Monday, November 19, 2007

We've moved!

We've moved the NW Ohio Wrestling Blog for the 2007-08 season. Same stuff just in a different place. You can visit us at

Friday, April 20, 2007

New OHSAA enrollment figures mean changes

The new OHSAA enrollment numbers are out and there are going to be a few changes in the Northwest District next season.
The number of teams in Divisions I and II will get a bit smaller in the Northwest District while there will be a few more teams in Division III in all likelyhood.
Toledo Libbey’s enrollment numbers are have dropped like a rock and they will more than likely solidly be Division II next year. Celina should also drop down from Division I to Division II.
I imagine they’ll stick Celina in the Fostoria Sectional with the rest of the Western Buckeye League schools while Libbey could end up at the Oak Harbor Sectional. With 226 boys in the top three grades Ottawa-Glandorf will probably move back up to Division II from Division III.
The Titans have struggled enough in recent years in the small school divisionl. Trying to compete in D-II will be nearly impossible for the rebuilding Titans.
Four teams will probably be moving down from Division II to Division III.
Edison, Lake and Ontario all look to be headed down along with Division III newcomer Port Clinton.
The Chargers, Flyers and Warriors have all been in Division III previously but it will be the first foray into the small-school division for the Redskins.
I always wondered why Port Clinton struggled so much in wrestling. As a Sandusky Bay Conference school I would think they would be able to get it together. We’ll see how they fare.
This of course is assuming the cutoffs will be similar to last season’s. The OHSAA will set the new cutoffs for its winter sports divisions at its June or July board of control meeting.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ohio School of Wrestling coming to St. Wendy

OK here’s a good opportunity to get some solid wrestling training in from excellent clinicians at little cost. And honestly I don’t know of another Hancock County area school that’s putting on their own camp this summer. If you’re interested give my man Bryan Lippert a call or email…

Fostoria St. Wendelin will be hosting the Ohio School of Wrestling July 23-26 in the high school gymnasium.
Several past Ohio high school wrestling standouts and collegiate All-Americans will serve as clinicians. Among them will be Drew and Jared Opfer, Harry Lester, C.P. Schlatter, Ryan Lang, Tanner Shearer, Jeff Ratliff, Kyle Ott, Ryan Hurley, Mike Hurley, Jake Percival and Josh Moore.
The commuter camp will be for 3rd thru 12th graders. The cost will is $125 if paid by April 25, $150 before May 20 and $175 at the door. The OSW will also have 2 overnight camps in Sandusky The weeks of July 8-July 12 and August 19-August 24. These camps are for 7th through 12th graders. For more information, contact coach Bryan Lippert at (419) 619-0599 or via email at

ALLEN EAST - Jeremy Hutchinson, Garrett Freeman, Mike Walters, Jeremy Pryer,
Tyler Sneary
BLUFFTON - Clay Atkins, Tyler Rayl, Ryan Johnston,Tyrel Nuzum,
Kyle Begg, Zach Domer, Jesse Herr, Josh Falk
COLUMBUS GROVE - Andrew Cress, Michael Goedde, Travis Tourjee, Tyler Oney, Alex Bell
DELPHOS JEFFERSON - Keith Burritt, Andrew Swick, Taylor Andrews, Murry Etzkorn,
Stuart Miller, Adam Wollenhaupt, Cade Bevington, Braytan Kruse, Mark McElroy
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC - Scott Kayatin, Michael Tremoulis, Adam Geiger, Chris O'Brien,
Nicolus Hinegardner, Joseph Shanahan
LINCOLNVIEW - Kirk Bonifas, James Brake, Mark Brake, Cole Hanf, Cody Lape,
Josten Mengerink, Mick Myers, Derek Poling, James Wiseman
PAULDING - Jared Deatrick, Dustin Carnahan, Derek Koch, Kevin Mumma, Brian Porter,
Lucas Tracy, Brandon Schang
SPENCERVILLE - Jesse Brenneman, Robert Brenneman, Justin Caudill, Zac Clum

Monday, April 02, 2007

Alexander second at frosh nationals

Findlay High School wrestler Michael Alexander posted a 3-1 record on his way to a second-place finish at the National High School Coaches Association national freshman tournament.

Alexander, a freshman district qualifier for FHS last season, dropped a 5-0 decision to New York’s Angelo Malvestuto in the championship match.

