Wrestling takes over at Fitch, Howland

Staff report

Two prestigious wrestling tournaments will be conducted in the area this weekend.

The Josh Hephner Memorial will be hosted by Austintown Fitch High School, where nearly 40 schools will compete.

First-round action is scheduled to begin on Friday at 4 p.m.

Competiton will continue on Saturday at 9 a.m., with the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

In addition to the host Falcons, other area teams scheduled to participate are Boardman, Brookfield, Girard, Hubbard, Jackson-Milton, Liberty, Poland and Salem.

Lake won the 2011 team championship, defeating Copley and Medina.

Individual champions included Vinnie Pizzuto and Johnny Matacic of Jackson-Milton, and John Dillon of Boardman. Pizzuto and Matacic have graduated, but Dillon, now a senior, returns to defend his title for the Spartans. Boardman’s Nick Mancini was second last year, and Jamie Jameson of Fitch was third. Other placers back are Peter Ryan and Nico Graziani of Boardman.


The Howland Invitational will be held for the 51st time, maintaining its status as the second-longest consecutive run event in Ohio, behind North Canton’s 52-year event.

Teams in the Howland Invitational are Cranberry (Pa.), Eastlake North, Franklin (Pa.), Ashtabula Lakeside, Liberty, Northwestern (Pa.), Salem and South Range.

Howland is the defending champion, and four wrestlers return to defend their titles — Howland’s J.R. Perry, Alex Cornicelli and Gabe Stark, and Kyle Conel of Lakeside.

The tournament will begin at 10 a.m., with the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

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