Boardman, Fitch wrestlers off to strong start

Division I sectional tournament

continues today in Austintown

By brandon judeh


Anyone familiar with the sport of wrestling knows about all of the hard work and dedication each individual puts forth during the year.

All of the sacrifices and months of preparation came to a head on Friday as Austintown Fitch high school hosted a Division I sectional tournament.

Local teams, Fitch and Boardman, were well represented as both looked to take their first step toward the district tournament.

The Spartans were near the top of the team standings from the start, thanks to the likes of Nick Mancini (113 pounds), Peter Ryan (126), Mario Graziani (132) and Justin Humphreys (220).

“We are wrestling really good,” Boardman coach Dom Mancini said. “We had a nice showing here in the first round and I am very happy with our performance.”

Also advancing for the Spartans were Joe Cordova (182), Matt Inghram (138) and Kyle Kondas (145).

After one round of matches, the Spartans are in prime position to send all of their wrestlers to the district tournament. They are currently fourth with 66 points.

“Coming into tonight our goal was to finish in the top three (out of 11 teams), our guys are wrestling very good, so hopefully we can carry this momentum into tomorrow,” Mancini said.

Inghram agrees.

“We are doing a great job and it would be nice to get as many guys as possible into districts,” he said. “As a team, we are feeling good and we plan on carrying this momentum over into tomorrow.”

The host Falcons also had a strong showing during day one of the two-day tournament.

Fitch coach Brett Powell says that his team is doing well in the tournament compared to last year.

“We’re night and day from where we were last year,” he said. “We have two guys left to wrestle tonight and if they both win, then all 13 of our guys will be eligible to wrestle tomorrow.”

The final two Falcons were able to win in the consolation bracket and will have a chance for at least one more match tomorrow, meaning every Falcon who participated today, will do so tomorrow.

One of the Falcons who enjoyed an undefeated day was Camran Rezapourian (170).

“I expected to move on to tomorrow, but my goal is to win this tournament, not just to move on,” Rezapourian said.

Ge also said that it’s a great feeling to know that all of his hard work has paid off.

“Knowing that your moving on to the next tournament makes you feel like your moving up the ladder,” Rezapourian said. “I put in so much hard work during the offseason and season, so to see it pay off is great, I just have to keep fighting until the end.”

Hudson is the overall leader with 93.50 points followed by Kenston (70.50) and Cuyahoga Falls (67). Fitch is eighth with 43 points.

The action gets started again at 10 a.m. today, with the finals at approximately 3:30 p.m. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will move on to districts, as will the top four teams.

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