PREP WRESTLING Wrestlers seek third EOWL crowns
Two Fitch athletes are among the favorites at the tournament.
HUBBARD -- A pair of Austintown Fitch High athletes will seek their third Eastern Ohio Wrestling League championships this weekend at the annual tournament.
The event will be hosted by Hubbard High School, starting Friday at 5 p.m. with two rounds in the championship bracket and one round of consolations.
The meet continues Saturday at 10 a.m. and concludes with the championship and consolation finals, starting at 6 p.m.
Saturday evening's session will also be highlighted by the introduction of the EOWL Hall of Fame inductees.
Fitch's Fred Weidenthal, a senior, and Nick Bodnar, a junior, will each try to win his third league title.
Many placers return
Overall, 58 of last year's 84 placers return, including defending weight class champions Nick Dierkes of Jackson-Milton, Andy Lamancusa of West Branch, Adam Chizmar of Boardman, R.J. Donadee of Fitch and Jimmy Bowersock of Beaver Local.
Dierkes was a state runner-up last year, while Weidenthal, Bodnar and Bowersock were all state qualifiers.
Other wrestlers expected to contend for championships are Howland senior Rob Holbert, who was sixth in the state last year; West Branch's Nathan Sharp and Eric Morrow; Jackson-Milton's Jake Hambrick; Tristan Thompson and Dave Dillon of Brookfield, and Beaver Local's Derrick Caudill, Grant Hoppel and Shawn Dunn.
Prior to the finals, eight EOWL alumni will be inducted into the hall of fame. They are Steve Sletvold of Fitch, who was the NHSCA 171-pound national champion in 1977; Greg Faunda of Fitch, the 215-pound state champion in 1977; Ben Hahlen of Jackson-Milton, state runner-up at 130 pounds in 1995; David Lucas of Liberty, the 1981 state runner-up at heavyweight; Craig Jennings of Howland, the 1977 state runner-up at 167 pounds; Ken Spiva of Warren Western Reserve, the first EOWL state placer, who was fourth at 98 pounds in 1970; Mel Fenger, coach at Warren Western Reserve from 1968-73; and Paul Chestnut, an official.
All tickets at the gate are general admission and will cost $5 per session for adults and $3 per session for students. Adults may purchase a tournament pass (all three sessions) for $12.