By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Waterloo High School is set to host one of the largest wrestling tournaments in Northeast Ohio this weekend.
The Waterloo Division III Classic, a two-day event that will begin on Friday, will feature 28 teams in an event that has been hosted in Atwater since 2014.
The origins of the tournament date back to 2000 when it was introduced and hosted by Richmond Heights.
Schools from all over the region will participate in this year’s classic, including Alexander, Bridgeport, Chalker, Chippewa, Crestview, Coshocton, Crestwood, Cuyahoga Heights, Eastwood, Garfield, Hawken, Huron, Jackson-Milton, Malvern, Manchester, Mogadore, Newbury, St. Paul, Sandy Valley, South Range, Toronto, Tusky Valley, United Local, Waterloo, Wellsville and Western Reserve.
“We take great pride in hosting this,” Waterloo wrestling head coach John Foster said. “As a Waterloo graduate myself and seeing my own son Deagan compete at the D3, it just makes it that much more special. What really makes it special is seeing how excited our wrestlers get. You can really see their drive at practice and their excitement leading up to the it. It is something that not just our wrestling family gets excited about, but also the whole school, staff and students.”
There are plenty of volunteers and countless hours put into coordinating an event of this magnitude.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Foster admits.
Planning for the next year’s event starts as soon as the previous tournament concludes.
Ken Riley, a former Waterloo wrestling coach, serves as the tournament director.
“I can’t say enough about how much work he puts into this,” Foster said.
Foster’s wife Stephanie is also a major contributor. She handles all of the purchasing and coordinates the concessions, coaches’ room and more.
“Without Ken and Stephanie, the D3 couldn’t happen,” said Foster, who noted that this weekend’s event will feature 31 wrestlers that are currently ranked in the top 25 in Ohio.
This year, the classic will also get volunteer help from the Waterloo girls basketball team, while Superintendent Angela Terrell learned how to score matches last year so that she could also help.
“We have dozens of volunteers that give up basically an entire weekend to make this happen and around the holidays that is a big deal because people are so busy,” Foster said. “I can’t say thank you enough to all of these people.
“They give their time and effort solely for their love of Waterloo schools and their love of the Waterloo wrestling program,” Foster added. “So many of our volunteers are not just wrestling alumni, parents or wrestlers, but just members of the community, family and friends.”
2019: South Range
2020: No tournament
2021: South Range
(Local only; since 2014)
2014: Ryan Finney, Garfield (120 pounds); Logan Kissel, Garfield (126); Patrick Jordan, Waterloo (152); Will Bolanz, Waterloo (195).
2015: Logan Kissel, Garfield (132 pounds); Will Bolanz, Waterloo (195).
2016: Daulton Metheney, Waterloo (126 pounds); Logan Kissel, Garfield (132); Will Bolanz, Waterloo (195); Paul Skye, Mogadore (220).
2018: Nick Skye, Mogadore (152 pounds).
2019: Connor Hrubik, Garfield (170 pounds).
2020: No tournament.
2021: Cody Coontz, Rootstown (157 pounds); Justin Fox, Waterloo (165).
Leave a Comment