In four season of the present iteration of the Suburban League in Northeast Ohio, Brecksville and Wadsworth are each 24-0 in American Division dual meets where they do not face each other. All of those dual meets have been decisive blowouts. When the two teams collide, the dual meet has been tightly contested in each of the previous three seasons.
January 7, 2016 - part of double dual at Cuyahoga Falls - Wadsworth 28-22 (8-6 matches)
January 17, 2017 - dual at Wadsworth - Wadsworth 31-29 (7-7 matches)
January 18, 2018 - dual at Brecksville - Brecksville 28-25 (8-6 matches)
Expect Thursday's match at Wadsworth to be no different. Brecksville enters the contest ranked No. 34 in the country, while the host Grizzlies are currently ranked No. 29. Both teams are also among the top five teams in Ohio's big-school division (Division I).
Below is a match-by-match preview of the dual meet, assuming "normal" starting lineups. It should be noted that there could be movement by Wadsworth at around 152 and at 182/195, while Brecksville could have movement in the 182-220 range.
106 pounds: Pito Castro (Brecksville) vs. Mason Brugh (Wadsworth). Both freshmen placed third in their weight class last year at the junior high state tournament, which is a division-less event. Castro had missed the season to date with injury until his return for a double dual last week, while Brugh was champion at North Canton, third at Medina, and one match from placing at the Walsh Ironman.
113: Jack Stanley (B) vs. Mikey Lewarchik (W). Stanley placed fourth at 106 pounds last year at the state tournament, while Lewarchik went 1-2, both competing at 106 pounds. This season Stanley was third at the Brecksville tournament, while Lewarchik missed December due to injury but has been back here in January. Stanley won both meetings against Lewarchik last year, dual meet and conference tournament.
120: Cole Kowatch (B) vs. Landen Hacker (W). The sophomore Kowatch was closed out of the lineup last year at 106/113 by a pair of state placers, while fellow sophomore Hacker placed seventh at state in this weight class. Hacker missed both Ironman and Medina, then returned for Medina but had to default out in the quarterfinals; he has competed in the Grizzlies' January competitions as well.
126: Jimmy Carmany (B) vs. Hunter Griffin (W). Carmany placed fourth at state in this weight class as a sophomore last season, while fellow junior Griffin was 2-2 at the district tournament competing at 113 last year. This season Carmany was one match from placement at the Beast of the East, and then won Brecksville most notably upsetting nationally ranked Dylan Shawver (Elyria) in the semifinal. Griffin was one match from a top six finish at North Canton and one match from placement at Medina.
132: James Brontrup (B) vs. Logan Scandlon (W). Neither sophomore in this match is among their team's heralded wrestlers. Bronstrup was closed out of the lineup last season by Brecksville's loaded group of lower-weights, the Bees placed in every weight from 106-145 last year at state. This season he placed eighth at Brecksville. Scandlon competed last year for Division II Cloverleaf, qualifying for district at 120 pounds, but going two-and-out.
138: No. 13 Marco Regalbuto vs. No. 19 Luke Baughman (W). Both wrestlers in this match are nationally ranked, and each is a three-time qualifier and two-time state medalist. Baughman won a 5-3 decision in their only meeting of last season, during the state semifinal in this weight class. Last year in the dual meet, Regalbuto weighed in at 145 and won his match at 152, while the league meet he lost in the semifinal. Two years ago, Baughman placed one spot higher on the state podium but lost to Regalbuto in multiple meetings. Both wrestlers won a major in-state tournament this year, Regalbuto at Brecksville and Baughman at North Canton and Medina (Regalbuto was third at the Beast); each was one match from placement at the Ironman, and each has multiple wins over nationally ranked opposition (Baughman has multiple losses to non-ranked opposition this season).
145: Nick Campbell (B) vs. No. 11 Michael North (W). Regardless of whom Brecksville puts out for this match, that wrestler will be a massive underdog against two-time state placer North, who has titles at North Canton and Medina to go with a fifth place finish at the Ironman. Last season North was fourth at the state meet, and after the season a FloNationals champion.
152: No. 14 Victor Voinovich (B) vs. Logan Messer (W). Voinovich won state last year as a freshman at 145 pounds, beating a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers on the way to that gold medal. This season he was runner-up at Brecksville losing 1-0 to No. 2 (at 160) Cameron Amine (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.) in the final. Messer placed fifth at state last year as a freshman down at 132 pounds, and this season placed third at both North Canton and Medina.
160: Anthony Rizzo/Isaac Sell (B) vs. Jeff Buckland/Logan Shiarla/Jacob Walsh (W). Assuming Wadsworth doesn't just absorb 152 and move Messer up to here, this becomes a "swing match" of the dual meet as it's a pair of unheralded wrestlers going against one another. Rizzo was a non-starter last year as a freshman, while Sell went 2-2 at the district tournament; Buckland and Shiarla were non-starters last year, while Walsh placed at junior high state (he could also be used to strategically fill in at 152)
170: Rizzo/Sell (B) vs. Dominic Loparo (W). Outside of 145, this is the biggest mismatch of the dual that points in the favor of Wadsworth. Loparo went 1-2 at the state tournament last year as a sophomore at 160 pounds. This school year has been a superlative one - he was an integral two-way player (RB/LB) on a state quarterfinalist football team that finished the season 12-1, and on the mat has titles at North Catnon and Medina to his credit.
182: Ben Vanadia (B) vs. Jonathan List/Jamien Jackson (W). Both Vanadia and List qualified last year for state as freshmen, each went 0-2 at 152 pounds. Vanadia has been most excellent this season, missing placement at both the Ironman and Beast by one match before taking third at Brecksville. Wadsworth in dual meets season-to-date-has weighed in both List and Jackson, though List has been the wrestler in this weight at tournaments (Jackson at 195). On the season, List missed a top six finish at North Canton by one match before taking fourth at Medina.
195: Ethan Hatcher (B) vs. List/Jackson (W). Hatcher has qualified for state as both a freshman and sophomore, going 0-2 on each occasion, those at 152 and 170. During the past off-season, he placed at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals, UWW Cadet Nationals in freestyle, and the Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo. This season, he placed at the Ironman and the Beast before a runner-up finish at Brecksville. The sophomore Jackson missed top six at North Canton by one match before missing placement at Medina by one match. Hatcher pinned Jackson at the Ironman.
220: TBD (B) vs. Mason Beal (W). This is another very fluid match. Brecksville could go any number of directions on this match depending on what happens the two weight classes before. Wadsworth could use the sophomore Beal here, or they may choose to weigh-in one of List or Jackson and 195 and bump to cover this match.
285: Ryan Stadler (B) vs. Zach Linn (L). It's a pair of seniors in this match, neither of whom is exactly heralded. Stadler was 1-2 at the district tournament last year, while Linn was a backup to a pair of state placers at 220/285. Should the dual start at 106 and come down to this match, it would be the classic dual meet scenario where it comes down to "squad guys" deciding a team's fate.