SULLIVAN TWP. — North Ridgeville senior Jacob Dunstan had to battle through five tough matches, including three which went to a decision, to win the 132-pound individual championship at Saturday’s J.B. Firestone Invitational.
His teammates Michael Caraszi (113) and Matt Caraszi (120) each spent a total of less than two minutes on the mat to earn their championship medals but they counted all the same as the Rangers had an impressive second-place showing, finishing with 188 points behind only Lakewood (255.5).
In the 132-pound final, Dunstan scored a 9-0 major decision over Oberlin’s Robert Bouchonville.
“I was pretty confident coming in today, even though I wasn’t first seed,” said Dunstan, who improved to 16-1 this season. “I started off slow (in the final match) like I usually do but I was able to get into my attacks. Then it was just a matter of scoring as many points as possible.”
Matt Caraszi pinned Cardington-Lincoln’s Jacob Bell and Clearview’s Myles Huff both in the first period, while Michael also has a pair of first-period pins, including a 20-second one of Oberlin’s Fallon Cook.
“I accomplished my goal today. I wanted the first-place medal,” Matt Caraszi said.
“Finishing second as a team was a big accomplishment for us. We had some holes in the lineup today. We’re missing three of our best wrestlers.”
The 12-team tournament had a combination of brackets and round robins at different weight classes due to many teams competing with a less-than-full roster.
Black River senior Zach LaHood picked up his third J.B. Firestone title after going undefeated in the 126-pound pool with a pair of pins and two technical falls.
“I love being in front of our home crowd so this tournament is always something special for me,” LaHood said. “Winning here makes me feel good and gives me a lot of confidence going into our next tournament. I know I have to keep working hard if I want to achieve my ultimate goal, which is being on the podium at state.”
Lutheran West’s Lorain County combo of Parker Watson and Donavon Palmer continued their winning ways. Watson, an Ohio State commit, had a hard-fought 11-6 win in the 138-pound championship over Western Reserve’s Jacob Martz.
“He kinda psyched me out a little bit at the start,” said Watson, an Avon resident, after improving to 13-2. “He gave me a good match. I wish I had more matches like that. That was one of the toughest matches I’ve had this season. He really tested me but that’s what you need to get better. All I want to do is keep improving. Today gave me a confidence boost. Everyone needs that once in a while.”
Palmer, a sophomore, won the championship at 160 with a second-period pin of Northwestern’s Hal Huber.
“I went into the final with the same game plan I always do,” said Palmer, a North Ridgeville resident. “Attack whenever I can attack and defend all the shots you can. Just wrestle my match. If I wrestle my match I believe there are a lot of good things I can do. I feel like if I wrestle my best I can win most matches.”
Palmer said the entire Longhorns team is energized by the success Watson had Saturday and throughout the season.
“I can only speak for myself but from what I see from the entire team we all love Parker and feed off of the energy he brings in practices and matches,” Palmer said. “I hope one day I can do the same for other people.”
Black River freshman Travis Owen (285) was the only other local wrestle to advance to a bracket final, losing to Lakewood’s Yousef by a first-period pin.
TEAM SCORES: 1. Lakewood 255.5; 2. North Ridgeville 188; 3. Black River 165; 4. Lutheran West 145; 5. Western Reserve 128; 6. Clearview 121.5;
7. New London 120; 8. Cardington-Lincoln 96; 9. Northwestern 77; 10. Hillsdale 57.5; 11. Oberlin 54; 12. South Central 29
106: 1. Jayden Strickland (South Central) 3-0; 2. Zach Orseno (North Ridgeville) 2-1; 3. Sean Kane (Clearview) 1-2; 4. Joseph Simmons (Lakewood) 0-3
113: 1. Michael Caraszi (North Ridgeville) 2-0; 2. Max Davis (1-1); 3. Fallon Cook (Oberlin) 0-2
120: 1. Matt Caraszi (North Ridgeville) 2-0; 2. Jacob Belt (Cardington-Lincoln) 1-1; 3. Myles Huff (Clearview) 0-2
126: 1. Zach LaHood (Black River) 4-0; 2. Rubyn Semedo (Lakewood) 3-1; 3. Sherod Bullard (Clearview) 2-2; 4. Matt Adams (Northwestern) 1-3
132: 1. Jacob Dunston (North Ridgeville) maj. dec. Robert Bouchonville (Oberlin); 3. Robert Pinkie (Lutheran West) pin Devon Ritchie (Hillsdale) :41.
138: 1. Parker Watson (Lutheran West) dec. Jacob Martz (Western Reserve) 11-6; 3. Hunter Yeaples (Black River) dec. Joe Denney (Cardington-Lincoln) 13-10
145: 1. Adian Fry-Silva (Western Reserve) maj. dec. Austin Reed (New London) 11-3; 3. Khalid Morales (Lutheran West) pin Brandon Rollins (Black River) 2:04
152: 1. Tyler Ramage (Western Reserve) pin James Turdel (Lakewood) 3:06; 3. Norbert Sword pin Nathan Jackson (Black River) 1:45
160: 1. Donavon Palmer (Lutheran West) pin Hal Huber (Northwestern) 3:08; 3. Donny Horsely dec. Ethan Uechi 9-6
170: 1. Milan Jackson (Lakewood) 4-0; 2. Alex Douglas (North Ridgeville) 3-1; 3. Nathaniel Kibitza (Black River) 2-2; 4. Xavier Wyatt (Lutheran West) 1-3.
182: 1. Thomas Kaufman (Lakewood) 5-0; 2. Skyler Streich (Csrdington-Lincoln) 4-1; 3. Jacob Kessler (Clearview) 3-2; 4. Owen Lee (New London) 2-3
195: 1. Mitchell Phillips (New London) pin Spencer Reynolds (Lakewood) 4:25; 3. Jake Colbert (Lutheran West) pin Jed Miller (Northwestern) 2:56
220: 1. Brandon Bates (Lakewood) 5-0; 2. Devin Good (Western Reserve) 4-1; 3. Brendan McClung (Oberlin) 2-3; 4. Sean Kessel (Lutheran West) 2-3
285: 1. Yousef Awad (Lakewood) pin Travis Owen (Black River) 1:19; 3. Dustin McElhaney (North Ridgeville) dec. Jacob Monzy (North Ridgeville) 7-2