Wrestling sectionals begin today
By John Bassetti
Wrestling sectional tournaments for area teams at three sites are in store starting today.
With Canfield dropping down to Division II, junior Robby Reed (125) will try to extend his 33-4 record and give the Cardinals a shot at the title at the West Branch sectional.
Jackson-Milton’s 112-pounder, Vinnie Pizzuto, has rebounded from a knee injury that sidelined him most of the season, but the junior (10-3) has his eye on a Div. III sectional crown at Rootstown.
Pizzuto, a sixth-place finisher at state at 103 pounds last winter, should be a No. 1 seed at Rootstown.
The Div. I sectional will be held at Austintown Fitch High where Boardman, Howland and Fitch wrestlers will be in action.
Jackson-Milton last won a Div. III sectional championship at Rootstown in 2004, so the Bluejays would like to put a dent in the standings when weight-class championships are decided Saturday night.
The Bluejays’ other state placers in action will be a pair of juniors: Tim Wiseman (26-3, 119) and Johnny Matacic (27-5, 130).
Wiseman was seventh in state at 112 and Matacic was seventh at 125.
Junior Alex Tomaino (25-8, 135) didn’t make the trip to Columbus last year, but he’s prepared to give it his best shot again.
Senior Anthony Tomaino (22-10, 160) and juniors Dylan Tomaino (17-11, 152) and Tyler Collins (14-10, 145) are also looking to advance.
Coach Dave Tomaino said Wiseman is his highest-ranked wrestler at No. 3 state-wide.
“We’ve been to the best tournaments [Hephner, Brecksville, Solon, EOWL] in the state, so our kids are battled-tested and ready,” said Dave Tomaino. “I can’t image a Div. III school in the state having a more difficult schedule than ours.”
Winners at Rootstown advance to the Maple Heights district.
Other schools joining Jackson-Milton will be Brookfield, Liberty, South Range, Warren JFK, Western Reserve, Girard, Wellsville, Garrettsville Garfield, Mogadore, St. Thomas Aquinas, Waterloo, Rootstown and Leetonia.
Canfield was in Div. I for two years before its boys count in grades 10-12 dropped.
“It gets a little frustrating at times,” Canfield coach Dean Conley said of the divisional ups and downs.
Canfield’s other hopefuls are: junior Alex Benedict (33-9, 130); senior Leo Daprile, (20-7, 135) and senior Mark Douglass, (23-10, 215).
Several others in the mix will be: freshman Anthony Spencer (19-13 at 103), junior Ethan Olson (19-11 at 112); junior Lucas Daprile (18-12, 140) and junior Eric Mirto (23-16, 152).