The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 24, 2013

Bringing ‘mat’ back

Third Ashtabula County Youth Duals slated for tonight at Conneaut

Wrestling in the area has slowly been fading in terms of participation at the high school level, not just in the area, but across the state.

Ashtabula County’s youth coaches are trying stop that fade dead in its tracks by building the sport’s popularity at the youth level.

In order to accomplish that goal, those coaches started the Ashtabula County Youth Wrestling Duals. The third installment of the competition will take place today at 6 p.m. at Garcia Gymnasium.

“We all take pride in our own teams,” Mike Sanford, one of many coaches with the Conneaut Cougars and event spokesperson, said. “The more mat time the kids get, the better they’ll be. Every one of the youth coaches in the county wants to get the level of wrestling back to where it was 15 years ago.”

Grapplers from kindergarten through sixth grade from the Conneaut Cougars, Little Lizards, Jefferson, Grand Valley, Pymatuning Valley and Geneva will take to the mats in 22 weight classes between 48 and 175 pounds.

Two mats will play home to the round-robin event. The team with the best record will be crowned champion. Two team trophies and a Most Valuable Wrestler award will be handed out.

Admission is $3 per adult and kids are free with a paid adult. American Legion members who show their ID cards will get in free, as well.

“We are supported greatly by the American Legion and that way we can say thank you,” Sanford said.

The young wrestlers are not new to the dual-meet format, but there will be a new wrinkle thrown at them.

“We all wrestle dual meets on Sundays at Madison in the Ohio Youth Wrestling League, Northcoast Division, but we don’t have a team championship,” Sanford said. “This kind of gives us a chance to fight for bragging rights.”  

Those battles could help to fortify rivalries at the high school level in the near future.

“There’s a lot competition between the youth coaches,” Sanford said. “That rolls over into the wrestlers. The thing we’re stress the most is that we want to promote the sport in Ashtabula County because it’s been slowly fading. We’re trying to promote the positive and give the wrestlers a chance to shine in their communities.”  

There are no age groups in the event. The best wrestlers on the teams in each weight will be the ones taking to the mats, regardless of the age difference to their opponents.

“They need mat time,” Sanford said. “Sunday is sectionals and mat time is the most important. I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to get beat. It makes them more hungry every time they get beat. There will be some brutal matches.

“That will show them right where they’re at for sectionals.”

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area High School Softball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Brittany Baitt    Riverside    .645    .667    .806    31    11    20    3    1    0    8    0
    Cassidy DiFranco    Riverside    .588    .632    .647    17    7    10    1    0    0    0    0
    Alyssa Chadwick    Conneaut    .563    .630    .625    32    12    18    2    1    0    6    5
    Alyssa Irons    Jefferson    .526    .526    .632    19    5    10    0    1    0    9    2

    April 23, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Niles McKinley at Lakeside (4:30)
    Bloomfield at Conneaut (4:30)
    Maplewood at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Riverside at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Mathews (4:30)
    Orange at Perry (4:30)

    April 23, 2014

  • Tribe Royals crown Wahoos to split first two games

    The concerns about Indians starter Danny Salazar continue to grow.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edgewood SB Warriors whack Struthers

    Edgewood softball coach Steve Cunha’s main focus for the season centers on his team playing well in the All-American conference. In their inaugural season as part of the AAC, the Warriors continued their strong start by defeating visiting Struthers, 8-2, on Monday afternoon.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons go the extra Niles

    Jefferson coach Scott Barber knows good things usually happen when you put the ball in play and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

    April 22, 2014

  • Emotional rescue

    Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spartans stymied

    Ursuline pitcher Makayla Shore freely admitted she didn’t quite have her best stuff against Conneaut on Monday at Skippon Park. Despite that fact, the hurler tossed a no-hitter to beat the Spartans, 10-0.

    April 22, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video