FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora — The Greenmen crowned two champions in the Perry Pin City Invitational over the weekend as freshman Jarrod Brezovec captured his fourth title of the season at 106 pounds and junior Josh Whitelaw won at 113.
As a team, Aurora finished fourth behind Perry, Canfield and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Brezovec opened with a 17-0 technical fall and added a pin and a 16-0 technical fall on the fist night. On the second day he added a forfeit, a 9-1 major decision and an 8-2 decision in the finals.
Whitelaw had two tech falls after a bye, a first-period pin, another tech fall and a solid 10-4 victory in the finals. It was his third championship of the season.
Sophomore Josh Burger earned third place at 285 with a pin, 5-2 decision, forfeit, pin and 2-1 decision.
Sophomore Danny Novak took fourth at 120, senior Brian Evans was fifth at 170 and senior Kevin Boysza at 145, junior Angus Nietert at 182 and junior A.J. Suchovsky at 195 were sixth.
Two other locals took white bracket championships (for wrestlers who won none or one match the first day) — senior Sal Petrash at 126 and freshman Bubba Arslanian at 152, while sophomore Cole Gavin finished runnerup at 132 and freshmen Jordan Pollard at 138 and J.T. Rose at 160 were fourth.
Meanwhile, AHS’s Green team had no placers in the Woodridge Invitational. Justin Rosselot and Matt Crissman each won two matches and Brian Kingure and Josh Loudon each won one match. “Better days are ahead for the Green team,” commented head coach Dick Bliss.
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In the previous weekend’s action, Brezovec was Aurora’s only placer — earning fifth — at the Brecksville Invitational, which featured 46 high-caliber teams, according to Bliss.
Brezovec opened with a bye, then went on to a solid 7-2 win against the No. 4 seed. In his second match against a Perry opponent, after two scoreless periods he recorded an escape, takedown and 3-point near fall for a 6-0 decision.
That matched him with a sophomore from Brecksville who was the No. 5 seed, whom he beat 4-0. In the semifinals, he was trapped and pinned in the second period, then was taken down late in the third period and lost 3-1 to a state place winner from last year.
That set up a rematch with his quarterfinals opponent from Brecksville, whom he defeated 3-0. Of the six matches he wrestled, five opponents placed.
“Brecksville was tough,” said Bliss. “Other than Jarrod we had only Novak, Evans and Burger win two matches. As a team, we did not do well, placing 37th out of 46.”
Novak’s and Burger’s wins were pins, while Evans had an 8-0 major decision and an overtime decision. Whitelaw recorded one technical fall and Boysza had one pin.
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At the recent Salem Invitational, the Green team competed well, finishing fifth out of 11 teams. Arslanian won the 152-pound title by default when his opponent was injured. Overall, he won five matches, including two by pin, and defeated two district qualifiers from last year.
Runnersup were Rosselot at 106 pounds and Dean Hayden at 220. Taking third were Petrash at 120 and Carter Driscoll at 132, fourth was Connor Bizjak at 152, fifth were Loudon at 138, Will Lovell at 152 and Kain Beaston at 170, sixth was Crissman at 132 and seventh was Rose at 160.
“All of our wrestlers at Salem won at least two matches. It was a very good day,” said Bliss.
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Aurora took several wrestlers to the Copley JV tournament. Crissman wrestled the maximum five matches, winning three. Kingure and Beaston each won two and Alex Nelson won one.
“We feel we learned a great deal about our wrestlers and will be better because of the exposure they have had,” said Bliss. “We continue to work hard and improve daily.”
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Aurora will host Eastlake North in a varsity dual Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. It is designated as Varsity Wrestling Alumni Night as former wrestlers will be admitted free and introduced at intermission. Greenmen JVs will be at the Nordonia tournament.
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Bliss’ weekly awards for Jan. 3-4 were:
Top wrestlers — Brezovec and Whitelaw; most exciting match — Boysza with a come from behind win against St. Edwards; fastest fall — Rose in 12 seconds; key match — Novak rallied after two scoreless periods and managed a cradle for a 3-point near fall and 3-0 win; most takedowns — Whitelaw with 18.
Coach’s award — Petrash, who won four of six matches after a late call into action; top practice wrestler — Burger, who Bliss said had his best effort of his high school career; top Green team effort — Crissman with a tech fall and pin; top sophomore effort — Burger; top freshman effort — Brezevoc.
Bliss’ weekly awards for Dec. 29-30 were:
Top wrestlers — Brezovec and Arslanian; most exciting match — Crissman, who was down 10-6 in the third period before pinning his opponent; fastest fall — Burger flattened a Garfield foe in 17 seconds; key match — Brezovec, who led 1-0 going into the third period, then had a 3-point near fall with a cradle.
Most takedowns — Driscoll with 10; coach’s award — Boysza, who wrestled his first match at Brecksville at a level he had never performed at; top practice wrestler — Suchovsky, who Bliss said “goes quietly about his business and works hard every day”; top Green team performer — Arslanian; top sophomore effort — Novak; top freshman effort — Brezovec.
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Brezovec has Aurora’s top record this season at 21-2, Andrew Petersen is at 11-1, Whitelaw is 17-3 and Burger is 18-4.