Crawford, six Canfield teammates headed to state wrestling
Cardinals secure four
championships in D-II
competition at Alliance
By Brian Dzenis
David Crawford didn’t need overtime this time around.
Last year, Canfield’s 182-pounder met Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s David Heath in last year’s 170-pound district final and it took double-overtime and an officiating controversy before Crawford scored the winning reversal with seconds winding down in a 3-2 victory.
Saturday night’s matchup between the Canfield and SVSM senior was supposed to be one for the ages. Crawford is the state’s top wrestler for his weight class and right at No. 2 is Heath. Three takedowns and an escape later, Crawford maintained his supremacy against the Irish wrestler for a 7-3 decision in regulation.
Heath is known to be defensive wrestler and didn’t attempt to score on Crawford until the third period, freeing himself up to a relentless assault.
“I could set him up because he was holding my wrist and backing away. I could definitely get around him and get some good angles,” Crawford said. “It was a confidence-boosting win.”
Crawford is one of a school-record seven wrestlers moving on to the state tournament. David, along with younger brother Nick Crawford (195) and teammates Anthony D’Alesio (170) and Tyler Stein (220) do so as district champions. Heavyweight Dan Kapalko goes as a third-place finisher while David Reinhart (152) and Ethan Fletcher (106) each took fourth.
“It’s just a credit to the work that we put in. We like the craziness of it and we’ll try to get eight next year,” Canfield coach Stephen Pitts said. “These records were meant.”
Of the six district title winners in Alliance on Saturday, Stein was the only one who needed extra time. He opened overtime with a takedown of Howland’s Brandon Matlock.
“It was really exciting. We’ve wrestled each other three different times. We know what each other does,” Stein said. “I had to be patient with the huge crowd and every thing and it all just added up.”
The Mahoning Valley is sending 23 wrestlers to the state tournament across all three divisions and four districts.
West Branch’s Christian Wayt (113) won his first district title in a 5-3 decision against Lousiville’s Ryan Jakubiak. He got the deciding five points in the second period when started out on bottom, but was able to score a reversal for two points and then nearly pinned Jakubiak for three more.
Wayt makes it to Columbus undefeated after missing both the Division II state dual regionals and the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League tournament.
Warriors coach Chris Dorris is taking Kenny Marra (195) with Wayt to Columbus, but took a tough blow when Dylan Miller (152) injured his knee and failed to qualify. Miller was a returning state qualifier and a favorite to win a title in Alliance.
“In his go-to match, he popped his knee pretty good and for that kid to wince in pain like that, it’s unheard of,” Dorris said. “That kid is probably the toughest we have in our room, but when he screamed in pain I knew it was serious.”
Girard junior Jack DelGarbino (285) said he can bench 405 pounds and squat at least 655 and he showed it Saturday night, lifting Alliance’s Alex Leasure off the ground and putting him on his back for a pin and his second district title just seconds into the bout.
DIVISION I-NORTH CANTON HOOVER
Austintown Fitch’s Gus Sutton (126) defeated Shaker Heights’ Jaivon Jones, 2-0, to earn his first district title. Michael Ferree (160), made it as far as the district finals, but fell to the host school’s Luke Reicosky, 3-2. Breylon Douglas (195) makes his first trip to state as a third-place finisher.
None of Boardman’s wrestlers placed.
Cole McComas (113) was Beaver Local’s lone district champion among its four state qualifiers. The returning state finalist won an 8-4 decision against Steubenville’s Peyton Blasko.
East Liverpool freshman Howard Williams (106) is the first Potters wrestler going to Columbus since Alex Potts did so in 2015. He took third with a 2-0 decision against Hartley’s Michael Petrella.
DIVISION III-GARFIELD HEIGHTS
Crestview’s Andrew Hardenbrook (145) is the Rebels’ first state qualifier since his older brother, Matt, made state in 2013. Matt took fifth place in Columbus as the school’s lone state placer. Andrew — who took third in districts — will be joined by teammate and fourth-place finisher and EOWL tournament finalist Landon Talbert (195).
South Range’s Kyle Keenan (113) returned to state for the second straight year after finishing in fourth place.