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'Real' season to begin for Greenmen, area grapplers

by MICHAEL LEONARD | SPORTS EDITOR Published: February 21, 2017 10:28 AM
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If it feels its been awhile since Portage County's wrestlers have been involved in meaningful matches — that's because its has been.
Outside of Woodridge's run to the Division II state dual meet tournament, much of February has been spent training and wrestling non-division dual meets.
All this, of course, is window dressing.
As legendary Aurora coach Dick Bliss often told me, the "real" season for Ohio high school wrestling doesn't begin until sectionals.
Which means the season begins again Saturday for local grapplers.

Northeast Ohio has moved to one-day sectional tournaments, meaning everyone will start wrestling at about 10 a.m. Saturday. The format remains the same, however. Each sectional is a double-elimination tournament, with the top-four finishers in each weight classes advancing to districts.
In turn, the top-four finishers in each weight class at districts will advance to the state tournament, which will take place March 9-11 at Value City Arena in Columbus.

In terms of travel, it was good news for the Aurora Greenmen when the Division I sectional moved from Austintown to Kenston last year.
Aurora won the team title at Kenston last season and probably is favored to repeat as champion in 2017. Helping that, the Greenmen should be healthy for the first time since mid-January.
I could see Aurora advancing as many as 11 wrestlers to districts, despite the presence of traditional state powers Walsh Jesuit, Solon and Austintown Fitch at Kenston.


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