A pair of Arcadia wrestlers competed in the NHSCA national junior tournament. Mason True (160) posted a 1-2 record, while Lee Schumaker was 0-2 at 130 pounds. Findlay’s Matt Alexander was also 0-2.

Not much hardware coming home from Virginia Beach for the local boys but then again this isn’t a local dual meet between Hancock County schools either. They are wrestling against some of the best wrestlers in the nation. What I do like about it, is that the Alexander boys and Arcadia duo are even wrestling in this tournament.
That tells me they are doing everything they can to get better — that impresses me and I’m not easily impressed.
Those are the kind of kids I always loved on my wrestling team when I coached.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Time to dress up the tournaments

Another reflection by BG Sentinel Tribune sports writer and former Elmwood coach Joe Szymczak. This time it's on making tournament's better...

A long time ago, about 20 years, University of Michigan coach Dale Bahr told me the Ohio High School wrestling tournament was the best in the country and this was before it was at the Schott. The only better one in the U.S was the NCAA nationals. After what I saw last weekend he was right. The NCAAs were very similar to the OHSAA tourney. It was very fan friendly.

Their announcers were the best. They would announce who was on deck.
They would bring attention to and exciting match going on at the time so spectators could refocus on that match, and they would read the results of each weight class after it was completed so you could complete your brackets. These additions would make the Ohio tourney much better.

This brings me to a critique of local high school wrestling. Many of the local tourneys are not fan friendly. I went to the Van Buren tourney this season and I was impressed at how well it was run and Dave Lee’s dual meet tourney is also pretty fan friendly, but for the most part the duals tourneys are run like cock fights. Many have score boards (most of the times not in the line of sight of all spectators) for the individuals matches, but not posting the teams score. They often lack the weight class. As the duals wind down during a round the other wresters use the open mats to warm up. Often this obscures the vision of the spectators. They gather around the one remaining mat to make it look like a cock fight. Better score boards and better security would help spectators in the traditional tourneys also.

Wrestling need to dress-up tourneys and cut down the number of dual meet events, because they are just too long, if they want to attract more spectators. Wresting is a great sport and we as avid supporters need to do things to attract the casual fan not just the zealots.

-- Joe Szymczak

UF Roughnecks are all-academic

Four University of Findlay wrestlers earned honors as the NCAA Division II wrestling coaches released its all-academic teams for the 2007-07 season.
As a team, the Roughnecks ranked fifth in the country with a team 3.197 grade point average. Truman State led the
way with a 3.443 grade point average.
Findlay senior Andy Uhl was a first team all-academic selection for the fourth straight year. UF’s first NCAA four-time All-American has a 111-35 career record and a 3.117 GPA in hostpitality management.
Sophomore Travis Clark, a Hoytville native and 285-pound All-American, made the second team with a 3.81 GPA in criminal justice. Sophomore 197-pounder Andy Zalaiskalns also made the second team. He has a 3.87 GPA as a physical education major.
Bluffton native Justin Shannon made the honorable mention list for the Roughnecks. UF’s 165-pound reshirt freshman is a mathematics major with a 3.70 GPA.

State titles whetted Coleman’s appetite
Layoff pays off for Galion All-American
Jude Roth: Going out in style

Sunday, March 18, 2007

NCAA Division I Tourney

How ‘about some college wrestling reflections by none other than Joe Szymczak former Elmwood coach who now writes about wrestling for the BG Sentinel Tribune.
Here’s Joe’s take on the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament held over the weekend at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Just back from the real madness in March, the 2007 Division National Championships in Auburn Hills Michigan, the home grown talent did rather well. The state of Ohio was represented with 12 All-Americans.

Here’s my take on what I observed. Let’s start with the Buckeye home boys. Take it from me I think coach Ryan is going to it make much better for OSU fans. (and this is coming from a Michigan Fan). J.D. Bergman of Oak Harbor at 197 lost in the first round to Jared Villars of Akron but rolled on to place fourth. He did a great job against Davis of Penn State in the consi semis. After he lost his first round match he was really smooth on his feet and on top until the finals. Lance Palmer of St EDs at 149 Lost to Dustin Schlatter of er …well name a school 1-0 for fourth. He dropped his semifinal match to Ryan Churella of Michigan at 5-2. Churella took him down twice. I think he has his number. Palmer was really aggressive on his feet and wrestled well. We’ll talk about the Schlatters later. Jeff Jaggers at 141 may have done his best wrestling of the year in this tourney. He did well against Morgan of Okie State losing 3-2 and the rolled off three in a row in the consis. Lost in the consi semifinals and then took seventh place. It was quite a performance for a guy that came in at 16-8. Mike Pucillo of Strongsville at 184 dropped to the consolation after the second round then he really dominated his next four opponents, but lost a last second thriller to Kish of Minnesota in the consi semis. He was pinned by Tyrell Todd of Michigan in the fifth place match when it looked like he was going to take the Wolverine down. TJ Enright Galloway (133) won one and Chris Vondruska of Bay was two and out.

