Young Twinsburg wrestling squad struggles hard at Mentor Duals

by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

Dave Mariola knew Twinsburg wrestling was walking into a meat grinder Jan. 5 at Mentor.

This time, it wasn't the Division I district tournament -- traditionally known at "The Mentor Meat Grinder."

Twinsburg participated in the Mentor Duals, but the Tigers had to feel a bit tenderized after the duals as they went 0-5.

Twinsburg lost to Mentor 42-18, Mason 64-4, Elyria 54-21 and archrival Solon 50-17 at the duals. Twinsburg beat an "All-Star" team comprised of all the squads' second-team wrestlers 37-22 in the day's other match.

The matches with Elyria, Mentor and Solon counted as Twinsburg's Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division meets.

As a result, Twinsburg's record stands at 1-5, 0-4 in the Valley Division.

Mariola noted that 113-pounder Anthony Askins was absent due to a skin infection and 160-pounder Alex Keller was out due to illness. Twinsburg had to forfeit 113 and heavyweight in each match.

"In the last two weeks, we've had a lot of kids that were sick," Mariola said. "In each of those matches, we're two or three wins from being competitive, with the exception of Mason. Mason has a really tough team this year. The other three, we could have possibly pulled with some luck."

Mariola said Twinsburg's effort was there, but the strength of the opposition showed.

"The only problem is Mason, Solon and Elyria all are in the top eight in the state," Mariola said. "They catch us in a year that we're down a little bit and it was a tough day. We lost a lot of one- and two-point matches and lot of matches where we were winning and got pinned.

"We have a lot of sophomores and some freshmen starting for us," Mariola added. "The majority of our kids are maybe two years away from being really good. Maybe in two years, we'll start dropping the hammer on people."

Twinsburg did not have any wrestlers go 5-0 at the duals.

Senior 152-pounder Tyrone McGuinea was the lone Tiger to go 4-1.

Mariola said McGuinea looked good in his four victories, but in his fifth match, he ran right into his nemesis: Solon two-time state champion Anthony Collica. Collica scored the pin on McGuinea in a match which Mariola said was pretty much the same as their first encounter this year at the Solon Comet Classic.

Given McGuinea's struggles against Collica, Mariola said his senior state qualifier is looking to cut down to 145 pounds.

"He's thinking of going 145 at the Dies Tournament [Jan. 18 and 19]," Mariola said.

Twinsburg had two wrestlers go 3-2 at Mentor in junior 132-pounder Alex Netzband 132 and senior 145-pounder Jimmy Hiller.

Twinsburg has this week off, but has a full schedule next weekend.

First, the Tigers will take on Mayfield in their final Valley Division dual meet Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

Then, Twinsburg will wrestle at the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament Jan. 18 and 19 at Akron Firestone. First match Jan. 18 is set for 3 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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