Improvement is 'obvious' for grapplers, coach says

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Aurora -- It wasn't a great week for the Greenmen varsity wrestling team, as it lost three dual matches to Nordonia, Twinsburg and Crestwood, but coach Dick Bliss said individual improvement was "obvious."

Aurora lost to Nordonia 55-9 and Twinsburg 42-30 in the Cable 9 triangular on Jan. 25. Earlier in the week, it lost to Crestwood 38-22 in the Ohio dual meet tournament.

Brian Evans and Josh Burger went 3-0 for the week, and Bliss named Burger the wrestler of the week after his hard-fought overtime win against Nordonia.

Burger's heavyweight win, along with Evans' and Andrew Petersen's decisions at 152 and 120 pounds, respectively, were Aurora's only wins against the Knights.

Against Twinsburg, Petersen pinned in just 29 seconds, Sal Petrash captured a physical 13-10 decision at 126 pounds, Evans pinned at 2:12, Brian McNamara pinned at 182, Austin Piunno took a 6-1 decision at 195 and Burger won by forfeit.

Bliss said A.J. Suchovsky battled hard at 220, but lost 7-3.

The Ohio team dual meet tournament is new this year. Josh Whitelaw started the contest with an 8-0 major decision at 106, then Petrash pinned.

"The heart of the strong Crestwood team took it o us, winning the next four weight classes," said Bliss.

Evans bumped up to 160 and gained a 5-2 win, but the Red Devils wrapped up the contest with two more wins before Suchovsky, Micky Carrasco at 220 and Burger earned decisions.

AHS was supposed to compete in a JV tournament at Waterloo, but it was cancelled.

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The varsity will compete in the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament Feb. 1-2 at Kenston, with action starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Finals will be at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the JV wrestlers will go to the conference JV tournament at Perry on Jan. 31, with action starting at 4:30 p.m.

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Bliss' weekly awards are:

Top wrestler -- Burger; most exciting match -- Petersen against a Nordonia foe with a 31-6 record. Down 7-4 after two periods, the foe rallied with two takedowns to make it 10-8. But Petersen had a takedown in the final 15 seconds for a 12-8 win.

Fastest fall -- Petersen in 29 seconds, earning him Cable 9's fastest fall award; key match -- Evans with a 5-2 win over Crestwood; most takedowns -- Evans with six; coach's award -- Suchovsky, who went up a class to 220 pounds, but fell 7-3.

Top practice wrestler -- Danny Novak, who Bliss said "has picked up his practices of late"; top sophomore effort -- Whitelaw with his 8-0 major decision against Crestwood; top freshman effort -- Piunno, who downed a Twinsburg regular starter 6-1.

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