By Dan Gilles
Lutheran West senior 170-pounder Andrew Liese said, following the Division III Sectional Wrestling Tournament at Brooklyn High School, that the time for team achievements was over.
“It’s hard to think about the team at this point,” said Liese, one of two sectional champions and one of three qualifiers for this weekend’s district tournament at Garfield Heights High School for the Longhorns last Saturday. “Now, it’s about individual goals. We already accomplished all of our team goals – we went 8-0 in the conference. Now it’s time to get selfish.”
Liese won his first sectional crown in the final postseason of his high school career last Saturday, pinning Keystone’s Jeremy King in 3:27. His highest sectional finish prior to his title was taking third at last year’s tournament.
Sophomore 120-pounder Tim Mecklenburg, who was Lutheran West’s lone state qualifier last season, took his first step to getting back to Columbus by claiming his first sectional championship, pinning Independence’s Jacob Spino in 1:40.
They will be joined by junior heavyweight Ian Long, who took third in his weight class with a 1:38 pinfall over Elyria Catholic freshman Andre Torres.
Senior Bryce Deblock finished fifth at 126, pinning Columbia’s Nick Jacobucci in 46 seconds. He’ll be a district alternate and could slide in if one of the four qualifiers ahead of him can’t compete due to injury, weight issues or school problems.
Deblock was one of the Longhorns’ five district qualifiers last season, and the only one who returned who will not be making a return trip.
Those Longhorns helped the team finish sixth out of 13 teams with 107 points. However, as Liese said, the time for team accomplishments are over.
“I’ve never wrestled at state before, so to go into districts as a No. 1 seed is fantastic,” Liese said. “I can’t wait for districts.”
Liese (28-8) also pinned King in the semifinals of the Patriot Athletic Conference Tournament two Saturdays prior to the sectional, en route to his 170-pound PAC championship, so he expected a tougher match.
“I didn’t expect to stick him,” Liese said. “I knew he’d be coming after me and I had to be just as hungry. I couldn’t be complacent.
“I know that next week’s the big week. I want to get out to state, and (winning sectionals) is the best way to do that.”
Liese only wrestled two matches at the sectional, winning both by pinfall.
Mecklenburg (35-6), who defeated former state placer Mike Hozan of Black River, 14-10, in the finals of the PAC Tournament, put himself in good position to have another title showdown with Hozan this Saturday at Garfield Heights with his performance at Brooklyn.
Mecklenburg, who was a sectional runner-up last season, went 3-0 with three pinfall victories. He began his tournament with a 38-second pin of Columbia’s Jacob Wall, then punched his ticket to districts with a 3:46 pin over Cuyahoga Heights’ Noah Kadas in the semifinals.
“Last year, I lost to Cuyahoga Heights’ Nick Orr (who repeated as 106-pound champion) in the finals,” Mecklenburg said. “That was on my mind. I kind of wanted to get some revenge this season. He took that away from me last year, and I wanted to take it away from my opponents this year.
“It’s really good (to go in as a No. 1) because we have a really good district. I really need a good seed so I can get as far as I can and do as best as I can. I’ve been working a lot this season to get to this point. I wasn’t sitting around these last two weeks. I was out there training, doing my hardest to be at my best.”
Mecklenburg was very happy for Liese to finally win it as a senior.
“That’s really great for both Andrew and Ian,” he said. “Andrew won the conference title with me, now he won the sectional title with me. Hopefully, we can follow each other down to Columbus. If anyone deserves a chance to wrestle at state, it’s Andrew.”
Long (24-13), who lost a triple overtime bout to Clearview’s Deion Arnold in the PAC championship two weeks prior, was pinned by Arnold in 1:26 in the semifinals last Saturday to bump him down to the consolation bracket.
Long punched his ticket to districts by pinning Cleveland Central Catholic’s Cameron Hill in 1:39, then earned himself a better matchup at Garfield Heights by pinning Torres to take third place.
“I’m very happy for all three of my district qualifiers,” Lutheran West coach David Ressler said. “They all worked very hard this season and were our leaders on and off the mat this season. We would have liked to get as many out as we could, but those three performed very well (at Brooklyn). I think they all have a great chance to do some special things at Garfield Heights.”
DIVISION I LORAIN SECTIONAL: Bay Village native Markus Scheidel, a senior at St. Edward, rebounded from a disappointing second at last year’s sectional tournament to claim the 152-pound championship with a 22-7 technical fall over Midview’s Kolby Hirschfelder.
Scheidel was one of 10 sectional champions and 14 district qualifiers for the Eagles, who claimed yet another sectional team title with 324.5 points. None of St. Ed’s district qualifiers placed lower than third at Lorain High School.
Westlake sophomore 170-pounder Yousef Mustafa and Olmsted Falls junior heavyweight Jordan Lee broke through the St. Ed’s barrior to claim sectional championships of their own. Mustafa defeated the Eagles’ Ray Barr, 6-4, while Lee edged the Eagles’ Ralph Nicholls, 6-5, in their respective finals matches.
Mustafa’s performance helped the Demons finish second in the 11-team sectional with 144 points. He was one of seven district qualifiers and one of five to reach the championship match for Westlake.
Other district qualifiers for Westlake included seniors Logan Paul (second, 182), Asam Zayed (second, 195) and Ismael Shafei (second, 220), junior Alex Busser (fourth, 285), and sophomores Josh Paul (second, 132) and Josh Pappas (third, 138).
