Multiple Teams · The Blue Bombers

Obtained From Medina Gazette

By: Brad Bournival

Brunswick turns heads and upends favored Grizzlies for first sectional title

WADSWORTH — Brunswick wrestling coach Mike Koshar racked his brain and couldn’t come up with an answer. Former Blue Devils wrestlers took their best guesses but didn’t have anything concrete, either. A phone call to former coach Gary Eaton late Saturday night finally confirmed what many thought was true.

When Brunswick won the Wadsworth Division I Sectional title on Saturday, it marked the first time the Blue Devils won a sectional crown. “It’s pretty amazing,” returning state runner-up Nicky Kiussis said. “I definitely think we’re improving. “We’re doing really well. This will keep spirits up in the practice room and keep pushing us.” Wrestling with a full lineup for the first time all season, the Blue Devils beat Wadsworth by 19 points to also end an 11-year skid in which they didn’t finish in the top two. That streak snapped with an exclamation point, as the Blue Devils had champions Matt Fields (106 pounds), Garrett Lambert (126), Josh Heil (132), Kiussis (138), Frank Tusick (160) and Aaron Naples (195). D.J. Skiba (113), Christian Camacho (152), Branden Bryant (170) and Colin Sustersic (220) finished runners-up as the Blue Devils sent 10 individuals to the Cleveland State District on Friday. Mike Bekeny (182) will head downtown as an alternate.

There were fireworks, too, as Tusick and projected state champion Shane Mast of Wadsworth met in the finals. Trailing by three points heading into the third, Tusick roared back to force overtime. Mast got in deep on a shot in the extra session, but Tusick stood him up and bear hugged him for a 7-5 win. “I didn’t think I had it in me,” Tusick said. “I was ready. I don’t know. I’m at a loss for words. I got angry. I was happy with just getting it to overtime, then I realized, ‘Why would I just be happy?’ I wanted to go after it.” Not to be outdone, the Grizzlies had a solid showing with Noah Baughman (113), Connor Gray (120), Joey Baughman (145) and Tim Knipl (170) winning titles. Mast joined Brock Swartzbaugh (106), Darrin Gilkerson (132), Cody Surratt (138), Evan Goebel (182), Chris Suarez (195) and Kyle Green (220) as placers.

Wadsworth finished runner-up for the fourth year in a row, but had 11 district qualifiers. It marked the 15th straight year the Grizzlies finished in the top two. Corey Riggenbach (126) and Mitch Frisby (152) will head to Cleveland State as alternates. “We’ll take 11,” Wadsworth coach John Gramuglia said. “We wanted to put on a good show for the fans. We take a lot of pride in it, but I’ll tell you what, Brunswick wrestled fantastic.

Hats off to them and their coaching staff.” Medina had runner-up finishes from Brady Chrisman (132) and Zack DeFraine (152) and district-qualifying appearances from Mark Antonelli (145), Alex Sadowsky (170) and Kurt Kumhall (182. Chrisman highlighted the fight for the Bees, erasing a five-point third period deficit against Gilkerson in the semifinals to score a takedown with less than a second and win 7-6. “It’s the little things now,” Medina coach Chad Gilmore said. “With the good kids, you have to create your opportunities. He recognized a throw coming, kept his hips in position and capitalized. It’s great confidence to know you’re never out of a match.” Max Schaefer (113) and Alex DeFraine (160) were district alternates for the Bees. Highland will send Ryan Wissel (106), Tyler Wissel (113) and Marko Vilimonovic (120) to district and will have David McCormick (132) as an alternate.

DISTRICT QUALIFIERS DIVISION I (10 Qualifiers) Brunswick: Matt Fields (106 pounds), D.J. Skiba (113), Garrett Lambert (126), Josh Heil (132), Nicky Kiussis (138), Christian Camacho (152), Frank Tusick (160), Branden Bryant (170), Aaron Naples (195), Colin Sustersic (220).