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'Nightmare' district ends season for Twinsburg

By MICHAEL LEONARD Sports Editor Published: March 8, 2017 12:00 AM
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For 30 years, Twinsburg wrestling had a presence at the state tournament, until coach Dave Mariola's steak of consecutive years with at least one state qualifier was snapped last season.

Thanks to the rigorous field at the Division I district tournament at North Canton Hoover, Twinsburg now has a different streak: Two straight years with no state qualifiers.

Twinsburg struggled at the district tournament, which took place March 3 and 4, as no Tigers were able to reach the podium.

Twinsburg finished with only three points at districts, tying with Cleveland Heights, Akron Firestone and Wooster for 32nd place in the team race. Wadsworth won the district team title with 193.5 points.

Mariola said the field at Hoover was as tough as he has ever seen at districts.

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"I think it was a nightmare for everybody, not just us," Mariola said. "Some of the good teams had kids who didn't make it to states. We expected everything that happened before we got there.

"The good thing is we had a lot of underclassmen wrestling," Mariola said. "We told them to believe in what we do, work in the offseason and diet right. It doesn't look like were going to get out of North Canton Hoover for a least another year. If we go to Mentor, I think we get at least a couple kids to states."

Twinsburg took a hit before the tournament even started when senior 132-pounder Colin Trouten was unable to wrestle due to illness.

Once wrestling started, only sophomore 170-pounder Austin Cefaratti won his opening-round match for the Tigers, beating Bedford's Christopher Dow 5-0.

However, Cefaratti then into Perry's Elil Soehnlen and was pinned in 4:37. Cefaratti was then eliminated with a 7-0 loss to Jackson's Zenik Vovk.

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"We're trying to put him in the best situation we can get. The way it worked out, it was good for him to get to districts," Mariola said. "I think he should have been down a weight class instead of up at 170."

At 138 pounds, junior Kris Jones made his second appearance at districts, but was pinned in his opening match by Wadsworth's Zain Tittle in 1:06.

Jones rebounded with a 7-5 win over St. Ignatius' Tommy Gallagher, but was eliminated via a 9-1 loss to Maple Heights' Antoine Holloway.

Mariola lamented the fact senior 220-pounder Tim Edwards lost both his matches via one-point decisions at districts. Freshman 106-pounder Rick Diturno and 152-pounder Joe Voltz also went 0-2 at Hoover.

Mariola said he plans to be back to lead the Tigers next winter.

"I have a couple great coaches in Mark Mole and Chris Mohnacki," Mariola said. "Both of them run a great practice. As long as they run practices, I think we can continue to get better.

"Our only dual-meet losses were to three teams that are ranked in the top 10 in the state," he added. "Those programs have guys that wrestle all year round. Since we have a lot of kids who don't wrestle all year round, because they're involved in other sports. I think we did a commendable job this year."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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