Lee’s championship helped the Bulldogs finish fourth with 115.5 points, trailing the host Titans (129) for third place. He was one of four district qualifiers and one of two to reach the championship match for Falls.
Other district qualifiers for Olmsted Falls included junior Adam Salti (second, 126), sophomore Mitchell Dailey (fourth, 132) and freshman Brice Locklear (third, 145).
North Olmsted took fifth with 111.5 points and advanced six to districts – none of which finished higher than third at sectionals.
District qualifiers for the Eagles are seniors Dick Kelly (fourth, 138) and Alex Belaia-Martinouk (third, 182), juniors David Brunner (third, 106) and Mustafa Al-Najjar (third, 195), and sophomores Noel Cordero (fourth, 120) and Sam Matzek (third, 132).
Lakewood was a disappointing 10th with 52 points and only advanced one wrestler to this weekend’s district tournament at Cleveland State’s Woodling Gym. Senior Ralph Johnson finished fourth at 182.
DIVISION II MEDINA SECTIONAL: Bay wrestled very well last weekend at the Division II Sectional Tournament at Medina High School, finishing second in the 12-team tournament with 178 points and advancing nine wrestlers to this weekend’s district tournament at Alliance High School, including two sectional champions.
Senior 120-pounder Adam Tepper (39-3) and junior 160-pounder Dominic Ruma (30-11) were the Rockets’ – and the area’s – only sectional champions.
Tepper went 3-0, defeating Padua’s Tony Becker in overtime, 3-1, to claim his first sectional title. Ruma earned all three of his victories by pinfall, the latter in 1:45 over Clear Fork’s Kevin Deal in the finals.
The Rockets had four others reach their respective championship bouts, but all four – seniors Ben Tepper (113, 33-9), Joe Kubinski (152, 37-9) and Matt Spies (195, 37-11) and sophomore Matt Beniard (285, 29-14) came up just short.
Tepper lost to McComb’s Trae Coopwood, 2-1; Kubinski lost to Padua’s Tom McNulty by technical fall, 16-1; Spies lost to Lexington’s Josh Lehner by technical fall, 16-0; and Beniard was pinned by Lexington’s Ravyn Workman in 34 seconds.
Other district qualifiers for Bay included juniors Sean Meaney (fourth, 170) and Cody Wright (third, 182) and freshman Vince Zitiello (third, 106).
Rocky River finished seventh with 106 points and had four district qualifiers – seniors Jesse Singler (third, 285) and Bill Kelly (fourth, 220), and sophomores Dan Mahoney (third, 113) and Travis Smith (fourth, 152).
Fairview finished ninth with 73 points and only had one district qualifier – senior Tyler Keating (third, 195).
Both Teppers, Kubinski, Ruma, Keating and Singler were all district qualifiers last season.
2013 Westshore Area Wrestling District Qualifiers:
(36 total: 19 Division I, 14 Division II, 3 Division III)
Westlake (D-I Lorain Sectional, CSU District)
132 – Jake Paul (10), 2nd, 28-12
138 – Josh Pappas (10), 3rd, 28-9
170 – Yousef Mustafa (10), 1st, 27-3
182 – Logan Paul (12), 2nd, 31-1
195 – Asam Zayed (12), 2nd, 23-10
220 – Ismael Shafei (12), 2nd, 22-5
285 – Alex Busser (11), 4th, 18-8
Olmsted Falls (D-I Lorain Sectional, CSU District)
126 – Adam Salti (11), 2nd, 28-10
132 – Mitchell Dailey (10), 4th, 18-18
145 – Brice Locklear (9), 3rd, 18-11
285 – Jordan Lee (11), 1st, 24-11
North Olmsted (D-I Lorain Sectional, CSU District)
106 – David Brunner (11), 3rd, 27-10
120 – Noel Cordero (10), 4th, 16-16
132 – Sam Matzek (10), 3rd, 28-10
138 – Dick Kelly (12), 4th, 20-5
182 – Alex Belaia-Martinouk (12), 3rd, 36-5
195 – Mustafa Al-Najjar (11), 3rd, 21-13
Lakewood (D-I Lorain Sectional, CSU District)
182 — Ralph Johnson (12), 4th, 34-12
St. Edward (D-I Lorain Sectional, CSU District)
152 – Markus Scheidel (12/Bay Village), 1st, 30-4
Bay (D-II Medina Sectional, Bowling Green District)
106 – Vince Zitiello (9), 3rd, 39-5
113 – Ben Tepper (12), 2nd, 33-9
120 – Adam Tepper (12), 1st, 39-3
152 – Joe Kubinski (12), 2nd, 37-9
160 – Dominic Ruma (11), 1st, 30-11
170 – Sean Meaney (11), 4th, 19-25
182 – Cody Wright (11), 3rd, 34-11
195 – Matt Spies (12), 2nd, 37-11
285 – Matt Beniard (10), 2nd, 29-14
Rocky River (D-II Medina Sectional, Bowling Green District)
113 – Dan Mahoney (10), 3rd, 28-9
152 – Travis Smith (10), 4th, 16-16
220 – Bill Kelly (12), 4th, 18-12
285 – Jesse Singler (12), 3rd, 21-9
Fairview (D-II Medina Sectional, Bowling Green District)
195 – Tyler Keating (12), 3rd, 29-7
Lutheran West (D-III Brooklyn Sectional, Garfield Heights District)
120 – Tim Mecklenburg (10), 1st, 35-6
170 – Andrew Liese (12), 1st, 28-8
285 – Ian Long (11), 3rd, 24-13