By Joe Ostrica
The West Shore Conference wrestling match between host Avon and Bay was crashed by a third party added at the last minute when the North Olmsted Eagles joined the mix to make the event a tri-match. Avon swept both teams and North Olmsted defeated Bay 42-18 in their nonconference showdown.
North Olmsted picked up three pins against the Rockets, with 132 Kyle Biggs (132 pounds, 1:25), Brian Brunner (145, 1:15) and Alex Balaia (182, 2:38) leading the way. North Olmsted’s Tyler Biggs won a 13-5 decision over Bay’s Matt Comienski at 120 pounds. Sam Matzek defeated Jose Olivases 86 at 138 pounds. Justin Riolo defeated Joe Kubinski 10-8 at 160 pounds and Adel Shaman defeated Cody Wright 8-4 at 170 pounds. Bay gave up three forfeits at 126, 220 and 285.
“We’ve got a lot to work on, that’s for sure,” Bay head coach Ryan Cover admitted. “It was hard to follow the matches with the format they used, jumping back and forth between the three teams. We have a lot of work to do in our middleweights, and we had three forfeits, so that didn’t help us. I’d like to see more work out of our upper weights.”
Bay did have bright spot in its lightweight classes with the Tepper brothers. Ben Tepper pinned North Olmsted’s David Brunner in 1:32 at 106 pounds. Adam Tepper pinned Zach McCraw in 2:38 at 113.
“Our lightweights, the Tepper brothers did really well,” Cover said. “It’s what we expect out of them. They’re very hard workers and they both looked really good. Ben just came back from an injury, so I’m pleased with how he did.”
Other Rockets wrestlers getting wins over North Olmsted were James Dudek (8-4 decision over Wesame Shaman at 152) and Tom Olson (9-3 decision over Jacob James at 195).
North Olmsted almost spoiled host Avon in a 35-29 loss. North Olmsted was leading 29-27 going into the last few matches. Brunner won a thrilling 9-7 overtime match over Avon’s Alex Shermak at 106.
“Our upper weights got things started off well for us,” North Olmsted head coach Kerry McWoodson said. “Our guys fought hard. They battled to the end.
“David Brunner, battled in a great match at 106 pounds for us. He moved up from JV to wrestle varsity for us, and he won a close match in overtime.”
Earning pins for North Olmsted were Justin Riolo (39 second pin over Ben Price at 160), Adel Shaman (2:23 over Ohradzanski at 170) and Mustafa Al-Najjar (5:31 over Thomas Holowecky at 220). Tyler Biggs won a 12-3 maj.dec over Bryan Stringer at 103. Zach Gillard defeated Austin Matsko 6-3 at 126 and Alex Balaia defeated Hamza Kirresh 10-6 at 182.
As North Olmsted prepares for the Southwestern Conference tournament, McWoodson said he hopes to have a full roster ready and in shape.
“We want to get everybody healthy,” he said. “We’ve got some guys that are banged up a little bit. If we get everybody back healthy we should be tough.
“We’re a very young class. We only have four seniors. We have a bunch of freshman and sophomores. If we get everybody back next year, we should be tough for years to come.”
Ben Tepper won a major decision over Avon’s Alex Shermak in a 12-2 victory. Adam Tepper pinned Avon’s Brian Stringer in 1:34.
Two other Bay wrestlers picked up pins in the Rockets’ 56-22 loss to Avon. Kubinski pinned Ben Price in 2:21 16 160. Wright pinned Cory Ohradzanski in 1:03 at 170.
Cover expects the Tepper brothers to challenge for WSC titles in the conference tournament.
“It’s really open, the West Shore,” he said. “Every team in our conference is going to get a champion or two. I think it’s going to be pretty spread out.”