Eastwood's Jeremy Foster and Genoa's Kurt Wolff wrestle in the same weight class in the same league, so you would expect them to face off a fair number of times.
But they don't.
In fact, their battle in the 171-pound title match at the 25-team Mary Kerr Memorial Tournament at the Waite Fieldhouse last night was their first meeting this
"Since we're in different divisions, the only other time I'll see him is at the [Suburban Lakes] league meet," said Foster, who claimed a 10-4 decision. "Last year I was a projected state champ and I choked - I didn't even place. I have a lot to prove, so I've been working pretty hard.
"I won a lot of tournaments last year, and I found out they don't mean anything when you go to state. So I have to keep working hard and hopefully everything will fall into place."
Things fell into place for Foster in the final period. Trailing 3-2, Foster scored a quick escape, then a takedown and near-fall midway through the period to claim the victory.
"When I gave up a five-point move, that really set me back," said Wolff, who was Division III state runner-up at 160 last year. "I was trying to keep it close, but when I gave up the five-point move, that was it."
Foster was one of three individual champs for Eastwood, which finished second in the team standings. Reynoldsburg claimed its third consecutive Kerr title with 223 1/2 points to the Eagles' 176. Waite was third at 156 1/2.
"This tournament helps us gauge where we stand in northwest Ohio," Eastwood coach Ralph Cubberly said. "There are a lot of great kids and a lot of great coaches in this area."
The other winners for the Eagles were Jan Ulinski and Eric Cubberly, both of whom scored technical falls in the finals.
Ulinski took top honors at 125 with a deceptive 15-0 technical fall over Chris Lester of Reynoldsburg. Ulinski had a takedown in the final 10 seconds in each of the first two periods to carry a 4-0 lead into the final two minutes.
Then the senior scored three near-falls in the early part of the period to pull away.
"He was giving up the tilt, so I kept hitting him with that," Ulinski said. "He was wrestling really defensively, not giving up a whole lot. But I was able to pull it out."
Eric Cubberly had little trouble with Evan Roth of Whitmer, scoring five points on a takedown and near-fall late in the first period, then using the 'Eastwood Tilt' for three near-falls in the second period that resulted in a 15-0 technical fall.
"I was trying to keep turning him, trying to keep the pressure on him all match," said Cubberly, who was voted the tournament's most valuable wrestler. "I was trying to go for a pin at the end of the first period, so when I didn't get it I went for the tech fall."
Genoa's Nick Purdue, last year's Division III state champ at 171, claimed a 2-1 victory over Chris Iammarino of Lyndhurst Brush in a low-scoring, technical match at 189.
"I saw the kid wrestle at Medina, and I knew he was absolutely a brute," Purdue said. "He was really hard to score on, and it was hard to get in on his legs. So that was what I expected."
Purdue said the match was exactly what he needed to prepare for another title run.
"Tight matches where there aren't a lot of points are how you wrestle down at state," Purdue said. "Going out there and tech-falling some guy doesn't do you a whole lot of good."
Waite's Scott Fuller, who won the 112 crown at this tournament last season, earned the title at 119 by pinning Robbie Nein of Reynoldsburg at 4:43.
Fuller and Nein were tied 3-3 entering the final period before Fuller used a quick reversal to set up a pinning combination.
"When he first tilted me I got a little worried," Fuller said. "But when I rerolled him and got him on his back I knew I'd win the match.
"In the third period I picked it up. This tournament helps us a lot, gives me confidence and gives our team confidence heading into City [League tournament]."
Fuller was one of four Waite wrestlers to reach the finals but the only winner as Justin Guerra lost to Kyle Ciccarello of Brush at 112; Vinny Lopez lost to Sandusky's Nick Webb at 135; and Alex Herrick suffered a technical fall at the hands of Mt. Vernon's Michael Lybarger at 140.
Still the host Indians finished third, which pleased Waite coach Carmen Amenta.
"We had a pretty good night," he said. "Everyone wrestled tough, and I'm pretty happy with that. This is the last tournament for us, a real tester against some tough caliber kids."
Start's Roshawn Jones was runner-up at 145 after being pinned in the final by Ryan
Andreas of Hilliard Darby.
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