and represent many of the schools in Portage County. It is really something special. For me, being one of the newer coaches in the county, it is great because it gives me the opportunity to meet, not just the other coaches, but so many of the wrestlers I follow through social media, as well as the chance to see them wrestle in person.”
Thanks Tommy love to here and read about wrestling, your no 1 fan kevan
It is always fun to go to this tournament but this year the only problem was the seating. The fans that sat on the side of the scorers tables ,the first 3 rows couldn’t see. the ref’s kept telling people to sit down but that only lasted a few min. It was very frustrating.