Crowning two first-time champions, one in an overtime triumph, the Kenston wrestling team finished third at the 15-team Chagrin Valley Conference tournament Saturday at Beachwood.
Garnering podium finishes in 10 of the 14 weight classes, the Bomber matmen scored 181 1/2 points, bested only by four-time dfending champion Perry, 227 1/2 points, and runner-up Aurora, 215 points.
Kenston 106-pound sophomore Christopher Pavone (25-8) and 113-pound junior Noah Georgian (28-9) both finished 3-0 in the tournament en route to their individual titles.
"It felt really great, just 'cause that was my first high school tournament win," said Georgian, who lost a major decision in the 106-pound finals last year and then lost in the sectional championship bout to the same "Being that it's the last year that the CVC is going to be in place, I really wanted to win," he said. "It was just, I knew what I wanted, and I wasn't going to let anyone beat me."
BAINBRIDGE TWSP., Ohio -- Kenston senior wrestler Alan Frygier knows that five duals in one day sounds like a lot, but, to him, it sounds like a nice day.
Most events take up two days of a weekend for a wrestler. Under the Ohio High School Athletics Association, the max number of duals you're allowed in one day is five. At the Willoughby South Rebel Duals on Jan. 31, Frygier, in the 170-pound class, won all five of his duals, including three consecutive pins, one major decision and one decision.
"It was over in like seven hours," he said. "It was quick."
The word of the night at the first day of the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament Feb. 6 was "bittersweet."
Sweet because, well, it's the CVC wrestling tournament, loaded with returning state qualifiers from tradition-rich schools. Bitter because this is the last CVC wrestling tournament as the current members know it.
When the CVC loop runs its course next year, it will do so without two of its long-standing members — Kenston and Aurora. Kenston moves to the upstart Western Reserve Conference next season, while Aurora heads to the Suburban League.
After 50 years, the KIT still showcases the some of the area's best wrestlers year after year.
Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Kenston Invitation Tournament, a wrestling tournament held each year between Christmas and New Year’s for Northeast Ohio programs.
Started in 1964 by first-year wrestling coach Don “Whitey” Havener and Athletic Director Al Hravak, the idea was to raise money for all of Kenston’s athletic programs.
Mike Rovtar, a Kenston graduate who wrestled in the tournament in 1972-73 and coached the Bombers program from 1985-97 said it was the school’s biggest athletics booster fundraiser each year. Rovtar officiated in this year’s KIT and thinks the basic purpose of the tournament is still in place.
Nothing comes easy in Division I district wrestling action, especially in Mentor, where wrestlers from teams like 2013 state runner-up Massillon Perry, Maple Heights and Madison compete for a shot to advance to the big show in Columbus.
The Solon and Kenston wrestling programs had more district eliminations than either wanted, but then so too did every other team at last week's tournament, which encompassed 49 teams throughout Northeast Ohio.
The Solon wrestling program was led by three champions for a runner-up finish during Friday and Saturday's 12-team Division I Austintown Fitch Sectional, while Kenston took fifth with three individual runners-up.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advanced to the Division I Northeast District tournament on Feb. 21 and 22 at Mentor, which also includes qualifiers from the Perry, Willoughby South and North Royalton sectionals. Forty-nine teams will be represented.
Mid-week duals have lost their luster over the years, as teams focus on big weekend tournaments.
The state dual tournament, implemented in Ohio for the first time last season, has helped re-emphasize the format. Kenston, hosting a quad with Riverside, Bedford and Cuyahoga Heights, earned two dual wins on Thursday, giving the Bombers something to build on.
Kenston beat Cuyahoga Heights, 45-18, before edging Riverside, 40-35. The Beavers started the evening by defeating Bedford, 42-31.
Kenston and Riverside both forfeited two matches and split the remaining 10. The Bombers won on bonus points, with four pins and a major decision.
The KIT is on December 27th and 28th. Student admission is $4 per session or 3 session pass of $10, Adult admission is $6 a session or 3 session pass for $15. Come down and support your team. This is one of the hardest tournaments of the year; the kids that place at this tournament are usually the kids that place at state. You will be seeing some of the best matches of the season. Shawn fowler said, "Hopefully we place first." There will be concession stands selling food and snacks. Hope to see you all there!
Cutting weight and getting in shape simultaneously in the early season makes the sport of wrestling just as demanding mentally as it is physically.
That showed through the beet red and purple cheeks of high school grapplers during third-period battles on the mat at Friday and Saturday's 29th annual Solon Comet Classic.
Twenty-five teams, 14 weight classes and about 300 wrestlers competed in 756 bouts.
The Kenston Bombers wrestling team wrestled in one of the toughest tournaments in the state this past Friday and Saturday, the Solon Comet Classic. It was a tough battle for all the wrestlers as the team took 16th overall out of 25 teams. Placing at the tournament was freshman Chris Pavone taking 8th place in the 106 pound weight class, senior Duncan Bauer taking 8th place in the 145 pound weight class, junior Carmen Gainguzzo taking 6th place in the 195 pound weight class, and senior Nolan Kondik with a 2nd place finish in the 170 pound weight class. Noah Georgian said, "It was a very exciting tournament to watch!" Good job boys and keep up the hard work.
If you haven't already, go and sign up for wrestling! If you don't know where to go, go to Mr. Murphy and he will give you a sign up sheet and a schedule for the whole season. Today we are also having the first open mat.