Speaking of Michigan Steve Luke (174) of Massillon Perry had a great tourney he took fifth but lost three matches one by a point and two in overtime. He executed a great stand up all tourney but got stoned in the second period by Mason of Okie State, who used his legs and rode him like a Cowboy. Ryan Lang (133) of St. Eds and Northwestern charged in to the tourney undefeated and was a juggernaut on his feet at 141 all the way to the finals. Derek Moore of UC Davis turned him while riding with a cross body and laid a few near fall points on Lang, enough to tech fall him in the finals and win the outstanding wrestler. If you are expecting to wrestle DI in college your better learn to wrestle on the mat, and you better learn to get out. I didn’t see a lot of double boots just cross body and hip riding. The refs are slow in calling stalling on the mat in college. I didn’t see as much kick ‘em out and takedown. Luke and Lang learned that lesson. Northwestern’s and Galion’s Dustin Fox finished third. He looks bigger and stronger than ever and he took third. His only loss was to Watterson, who also beat for third. With Konrad the champ form Minnesota moving on he could be the guy next year at 285.

About the Schlatters of er…. You know, they are great wrestlers and are very talented, but the wrestling style they have developed at Minnesota is successful, boring and bad for the sport. People like to see talent shown to them, but the score and then play defense style of match is what makes most 285 pound matches a little less exciting than the other weight classes. It came back to bite them in the butt. When they needed a takedown late they couldn’t get it. I realize one of them was wrestling injured and I believe they are talented I would just like to see it. Josh Zupancic of Stanford and Akron lost to 1-0 to CP in the consi semis and then finished seventh. At 165 Deonte Penn of Edinboro and Solon beat freshman Mike Miller of Central Michigan and Uniontown for seventh.

As a side bar and pet peeve of mine I didn’t see one coach in jeans or tee shirts on the floor of the tourney unlike the Ohio state tourney. It must be something about professionalism. I could never imagine going to a state basketball tourney and see jeans and tees on the coaches. It’s a good way to tell who the coaches are, but that’s for another day (if Baker ever let’s me again)
— Joe Szymczak

NOTE: To readers with Joe's wrestling background he's always welcome here!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Guerra wins NCAA title

Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately but my employer has had me following that big orange melon they call a basketball all around Northwest Ohio the past few weeks.
Last weekend, the University of Findlay finished 12th at the NCAA Division II national championships. I think the Roughnecks were 10th in the final coaches’ poll and why they don’t get any more respect than they do is beyond me.
Junior Tony Guerra, a Toledo Waite graduate, won his second NCAA title at 157 pounds. Another NW Ohio wrestler, Travis Clark of Hoytville and McComb High School was fourth in the 285 pound division.
2005 NCAA champ and ‘06 runner up Andy Uhl was sixth at 133 pounds. He lost a tight match in the semifinals and dropped a 1-point decision to the defending NCAA champ Brett Allgood of Nebraska-Kearney in the consolation semifinals. Those consolation semifinals are tricky, especially for those wrestlers with a championship dream. You lose in the semis, your dream is dashed and you have just 45 minutes to readjust your goals and get set for another tough bout. I definitely feel for Andy because I have seen with my own eyes for the last four years what a competitor he is.
With the return of Guerra, Clark and 197-pound NCAA qualifier Andy Zalaiskalns things look pretty good for the Roughnecks for next season. They’ll hopefully get Sean Dong’s academic troubles straightened out and add another talented wrestler in Bluffton’s four time state placer and three-time finalist Josh Falk.

Reed is Ashland area’s wrestler of the year
Gutsy decisions makes Tonn Ashland area coach of the year
Ashland Times-Gazette All-Area wrestling team
Ashland Times-Gazette All-Area wrestling team bios