Falls wrestling takes fourth at Hudson tournament

By Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

Hudson -- After his team's disastrous dual-meet loss at Brunswick Dec. 12, Cuyahoga Falls wrestling coach Craig Wilson needed a big turnaround for his boys.

After the Hudson Holiday Tournament, Wilson had his smile back.

Falls finished fourth at Hudson with 141 points, finishing just behind Crestwood (145.5) and just ahead of Hudson (139).

Parma won the team title with 196.5 points. The tournament took place at Dec. 14 and 15.

Wilson said he was happy with his entire team at Hudson.

"I'm really happy with the kids," Wilson said. Everybody won at least one match. That's the kind of thing you need to do well in tournaments."

The only downer for the Black Tigers was the fact they did not have the best session during the placement matches, going 3-of-7 including losses in both title matches.

"We lost to all good kids in the matches we lost," Wilson said. "I'm not too concerned."

Falls had a much better tournament when compared to last season, when Falls went 0-of-6 in placement matches.

Hopes were high 195-pounder Joe Repasky could bring home his first Hudson title. After a bye, Repasky scored a 6-1 win over Hudson's Zach Vehar and scored a 3-1 win over archrival Gage Finegan of Stow-Munroe Falls. Wilson said the match with Finegan was mirror image of their first match, as a Repasky scored a late takedown to reach the final.

In the final, however, Parma's Justin Halaska slowed the pace down and was able to squeeze out a 5-2 win.

Sophomore 126-pounder Cole Oldham also reached the final from the No. 2-seed spot.

Oldham pinned Maple Heights' Darnell Wells in 1:16, scored a 15-0 technical fall over Norton's AJ Ritzman and beat Brunswick's Zack Taylor 4-3 to reach the final.

In the final, however, Oldham seemed to be a bit outclassed by Akron Buchtel's Nevin Strobell-McCann. Strobell-McCann won the title via a 13-3 major decision, becoming the first Griffen ever to win a title at Hudson.

Coach Wilson said that 160-pounder Austyn Wilson was the spark plug for the Black Tigers Dec. 15.

After opening with a 16-0 technical fall over Norton's Mike Nunez, Wilson lost a 7-4 decision to Hudson's Michael Coleman.

Wilson rebounded with a 4-0 win over Brunswick's Mike Bekeny and then pinned Hoban's Nick Schondel to earn his spot on the podium.

However, coach Wilson said his nephew earned the biggest win for the team when he squeezed out a 3-2 win over Maple Heights' Deshon Johnson.

"Austyn beating the kid from Maple really got us going," coach Wilson said.

The younger Wilson didn't stop there, as he defeated Parma's Pat Juhn 8-3 in the third-place match.

Coach Wilson had another nephew take third place after some nice work in the consolation brackets, as 220-pounder Rudy Ware also got up for third.

Ware opened with a 37-second pin over Buchtel's George Harris, but was then pinned himself in 29 seconds by top-seeded Sean Rutherford of Norton.

Once in the consolation bracket, Ware was unstoppable. He pinned Parma's Matt Driver in 58 seconds, won by forfeit over Hoban's Jolewis Washington and pulled out a 4-2 win over New Philadephia's Jeff Virden.

Ware capped his tournament by pinning Copley's Austin Lewarchik in 1:44 in the third-place match.

Falls also got a fourth-place finish from 120-pounder Mitch Hannan, a fifth-place finish from 182-pounder Drew Paster and a sixth-place finish from heavyweight Sampson Demand.

Up next, Falls will make its annual trip to West Virginia for the Wheeling Park Duals Dec. 28 and 29.

E-mail:mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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