Beaver Local rallies to win EOWL tournament crown
West Branch won the Division II title and Jackson-Milton took Division III honors.
By MARK MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
AUSTINTOWN -- Beaver Local High, which finished second last year at the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League tournament, came from behind to take the championship Saturday night at Fitch High Falcon gymnasium.
The Beavers, behind by two points heading into the finals, won the overall crown with 207.5 points. Last year's champ, Fitch placed sixth with 126.5. Howland, the early leader, finished third with 160.
West Branch, sixth last year, was overall runner-up and the Division II champ with 190 points. Jackson-Milton was ninth overall and the Div. III champ with 92.5 points.
Hoppel defends: Adam Hoppel (27-2) of Beaver Local defended his 215-pound championship as he decisioned top-seed and previously unbeaten Marcus Adelman (28-1) of Alliance 2-1.
The Beavers' Jardon Williams took the 171-pound crown with a major decision, 13-4, over Bobby Poweski of Warren JFK.
"I am best on my feet," said Williams, "so I figured I could take him [Poweski] down and three times I did that.
"To take him down, I used a double leg hold, picked him, just tilted him and dropped him on the floor.
"Last year I finished second and the year before that third, so it was a big deal for me to win it this year."
"We placed second at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championships, so we wanted to come here and do well," Beaver Local coach Rich Wright said. "We compare this tournament to our district tournament. We tell our kids to place in the top four and you'll place in the top four at district and go to state."
Kyle Kemble (25-4) of Jackson-Milton defeated Stu Sanor of West Branch 3-2 in the 103-pound title.
"[Sanor] came into the tournament favored," said Kemble. "It's the first time we've wrestled each other this season, and I used a simple stand-up for an escape for the winning point.
"I don't want to lose another match until the sectional, so I came in here wrestled my best and came out on top."
Willie Rosa (21-7) of Boardman beat Jesse Handy of Alliance 5-2 for the 112-pound title.
"This means a lot to me," said Rosa. "I had lost five times to Handy, had never beaten him before and it's a great feeling, and I can take that confidence with me into the sectional.
"The competition in this class was really good. I hadn't wrestled any of the other guys and didn't know what to expect."
Maston in upset: Klynt Maston (29-2) of Canfield decisioned top-seeded Joe Murray of Fitch 6-0 for the 125-pound title.
"I scored four points during the match using the front head," said Maston. "It's where I snapped him down, and when he was on his knee, I grabbed his head and arm and stretched him out until his knee came close to me, and I turned the corner."
Ryan Gilliam (18-5) of Howland beat Scott Rogers of Liberty 3-1 for the 140-pound title.
"[Rogers] beat me earlier at the Howland Invitational, so I really worked hard at practice the past two weeks to turn it around," said Gilliam. "I knew he would be hard to take down because he was taller than me, but I wanted to take a win into the postseason and now I'll have a better chance to place than if I had lost the match."
In an interesting heavyweight championship match, top-seed Steve Vallos (24-0) of Boardman fell behind early, but came on strong to decision junior Seth Sharp of West Branch 6-3 for the title.
In the 189-pound championship match, junior Drew Newhart of West Branch (23-2) blanked senior Travis Beckett (23-7) of Fitch 1-0.
Stellato rolls: Top-seed Tony Stellato of the Spartans was the 119 champ as he decisioned Salem's Jason Mullins 7-3 and Boardman's Brian Thompson defeated Jeremy Shaw 8-6 for the 145 title.
Sean Dreger of Alliance decisioned Jared Hoppel of Beaver Local for the 130 title. Bob Brenner, 152, won 9-2 over Eric Chine of Fitch.
Joe Montgomery, 135, of Alliance won a major decision, 14-4, over Jon Varner of Beaver Local.