Valley wrestlers are Top Guns at Alliance
By Brian Dzenis
Don’t try to show up Mahoning Valley wrestlers, especially those ranked No. 1 in the state.
Don’t try and show off against Girard heavyweight Jack DelGarbino. Don’t push West Branch’s Christian Wayt after the whistle. It’s nothing they haven’t seen before and they know what to do — make opponents look foolish.
“Guys want to beat me in spectacular fashion, and it puts them in bad positions,” DelGarbino said.
DelGarbino — ranked No. 1 for his weight in Division II — had all of his opponents in a bad place in the Alliance Top Gun wresting tournament, pinning all four opponents to win the heavyweight title at one of the state’s most prestigious two-day tournaments that attracts powerhouses from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
All three counties in the Mahoning Valley claimed a title on Saturday. Joining DelGarbino were Wayt (120), Austintown Fitch’s Gus Sutton (126) and Michael Ferree (160) and Beaver Local’s Cole McComas (113).
DelGarbino’s Top Gun stint was a snapshot of his season, said Indians coach Jim Cardiero. At 18-0 for the year, he’s won all but one of his matches by pin.
“He’s a strong kid and he likes to get the pins so he can get off the mat,” Cardiero said.
Wayt — ranked No. 1 in D-II — let it be known he wasn’t going to be disrespected in a tournament that is essentially in the Warriors’ back yard.
Wayt and Issac Crowell of Fort Leboeuf, Pa., were tied at 3 in the second period of their finals match when the Warriors’ junior broke the bout open with a takedown and near pin and got an additional point when Crowell was called for putting his hand on Wayt’s face. The pair scrambled and fell out of bounds. As Wayt got back on his feet, Crowell pushed Wayt’s head with one hand after wrestling was blown dead. Crowell made his displeasure known to both referees before he was penalized again and play resumed. Wayt won, 13-6.
“I’m not a cheap wrestler. I like aggressiveness and going 100 percent out there,” Wayt said. “It’s wrestling and you have to be mean out there, but some of the cheap stuff? I don’t like that.”
Austintown Fitch played the role of being one of the Valley’s deepest teams with a wrestler in each weight class and winning at least a match. The Falcons were the runner up in team play with 152.5 points to winner Akron St. Vincent-Saint Mary’s 182 points.
“I think its the second time we’ve taken second —we’ve never won it,” Falcons coach John Burd said. “Having two champs is awesome, having three finalists was even better.”
Fitch’s two title matches were overtime affairs. Sutton’s opponent, Joey Miller of Musselman, W.Va., tried to sit on a 1-0 lead, but took a stalling penalty with 10 seconds left in regulation. Sutton had the deciding takedown in extra time.
“After I got the stalling call, I realized I had a better chance of winning. I didn’t think I would get it,” Sutton said. “He didn’t take a shot on me the whole time and I felt pretty good that he wouldn’t be able to score on me.”
Ferree’s match with North Canton Hoover’s Luke Reicosky was settled by a fleeing call for a 6-5 win in an ultimate tie-breaker. Boos rained on the officials as the fans wanted the match to conclude with an actual wrestling move. Breylin Douglas (195) was the lone area finals to come up short, dropping a 6-2 decision to Hoover’s Ben Smith.
In Beaver Local’s first trip to Top Gun, the reigning state finalist proved the Beavers belonged in Alliance. McComas needed just a first-period takedown and a third-period escape to take a 3-2 win against Jacob Sherman of Huntington, W.Va.
Boardman’s highest placer was Mike O’Horo (182), who finished in third place.